Drawing rush hour

8 Mar

 I love drawing people but its not a very easy thing to do. It takes lots of practice. As well as persuading my housemates to let me draw them naked, I’d often go to Kings Cross Station at rush hour. You might think rush hour would be a terrible time to draw people, but what with the patchey reliability of of London’s transport system, there’s loads of people standing around waiting for their train.

I’d go to Kings Cross and I’d sit under the massive departure board. People strike some brilliant poses, with the heads angled to the sky, waiting for updates on the board. No one stays still for long. Just long enough to capture a shape, an expression, and then they’re gone. Thats why it’s a great place to go to practice. No time to get hung up on perfectionism. Just give it a go. You might get half way through a good one, then the next time you look up they’ve completely vanished. And no one ever notices that you’re drawing them.

…Well that’s what I always thought.

One cold evening there I was sitting on the floor at Kings Cross underneath the big departure board. I’d been there about half hour already. I’d got a couple of sketches done. This is one of them. Before I could finish it someone moved into my eye line so I couldn’t see my subject ‘man with bag’. That’s not unusual. I didn’t think anything of it. I moved on to another person who was striking a good pose. I’d hardly got anything down before they were blocked from my view too. It was the same guy blocking my view as before! As I looked at him we cought each others eye before he looked back at the departure board a little bit too quickly to have been casual. Hmmm. I started drawing someone else and sure enough, after not too long, he moved into my eyeline again and snapped his gaze upwards when I finally looked up to see him there. Maybe it was just coincidence. Maybe I’m just a little paranoid. More likely, though, he was bored. He’d been there as long as I had waiting for his train. We played this game a while longer. And then I looked up and he too was gone.

Drawing in public is fun!


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