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#OneWeek100People2018: Day One: Metro Sketching!

March 5, 2018

BTW, 2018 is finished, you can go here for a list of  > all posts related to OneWeek100People <

So it begins! It’s time for #OneWeek100People2018!

I hope your first day of the marathon is going great :)

I took it low-stress, spending an entire afternoon going back to the basics – just a brush pen and some cheap cover-stock from the stationary store. The simplicity sets me free to burn up paper – cheerfully toss out the bad ones.

Last year, I started with gesture drawings in a fine-line. This time, the big black brush pen!  Plus – working super small.

Working in miniature is a lot of fun. It’s like having a huge brush.

Fill an entire figure, head to toe, in a just a few strokes. Use the very tip for line work, then switch to the side and block in a solid silhouette. It’s so fast!

Montreal is the city of big black coats.

It makes the smokers on the street into perfect silhouettes.

I was drawing through glass windows of an office building – watching people psych themselves up for a day at work.

If you get too comfortable with the brush, the drawings start growing out of control, becoming full-page.

I think this is because I want to draw some faces.

So ok, let’s do figures and heads about the same size.

By now, I’m standing in line to get into the Montreal Moto Show. There’s plenty of beards in the lineup.

She’s looking for the mommy-and-me yoga meetup. And yes, I’m counting the kid. That little head was the hardest to draw.

Office workers go to Starbucks. Moto Show fans go to Tim Hortons.

I just got started on her, when her boyfriend came back – he’s only allowed so much time looking at motorcycles.

This is me being ready to lose my subject at any moment.

Try to draw from the big shape, down to smaller – so you can stop the sketch at any moment, and it still works.

That’s a nice head there – some negative drawing around his dome.

Notice how I don’t take the black all the way around? I like to leave gaps in the surrounding tone. Let the eye close shapes.

In this one, I’m getting ready to go eat, so I snapped some out-of-focus cellphone pics of people walking to the escalator. Drew these while eating. Is it cheating? You’d never know unless I told you :)

By the way, I feel weirder taking photos of people than drawing them. Nobody comes up and says “How nice, you’re taking pictures!” – but you get nice comments all the time if you’re sketching in public.

Two from a quick cellshot waiting for the walk light, and two from life while boarding the train home.

So far so good! That was my first day.

I’m kind of kicking myself now for not just finishing the 100 in a day. It would have been pretty easy. I have 69 here – and a bunch more I tossed as they didn’t stand up to inspection.

Plus I wasted a chunk of the day trying to draw motorcycles. More on that later.

Ok! – Please Leave some comments if you have sketches from your day-one already. Let’s see what everyone’s up to!

Tomorrow, I’ll post new silhouettes, this time in color.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Deb permalink
    March 5, 2018 10:34 AM

    OK, I gave a stupid question. How do you make the little people change color in the One week100people title block.

  2. March 5, 2018 10:35 AM

    WOW, it’s barely 10am and you got up and out when, to do 69 sketches?

    • March 5, 2018 10:59 AM

      Oh oh, no I started early – after all I’m kind of “moderating” not competing – so I started early – I mean, everyone should adapt the event to their needs! Like the pirate code – it’s more of a guideline:)

      • March 15, 2018 11:40 PM

        llegué tarde? era del 5 al 9 de marzo solamente?

        I’ve arrived late? Was it from March 5 to 9 only? beautiful your teachings. thank you very much

  3. March 5, 2018 10:42 AM

    Marc, these are truly inspiring! I need to go back and review your Craftsy class on figures in motion and then get out m brush pen. WOW, you have some wonderful stuff here! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Annie permalink
      March 5, 2018 11:04 AM

      You said exactly what I call me here to say. Yes! Thanks!

  4. Jason Mullins permalink
    March 5, 2018 10:55 AM

    I love the way you have captured the energy and essence of these figures without noodling over too much detail. Well done sir!

  5. Sylvie permalink
    March 5, 2018 11:16 AM

    Your sketches are absolutly fabulous! I will try to draw 100 peoples this week. And this year, I will try to draw them live. Last year I participated, but generally using pictures form newspaper.

  6. Jason Mullins permalink
    March 5, 2018 11:31 AM

    Do you have a brush pen preference? I have 3 that I use: Pentel Pocket Brush, Kuratake #13 and the Pentel color brush…

  7. Malinda Anderson permalink
    March 5, 2018 1:11 PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. So encouraging. You are so generous in spending your time to send these sketches out with good, thoughtful information. Reading this made my day. from a fan, Malinda Anderson


  8. Lyn Watts permalink
    March 5, 2018 1:24 PM

    Hi Marc

    These are great and I learnt sooo much from just observing them carefully. I belong to an Urban sketching group here in Tauranga NZ and I really enjoy our outings.The venues at busy market days or garden centres are my favourites! Last Saturday I sketched a “sleeping” labrador while his master was having coffee – but the dog kept changing his position every second!

    Regards _Lyn


  9. March 5, 2018 3:35 PM

    It’s so inspiring to see your drawings, Marc! I managed to do 13 today. I work at a hospital, so I don’t feel comfortable drawing people when I’m having a break at work, so I’m down to drawing at the train station and while commuting. It’s really hard to not to feel awkward when peeking at people, especially when they’re sitting right across… but it’s also a lot of fun trying to get to the ‘goal’ of 20 a day, it really prompts me to not look at my phone the entire commute and do something productive instead.

  10. Heide permalink
    March 5, 2018 5:00 PM

    My God. These are masterful! You capture so much in just a few strokes. Wonderful work, Marc.

  11. joantav permalink
    March 5, 2018 6:25 PM

    Great sketches, Mark! You really got a lot done already. Since I’m not a commuter, and drive everywhere I go, I headed to the mall to find people. I was able to get 17 watercolor sketches done today…and will be hunting again tomorrow. :)

  12. March 5, 2018 11:08 PM

    Mark, you are an inspiration! Beautiful sketches! I managed to squeeze out 54 live sketches. I am still trying to figure out the awesome graphic with the tally that you have created, I was too busy sketching people! .

  13. miatagrrl permalink
    March 5, 2018 11:44 PM

    I took your advice — one black brush pen only, tiny figure gestures! I got 20 today, and my favorites were people walking by. I only had a couple seconds, so I got a lot done! And I remembered some of the tips you taught in the workshop way back on the La Rambla in Barcelona! :-)

    – Tina

    • March 6, 2018 9:58 AM

      Hah! good times – La Rambla and sketching the whirl of Barcelona :) Urban Sketchers really is the greatest – we get to do some cool stuff :)

  14. Ruth permalink
    March 6, 2018 1:58 AM

    Great sketches. My husband and I have a goal to do twenty sketches a day. I can see a little improvement just after the first day. I need to be quicker, though.

  15. March 9, 2018 12:05 AM

    I am 100% new to blogging. Literally tonight is my first time doing this. Your page is the first one I went to. Your artwork is awesome. I wish I had the talent you do sir.

  16. March 10, 2018 6:32 PM



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