Happy New Year!
So to kick off the first post of the year I'm going to do part 2 of my Passenger Portrait Edition that I did back in July. I figured that this would be a pretty great time to present it since I've been drawing so many portraits as of late. I suspect that I'm, currently, on some weird portrait drawing binge. Why? I don't really know, but I'm having a lot of fun.
They were both drawn on the same train, but at different times of the day. The woman with the glasses was done in the morning and the man behind her on my way home. The woman was really good. She never looked up once. I had no problem with the gentleman in back of her, but I went to him after a train conductor stood right in front of my other subject to chat with her coworker that was on his way home. They discussed what an easy job collecting tickets on the LIRR was and that you get crap hours unless you have seniority. Sounds like a pretty sweet job after the first 3 years or so.
She is part of a larger page, but I kinda went crazy on the details with her. She was asleep the entire ride which made her super easy to get this heavily into the drawing. If there was anything I noticed, it was that it seems everyone who rides this train wears these types of coats. I have this coat drawn in my sketchbook way more often than I would like to admit.
On this particular ride I was going to sleep when I saw this older woman in the pic. She was off looking into the distance when I. Had. To. Draw. Her. I don't know what it was, but I just had to do it. Her's was a face I didn't encounter often so I had to document this joyous occasion. She was really cool about being still and not moving as well. At time our eyes met, but she never really let up with how she was sitting or posed. I guess in her head she might have been anticipating her stop. The younger girl I did after the first woman left.
Sometimes when you sit on the LIRR you can't really see much. Also, everyone is just sitting with a deadpan look on their faces. For a train that's so comfortable with its cushiony seats and actual bathrooms you would think that the people riding it would have a little more life. I guess that's only reserved for sports games and drunk people on the weekends. There was nothing particularly special about this guy. He was just looking off into the distance.
Passengers on the NY Subway are far more interesting to draw than those of the LIRR. Immensely. I don't know what it is, but there's a huge difference. Ev\verybody is sleeping and tired, but maybe there's just something much more interesting about dark dirty train cars that give people way more character. This particular woman was sleeping, but she had made what seemed like a sneer as she slept. I think she may have noticed that I was drawing her, but she didn't ask to see or anything. Part of me was glad she didn't because I wondered what she would have thought about the fact that her sleeping face look something like this. It reminded me of another time I drew this guy who wore such a mean face. So when these girls asked to look at what I was doing I flashed the book as fast as I could. The face of the man completely changed into something much lighter and brighter. At that moment I felt bad, because it just made me wonder what kind of face I made when I am just doing nothing...or sleeping. Are we even aware of it?
On the LIRR again when there was an elderly woman sitting across from me. She just read her newspaper and never looked up. This was my 2nd attempt at drawing her since the first one didn't come out so good. For this piece I used a Copic BS brush pen. To me, the best time to use it is when it's almost out of ink. When it's at this point you can get great values out what would have been just black ink.
On this particular train ride I was in luck. Two women were wearing a hajib with patterns on them. Patterns elude me at times so I thought it would be nice to practice some. (Plus I'm so tired of drawing black bubble coats.) The one on the left has a much more involved pattern so it took some time to draw it. I was intensely staring at the patterns, but she only looked over a few times. I assumed that she was more preoccupied with getting off of at her stop which put her at the edge of her seat at times. The woman on the left had one with multi-colored stripes which would have been executed best with markers or colored pencils.
It's almost been 6 months since I posted part 1 of this particular series. Even though I enjoy drawing in public it's still pretty awkward when you realize that someone has noticed what you are drawing. Yet, I have to remember that it's just as awkward, and somewhat creepy, that someone is staring at you pretty intently. Though, people do see my sketchbook out so it's not as if I'm just staring at them just to stare. At least that's what I hope.