Recording Observations

Author: Reporter, Reporter, Sketchbook, Visual Research

A Morning of Drawing at Liverpool Street Station

After getting the new studio brief, which aims to look at the inter-relationships between location and experience, the Author: Reporter studio spent the morning drawing at Liverpool street station, observing the environment and trying to capture it through drawing quick reportage techniques.


Morning Warm Up

The drawing session was run by Ignacia Ruiz, who teaches at CSM and had very useful tips on how to capture  an environment when doing reportage illustration. One of these tips included not being too precious about your drawings because when you’re drawing on site, things change quickly and you don’t have the time to draw and capture detail in that way.


Ice Skaters by Ignacia Ruiz


Before we left the studio, we did a drawing exercise to get us into the ‘drawing quickly without focusing on details’ mind-set. We did blind portraits of the person sitting opposite us which involved putting pen to paper, not lifting it off the page, drawing continuously but only looking up at the person you’re drawing and not at the page. It was fun to give my brain a bit of kick to wake up by doing this exercise but also I found it made me more engaged therefore I knew I would be productive during the drawing session at Liverpool street station afterwards. It would be amazing to have that at the start of every studio session because it really helps for the day ahead.


One line portrait of Logan using thick marker pen



One line portrait of Logan using a brush pen



Drawing at Liverpool Street

Liverpool Street Station is a busy place thus very hard to draw in just because of regulations and people being cautious, it’s expected to be asked to move on. However I found myself with a small group of students in a café within the station where we were sat looking out into the station and were able to draw freely and successfully in the space.

I found myself drawing the people I noticed were stood still, even if only for a brief moment because I couldn’t draw fast enough, and when I tried, I would just frustrate myself. Not to mention it was extremely cold thus not really ideal to be out drawing so towards the end I did find myself taking photographs of a lot of things.


Initially I went through a lot of my drawing tools to find out which one would allow me to work quickly and capture the detail I could with a particular quality of line. I started off with my most comfortable drawing took and that was my brush pen. I soon realised I didn’t have the control I needed fast enough to continue drawing with it because in places my lines were unnecessarily thick which masked the information I was aiming to visually document.

I found switching to a thinner drawing tool, such as a mechanical pencil, much easier as I could clearly document what I was seeing and at times found that my drawings looked like abstract figures of other beings not people. which I liked. Mostly because I struggle to draw people and it’s usually a subject I avoid.


Mechanical pencil sketches


As a result, I thought using my fountain pen was the most successful as my illustrations look clearer and I could work from the drawings alone if need be. This may also be because I tried to utilise the morning drawing exercise and started drawing using one line which I found helpful in drawing quickly and not thinking too hard about it.  I would like to go back and draw from the station using this one pen in particular.



3 thoughts on “Recording Observations

  1. It looks like you have maximised on this opportunity and recognised the value of drawing quickly and being less precious. It is something that needs to be practiced regularly as you yourself suggest. The warm up can also take the form of you keeping a mini moleskin sketchbook in your pocket and using your travel time to capture the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s