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Helen Standing - Music Tutor (West Wales UK)

p125 Research - People Watching

I did this research task on the train in the hope that I would see a variety of people to observe and sketch. However I didn't feel well on the journey so couldn't make sketches and would therefore need to set aside some time to do that element again. The upside was that it meant I probably observed more and took in more details visually. I definitely had more time to think as I wasn't side-tracked by noting things at the time. Therefore the notes below are perhaps rather too general.

Whilst watching people I saw how capturing posture is a good way to capture someone's inner feelings eg energy, confidence, tiredness etc. Idiom and expressions often just as important to the familiarity of a person as much as their looks.

People I looked at often moved slowly if they were tired/bored/depressed so using muted colours and mundane shapes would convey this mood well. In contrast, quick sketches and splashes of colour would support the impression of energy and excitement.

I like to try to find strong emotions in situations - preferably friendliness or humour as it make me feel better - so it's good to not always worry about detail, but let mood be the main depiction. I like looking for what brings people to life and I would like to include this more in my artwork.

I also observed how people in different relationships interacted and considered their body language. Confidence/familiarity levels can be seen through people's posture and proximity, just as much as facial expression.

Check & Log

I tried to depict fleeting moments instead of mere poses by showing something happening eg sports, eating, communicating/waving

I don't have a very good memory at the best of times so I find it hard to retain an image and draw it accurately later on. With this in mind, I tend to use the memory as starting point for creating a face etc and let it take on a life of it's own. In some ways this is fun as I can go more with imagination, but it would be good to improve my skills in more faithful representations.

I like pictures with clean, limited, descriptive lines and it's a style I'm trying to get more confident in but I do tend to resort to rough sketches when I'm not confident. This is often detrimental so I am becoming a bit braver to just go for key lines and focus more to get them accurate.