At Richard Thompson’s blog Cul de Sac — which I don’t need to tell you to read, right? — you’ll have noticed the Friday post ‘Metro Games’. Maybe you’ve been too busy to keep up with Mr Thompson for a few days, though. If you’re behind a bit, go on over now & check him out.
I comment there that I used to like to take some little sketchbook along when I had occasion to go into D.C. via Metro. The actual occasions haven’t been that frequent in fact, though for a decade or so they did add up, particularly when I lived nearer. (These days, probably a couple of years at least since I’ve gone down to D.C. on some mission/jaunt where it’d suit to metro in). So those ‘people on the train’ sketches really aren’t many. But I’ve pulled a few for your viewing enjoyment (if this sort of thing’s what you enjoy).
This first is late-ish, about four years ago. (Dated them, each one, just off to the side, ha! — Something in me imagines the sketch some kind of record, I guess.) Was en route to hear Tod Williams & Billie Tsien at the NBM (from which talk, also, I got a funny little sketch on the page adjacent this one).
For me the strategy with these stealth sketches nervously attempted in public involves first some doodling on the page — little boxes & balls & letterforms, the usual scribbles in my case — while watching for an unsuspecting subject out the corner of my eye. When I pick somebody, then, it’s seamless, more or less — I’m already working the pen.
This one’s from 2000.
In the last, here, from 2002, it looks like I went for somebody’s profile — usually the easy way to a quick & dirty likeness. But the result isn’t great. The second, smaller sketch, evidently a guy who risked a nap back in the corner of the car, worked out a little better.