Sketching At Ecole De Cirque – Are You Kidding Me?

The great folks that organize the Collectif des ateliers libres en arts visuels  (longest group name ever) arranged to allow us to sketch at the Ecole de cirque where young people train to become circus entertainers.  It was a wonderful opportunity, or so I thought.  In the end, though, I wasn’t up to the task.

Attempt with a washable ink.

The school was fantastic and just getting to see it made the outing worth the trouble.  there were people jumping, bouncing, swinging, and being thrown across rooms everywhere you looked.  And they were good…really good.  Sketching them, however, was another matter.  It was like trying to draw popcorn being popped.  No two movements were identical and most not directed.  I simply couldn’t keep up.  Need more practice – more experience.

Attempt with a washable ink.

Attempt with a washable ink.

2015-10-30cirque2_colorHere’s an example of my failures…many failures 🙂  The woman on the left was spinning around and around in this hula-hoop thingie hung from the ceiling.  She’d hang from it, zip up through it and sometimes dangle with hands outstretched in different directions.  By the time I had  a line or two “defining” the woman on the right, she was upside down and she too was swinging, hanging and moving… a lot.

This woman made it a bit easier on me as she was working with a coach.  Her thing was to have two sets of belts hanging from the ceiling, as a gymnast working on rings might do, except she had no rings, just the loops of the belts.  She was practicing hanging vertical and moving her legs into and out of different positions.   She’d also dismount once in a while and stand, talking to her coach.  It seemed more like the popcorn in a bowl rather than in the popper and I took advantage of it.  I also drew a bunch of people who were just sitting/standing around but I’ll spare you those.


While we were eating lunch, a bunch of kids came into the room to eat lunch.  They were all bundled up in coats so I took the opportunity to do some quick pencil sketches of them.  It was a fitting end to the day as eventually I put my coat on too.  It’s that time of the year where I always lament that I’m now having to put on a coat before I go outside (grin).

2 thoughts on “Sketching At Ecole De Cirque – Are You Kidding Me?

  1. Moving kids (or adults) are tough! This is where a fat or medium brush pen comes in handy. You won’t be able to be tempted to try for any details, so you can just try to capture the gestures and shapes.

    • The kids were easier 🙂 You make a good point about the thicker pen. The only glitch in the idea is that you have to like thick lines. I’m not a fan, though maybe I should be. — Larry

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