Sketching Too Quickly

I’ve found it amazing to watch the likes of Veronica Lawlor drawing dancers.  It always seemed impossible.  Then my friend Yvan started attending sessions at our museum where dancers and choreographers were practicing.  The drawings he was producing were spectacular.   I kept saying “Maybe I’ll come along” and always I chickened out.  As a slow [understatement alert] sketcher this seemed impossible and I guess I was trying to avoid the frustration.

But I finally did attend one of those sessions with Yvan and two things became clear.  The first was that I was right.  It IS impossible.  The second thing was a big surprise.  I loved it and can’t wait to do it again.  My sketches are sloppy and barely look like the women I sketched.  One woman was wearing a huge African head scarf and she had bells covered with scarves on her ankles.

In all, I covered 14 pages with scribbles.  Some of them look almost like people and I’ve never moved my pen so quickly, never strained my visual memory so much and after two hours I was completely exhausted.  I could improve them by adding some shading but the point of the exercise was to draw quickly, without the time to think about it so I thought I’d present these as they were done, in the moment…in a moment.

I did some sketches of spectators.  They didn’t move so much.







The rest of these came as a blur, or so it seemed at the time.  If you squint a lot you might enjoy them.  An open mind and closed eyes might be the best approach (grin).  I can’t wait to do it again.

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8 thoughts on “Sketching Too Quickly

    • Things do change with time. I remember your posts of drawing birds feeding on the ground and couldn’t believe that it was possible. I still find these things beyond my ability but I’m getting closer 🙂 — Larry

  1. Those are very impressive, Larry! You managed to catch the essence of each figure, and the movement as well! Kudos!

  2. I also think you did an amazing job. I love your lines they just flow. Your lines are also loose when you sketched the spectators. I think the fast sketching warmed you for these. It is all about the line everything flows!

    • Thanks, Carmel. Loose is a result of no time to draw, not my intention. My art heros are Durer, DaVinci, Rockwell, Bateman, and others so I always have a hard time with the modern reverence for “loose” 🙂

  3. I think your sketches are great! Wish mine were as good. My husband and I dance and I sometimes bring my sketchbook to try and capture some of the dancers on the floor. Impossible! But I know if I just did it more often it might become a little more possible.

    • That’s exactly what I said, Diane, and in large part it was true. But it was still fun to try. It’s all about managing expectations I think :(grin) — Larry

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