I selected Epsom Downs Racecourse as my space for this exercise due to restricted access to alternative sites due to Covid19. I selected this space because it is an open space and a popular walking, running etc spot so I knew I will see movement there.
I sat down on the ground and observed people passing by and drew Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. I used an automatic pencil and coloured pencils. The day was quite cold and windy, so I didn’t hang out there for much longer, just took a few photos in case I needed to refer to them I at home.
The drawing in Fig. 3 shows outside space. I drawn it with pencil and used it as a base for all Epsom Downs Movement drawings. My final drawing is drawn over Fig. 3 drawing.
After I drew the space, I realised I have no idea how to draw people, leave alone people moving. So Fig. 4 – 7 show my practice, trying different techniques etc.
Fig. 8 – Fig. 9 are all drawn on tracing paper. I copied the landscape from Fig. 3 to speed up the process, and for clearer comparison of my movement on each.
Fig. 8 is drawn on the tracing paper with soft pencil, coloured pencil and pink fine liner (dogs tail). I think it shows the energy well, but I would prefer the colours to be more vibrant.
In Fig. 9 I added the cyclist using soft pencil and coloured pencil.
Fig. 10 was completed using fine liners and a sharpie. I thought It shows energy well, but I was not able to use gradient colours with this technique. The vibrant colours are great.
In Fig. 11 I drew scenery and people in fine liners and a sharpie. Then I tried to capture movement using soft pastels. I do not think I captured movement well here, a bit too washed out.
So I added patterns using coloured pencils (Fig. 12). A bit better but not quite. Now I think the trails are too long, they sort of miss the point, at the time I had no opinion yet.
Like in previous ‘Epsom Downs Movement’ drawing I first drew landscape and people using fine liners and a sharpie (Fig. 13)
Then I added movement with fine liners, coloured pencils, and soft pastels (in that order) – Fig. 14. I think it has good energy and movement of people in space but it doesn’t really show hair, hands or legs movement (apart from dogs tail).
I decided to try capture both movement is space and movement of body parts. So I took softest pencil I have (10B) and started drawing, smudging and evaluating the effect.
Fig. 15 Shows my first go at detailed cyclist. I wasn’t pleased with that.
Fig. 16 is another go at cyclist, I still struggled to capture movement of the legs and wheels.
3rd time lucky. I used precision rubber on the wheels. I also thought that stripy gradient pattern shows movement is space better (Fig. 19). At this point I knew I will have to draw these people in soft pencil, smudge and erase bits to show movement patterns.
Fig. 20 shows my first go at the walker, I was not happy with this.
Fig. 21 is another go at the walker. This time the shading and grading is a bit better, showing arms and legs moving.
I then added some shading at the back to show direction of the movement (Fig. 22)
Fig. 23 and 24 show the runner and development. If you zoom in, you should see ponytail bobbing (I hope I got this right). I was not quite happy with the shades I got, I thought they were a bit too sharp.
I created Runner 2 in Fig 25 using same technique but blended a bit better and added graded stripes at the back to show the movement in space.
Dog walker was quite hard (Fig. 26 and 27). I was not sure how to show a person who just stopped walking and is looking down at a dog. I hope this captures it. I cannot make up my mind whether this version or one in Fig. 9 is better.
I did not realise dogs are so difficult to draw. I think my first one looked like a small horse. Never mind the body though, I think I captured the movement well, especially the tail wagging (Fig. 28 and 29).
After I practiced all people and the dog, I was ready to create my final drawing. I created the landscape using soft pastels over my pencil drawing as in Fig. 3. I wanted to add some colour to the drawing (Fig. 30).
Then I added the people and the dog with a soft pencil (Fig. 31)
After that I smudged and erased to make some areas of movement darker and lighter to capture the movement. I used my finger for general, and cotton bud for ‘precision’ smudging.
Reflection on the task:
It was difficult, my people drawing skills are very rusty. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed creating each drawing, I like to get stuck in and draw. As predicted the contextual study about movement was coming back to my mind. Just smudging is not enough, you need pattern. Pattern is great for conveying the energy of movement but needs grading to give it direction. Movement capture needs a bit of contrast (my dark is smudged, but lighter bits are small and sharp).