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Supertram Sketches

Thursday, 30th October 2003, page 4 of 4
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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from the supertramOn my way here this morning I did my usual lightning wildlife sketches of magpie, magpies' nest and plants such as birch, buddleia and gorse growing by the trackside.

With my new-found enthusiasm for seeing something special in the commonplace I'm inspired to go for a complete change of subject and I sketch the passengers on the supertram on the way back to Meadowhall, where we've parked our car.

It's a subject I used to draw a lot but I don't travel on buses and trains as much as I once did and I've got out of the habit of drawing people in general.

groupWhat I find frustrating about drawing under these conditions - the unerring ability for a fresh figure to stand in front of one I've already started drawing - is in fact the point of it all: what makes these figures more fascinating than the most elaborate exercise set up in a life drawing class is the way they group themselves; it's a sort of natural choreography.

phone callI'm always surprised how expressive a figure can be when seen from behind. You don't need to see a facial expression to get a sense that a figure is bored, weary, energetic or engrossed in conversation. next page

Richard Bell

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