Fireside couple at Second Cup Central Station

Second Cup Gare Centrale
This was the first of two sketches done after a sketchcrawl day downtown Saturday. I drew the initial sketch with a Pentel brush pen. Then the tones wer added using Prismacolor pencils. Because these pencils are waxed based they do not smear and I find they work well in conjunction with in drawings. I can go back over the drawing once toned in with the wax-based pencils with ink and the paper will accept the mark. Moreover, the Prismacolors do not smear or spread. Therefore, this prevents and loss of image clarity which usually happens when the drawing is rubbed against the opposite page.

I started the composition by observing intently the male foreground figure in order to memorize his profile shape since I had only one try at inking since there is no room or little for correction. That being said, the beauty of working in ink is that it psychologically leads one to concentrate harder I feel. Once the contour of the profile and head was indicated, I sketched in the rest of the figure using the side of the brush to indicate the hair value and tone on his arm. Every now and then his girl friend peeked forward. I waited until she was realatively stable and drew her facial shape and features making sure that proporionately her head shape was smaller than his to indicated distance between the two.

A note about the background shapes and lines: If you observe well you will notice that all the background shapes point towards the figures – fireplace, cup, armchairs, brickwork and computer. All are linked to lead the eye back to the focal point. Moreover, I have designed the sketch so that the eye circulates around the drawing starting at the head of the man, moves around the fireplace, down to the cup and back to his arm via the computer and the arm rest. A more successful sketch is usually thought out prior to starting. When working on site such as in this case when figures can move or leave, it is important to preview in one’s visual mind the composition or design and stick to the original idea throughout. It is a hit and miss process, even in my case even after having drawn thousands and thousands of on site people sketches.


About Raynald Murphy

Passionate plein air painter and sketcher. Watercolor being my favorite medium I also use various dry media to express myself.
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