Figure Drawing: In Public

Diane Dobson Barton Figure Drawing
Linked to directions to create your pochade box

Why?

When drawing away from the studio, you have a chance to record your view of the larger world, with your unique clear vision.  You have total control.

How?

I’ve mentioned before I am a major introvert. It is not natural for me to perform in front of others. The only time I am at ease is when I am alone. I do not feel energized being around other people. So if I am going to need to be in public ideally, I will prepare myself ahead of time. It is not that I do not enjoy answering questions and interacting, it takes my focus away from what I need to get accomplished.

Ways to avoid having to interact with people when you work in public:

  • Wear headphones. Even if you are not listening to anything it is usually a clear sign that you are not here to socialize, or for idle chit-chat.
  • Bring along another person as a buffer. My husband is more of an extrovert. He can chat your ear off about anything anywhere.
  • Sit in your automobile. It is sometimes surprising how much a vehicle can shield us from the interaction. You can be drawing someone ten feet from you, but being inside the car allows you some privacy. But of course, do NOT be creepy about it!

Options:

  • If you do need to interact with others as you are working, it is always best to be polite and answer any reasonable questions.  Speaking with them could be the perfect opportunity to educate the public about your work.
  • Carry a camera with you. If there are far too many distractions for you to focus on the subject you wish to work, you will at least have a reference later.
  • Take the minimum amount of equipment. A pencil, eraser and a sketchbook are the only tools necessary to get started. You don’t have to travel with everything in your studio, especially at first. Keep it simple, so there is less to distract you from the task at hand.
  • Do quick reference sketches at first. Don’t expect to have a completed finished drawing the first few times you venture to a location.

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