Sometimes a holiday weekend is a great time to stay in the city and enjoy the peace and quiet. This Memorial Day weekend, I spent a few hours drawing in the park of my apartment complex. Even when you’re simply drawing as a relaxing way to pass the time, it’s good to think about the stories going on around you.
The top drawing of the page above is an overview of the fountain, which is the main focal point of the park. The little boy running in front to grab the ball was an accidental addition that I loved.
The drawing below that on the page above is of some of the residents relaxing on the benches. The man in the wheelchair was simply basking in the sunlight with his head back. We have had a week of rain here in New York, so sunshine was a welcome addition to the landscape.
Then I drew some of the other residents: a woman stretched out on a bench, reading from her Kindle, another woman in a wheelchair watching the children play, and a man with a face full of character. How could I not draw him? So many marks to play with! (I didn’t let him see the drawing though, not sure he would be as into the marks as I was.) Vignettes like these can add more explanation to a reportage, in addition to the larger drawings.
Finally I turned my attention to the kiddie park next to the fountain area. For this drawing I wanted to capture the overall feeling of children running in every which direction, with an indication of the city buildings behind them.
Reportage drawing is about decisions – what is of interest to you in any particular place, and what do you choose to talk about? Could be a feeling, an activity, a type of person, a satiric remark, etc. – so many options and it all depends on the personality of the artist, and what he or she likes.
This July, Jonathan Schmidt and I will be conducting a workshop at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Santo Domingo called The Decisive Moment, where we will talk about making those drawing decisions, and more. Hope to see you there!