Melting into the Crowd

Saturday, 19th March 2005, page 3 of 3
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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cathedral porchgirlsAfter putting my students through a couple of exercises I thought I'd end this, my last Drawing in the City workshop here in Wakefield, by letting them draw whatever they want.

When we began, drawing in public was a big issue for one or two of them. They seem to be over that now. I noticed during the perspective session this morning that when you get involved in a drawing it's as if the crowds have gone away, or stepped into a parallel dimension.

staff at the Caffe Nerowoman on phoneHundreds of people passed within yards of us but, once I got to work, I wasn't aware of them. You can create a calm bubble around you where all that matters is the subject and the drawing. On two occasions today people I knew spotted us drawing and came to talk to me but I wouldn't have spotted them.

The baristas in the Caffè Nero (left) have got used to us drawing over our coffee. It's been the ideal place for us to meet as it has the relaxed-but-active atmosphere that I was trying to achieve in my workshops.

You can see that when I drew the two baristas on the left I had to redraw the top of their heads to keep the head in proportion with the face. It's a mistake that I've made so many times, but it's always best to correct it rather than leave the head out of proportion.

shoppersstall holderAsian Market

To add to the interest today there's an Asian market on the precinct. Wish I'd had time to draw the colourful stall with the dried fruits and nuts set out in baskets.

chip eatersshopperLast Saturday was so cold but today it's almost like summer and shoppers are looking more relaxed. Some of them look as if they're just stepped off a Caribbean island.

I find people so interesting to draw and I like the way they group themselves and interact. These girls eating chips for example; you could guess that they're buddies by the way the way they echo each other in clothing, hair-style and posture. Next Page

Previous 'Drawing in the City' Sessions

Drawing in the City
negative spaces, architectural details and the 'clock-face' method of assessing angles

People on the Precinct
reasons for drawing, crowds and a portrait sketch

Quick on the Draw
in the café and perspective drawing

Related Links

Caffè Nero: a word of appreciation for our hosts: 'The barista is the coffee aficionado who combines his skill, knowledge, and artistry to prepare the perfect shot of Espresso.'

Wakefield Art Gallery: we're hoping to put on a show of drawings from the workshop soon.

Richard Bell,

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