The Art of Sketching
I’ve always been captivated by sketches. Before I found photography and filmmaking, I used to draw more than anything else. Because of my impatient nature, I never could make myself draw clean and elaborate works that took much time. I naturally gravitated towards sketches, finding something romantic in the untamed lines, impromptu nature, and organic character of it. I was never anything extraordinary, and even my sketches took much longer than they logically should have. (Thank God I found photography). I still hold a deep respect for drawing though, especially sketches and the people that create them.
Mr Porter recently did a story on Richard Haines, the fashion illustrator behind the blog What I Saw Today, which has become a sort of illustrative equivalent to The Sartorialist. For good reason too; the blog is a captivating one. There is something quite human about sketches, and Haines does a thorough job of invoking this.
“frenchman wearing quilted, wine colored, velvet slipper” and “aubin checks his texts”; from what i saw today
mr haines at rest. mr haines at work. from mr porter.
I recently came across another blog dedicated to sketches and illustrations. The Boston Sketcher is a site run by M. Morris Gaman, an art student in Boston that is, as he puts it, “drawing quick sketches of people in Boston all the time. On the train, in class, in coffee shops, museums, malls, libraries and even on the street.” The blog is fun, witty, and intimate one. Gaman updates multiple times a day with sincere sketches punctuated with his commentary.
l to r, top to bottom: “pen and ink…on the red line”, “he looks like he has good taste in music”, and “the apple that falls”; from faces of boston.
On the subject of commentary: I’ve realized that one of my favorite things about these two blogs is the commentary that often accompanies their sketches. They “add to the story”, so to speak, of the image presented. After all, a sketch is mere representation of an experience. It’s a reaction to the moment. Often I wonder what was going through the illustrator’s head when I look at sketches, why they chose to highlight the elements they did. It’s great to see their thoughts presented in another way.
It seems that much of the sentiment surrounding sketches, especially those of this nature, are the same as the sentiments surrounding street photography, specifically street style photography. I’m an avid people watcher. Hand me a camera and it’s only logical that I’ll stick it in front of my face and take pictures of them. It’s the same with this. I can only imagine the process: going everywhere with your sketchbook, always looking around and observing. It’s a beautiful thing, truly.