Saturday, May 20, 2006
Sketching in Parc des Bastions and EDM # 66
This week on EDM I was set a personal challenge to get over my fear of drawing in public. I didn't do very well in the park near the Perle du Lac so this time I tried going to the Parc des Bastions near the centre of town. I had seen these huge chess sets near the park gates as I passed by on the tram.
Looks very peaceful there. Have you noticed it's always men who do this sort of thing?! That building behind (it's a cafe) is so French! It would make a great scene to draw but I was looking for somewhere more discreet.
First things first - this is the quick scribble I did while waiting for the bus. The ' hell with it, I'm going to sketch in public today, come what may' sketch of a fire hydrant for this weeks challenge. I did it in about two minutes before the bus came along and although it's a bit embarrassing to publish on my blog, I am rather amazed that I managed to get the proportions down pretty well! The drawing on the right was done a day later when I went back and took a photo (to compare and to draw from). It's a very busy road that leads through customs to France, so not ideal to stand and draw in peace.
Anyway, back to the park. I found a bench along the long Promenade des Bastions overlooking the grass with lots of people enjoying their lunch break. The guy with the laptop seemed to be staying fairly still so I started with him. Funny that he kept looking around (he was laughing at something on the screen) to see if he was being watched but he didn't notice me at all!
This little girl seemed to have an enormous amount of hair! I started drawing her expecting her to run off or keep moving but she stayed like this for quite a while. For some reason I have trouble putting realistic faces to my quick sketches, or getting the heads right.
I think I was more successful today because I used the smaller Moleskine. It's much more discreet and it's probably less likely that anyone would be brave enough to come over and look (not like I had set up an easel!) I used a mechanical pencil (I hate those corners on the lead) which looks like a pen so it's not obvious I'm drawing. I drew the tree so I'd have something to work on while waiting for people to stop moving.
I was analysing what it is that makes me nervous and I decided I needed to scale everything down including my expectations. Start small and forget trying to get 'good' sketches. Breathe in, breathe out!
I noticed a big group of Japenese tourists to my right looking at something. I couldn't quite see what was going on, but when I had had enough drawing, I walked through the park and saw this enormous wall. It's actually the Monument de la Reformation. Info here. You can see from the two people in the shot how big it is!
I liked this figure best. I doubt he had a great sense of humour! Would make an interesting subject to draw. There were a group of youths in need of an audience just to the left, so I decided against it.
Very imposing when they are towering above you. Yep, I'll try these sometime!