My son is a water-bug and always has been so we eventually signed him up at the local YMCA and got him squared away with swimming lessons which he took to like…a…fish to water (nice simile, Hemingway!) Our boy goes swimming at least twice a week, and a parent has to accompany him which is usually me. While it’s pleasant to watch him effortlessly glide through the water, I usually sit at the side of the pool trying to turn my attentions to a sketchbook I bring along in the hopes of working out a comic or brainstorming ideas for an illustration. More than once my eye, my attention and my sketches wander to the folks swimming in the pool. I try to be subtle and make it seem like I’m not staring, but people are usually so caught up in their work-out, they don’t notice me scribbling away. I have to work fast because people don’t necessarily stand around posing. I quickly sketch out some shapes and maybe jot down a note or two, and I wind up refining the drawing as my unknowing models are well into their swimming routines.
In addition to notes, I’ll rely a lot on memory or my impressions of people. As I said, nobody takes the time to pose, and pulling out a camera would be obvious and creepy. This gal is sort of a composite of a few swimmers I’ve seen at the pool.
This was done with a mechanical pencil and my beloved 0.9mm red leads. I’ve come into the habit of working in either indigo blue or red leads, and I’m happier that way. I may refine a drawing with black leads, but I love the blue and the red, and I always use a mechanical pencil. You never have to sharpen them! Besides, I don’t think the folks at the Y would care for pencil shavings by the pool.
I was going to talk more about computers, but I figured I would give that a rest and bask in the analog world for a while. I did scan this and crop and adjust the contrast a bit in the version of Photoshop I talked about recently. It’s all got to be turned to pixels if you want it seen in this day and age.