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November 23, 2012

Recent Sketches on Public Transport in London and a short trailer


Adebanji Alade: The Addictive Sketcher - Trailer 2012 from Masoud Jafari on Vimeo.


These are some recent sketches I have done on public transport in London. I normally use a basic black BIC ball point pen and for the tones a TOM BOW Number 75 Cool grey Dual Wash marker. I like side that has the brush-like tip.
The trailer was a 20 minute film produced  by a Masoud Jafari, he did a documentary on my life as an addictive sketcher for his MA in Documentary Production at the London University of Communication. The full film is not yet available on the web, I will let you know when it comes up.


The guy on the left knew I sketching him, we exchanged looks and he was a bit  tense, he was often on the phone and could have been worried about something. The lady on the right was going to an important event, I could tell from her dress., but what caught my attention was her face and the way her hair sort of gave it a divided feel of light-shade-light.

I enjoyed sketching the lady on the right. It was very straightforward from Canon Street to Victoria on the Circle Line,  I really liked the way she looked as if she was sleeping but she was actually really reading. I must have overworked the guy on the right, I had too much time at my disposal, the journey from Abbey Wood to London Bridge is 27 mins and I think it could have been simpler. He didn't help the situation with his constant moving so I lost a bit of his facial structure

Apart from the guy I briefly sketched at Fulham Broadway on the lower left hand side, the 3 main sketches are of the same guy. I sketched him from Charing Cross to Woolwich Dockyard, a journey that takes 31 mins on the train. I always enjoy sketching the same person in from different angles,  I knew he was moving and these are the 3 main modes he kept shifting into through out the journey. I worked on all three at the same time.

These are random heads- the woman on the left had a nice smile as she read her novel. I noticed her when I got on the train at Canon Street to Embankment on the District Line. I tried as much to avoid looking but I just couldn't, so I did a very quick sketch and put the tones in afterwards. The guy after her had a very interesting face-he was a bit far from where I was, but I managed to catch a glimpse of him and did his sketch from Woolwich Arsenal to Abbey Wood-A journey that lasts about 5 mins when it doesn't stop in between. Then came a rare opportunity- A lady in a bid to make sure she was undisturbed as she had her nap on the train, covered her head with a sort of jumper or scarf-That was great! It added a bit of mystery to her character, I really enjoyed this one, though short- it was sketched from Woolwich Dockyard to Woolwich Arsenal, a journey that takes 3 mins. then finally on a different journey  I couldn't complete a mans head I saw at canon Street to Mansion House on The District Line.




Here, I am on bus 11 and I sketch this lady's profile from Buckingham palace Rd to Victoria Street. I make 4 attempts as she keeps on moving, each time she moves, I start again. It's all about pure observation, no room to measure but its about imaginary plumbing and angles relating to others. The guy sleeping on the right was comfortable in his world, nothing seemed to bother him. He was just content and relaxed until he got to his stop. People are experts at these short naps and if you think they are really sleeping, you'll be shocked that immediately they get to their stops they spring to life! I sketched him from Greenwich to London Bridge-a journey that lasts 8 mins

I made 2 attempts to sketch the guy on the left, from Charing Cross to London Bridge, this journey lasts approximately 7 mins. I just love this man's features and hair, it's hard to resist. His features were outstanding. Then a man with a cap on the right was just pure delight! I just love faces like this, full of character! I make a more detailed study of him from London Bridge to Abbey Wood, a journey which lasts 27 minutes.

What happens? I sit down comfortably, thinking there's no need to sketch another face, it's only one stop left...then all of a sudden..a guy comes in at Euston-I'm blown away...only one stop to St Pancras....my heart beats fast.. I've got t
o capture him, I do my best by looking intensely but with mild strokes gliding in curves and all sorts over the paper........done!!! Phew- just wish I could extend my journey just for a few more minutes. I've done that before but not today, need to deliver my works in time before Drew leaves the gallery.
Then I'm at St Pancras International, I get the train to Harpenden- I see the profile of a bearded man- interesting- he has to go down- he knows I'm sketching him but he can't be bothered to say a word, he sneakingly discusses the sketch issue with his partner, they keep a keen eye on me.
I switch to a beautiful fair lady reading a magazine, her eye sockets are wonderfully carved from her forehead to produce an almost semi circular shape where there's just a little gap to place her reading eyes.. I sketch these latter two, till I get to Radlett.
Then while at Radlett I glance on a profile of a lady, I quickly sneak her in on the left hand side of the page spread till she gets off at St Albans.
This is a bit of what goes through my mind while I sketch on public transport...is it craze, passion or an addiction?- you be the judge, nuff said!

I get on the train at Kings Cross and I see a Lady with a cool cap and a nice black and white jumper-with black and white squares in the front- Life is a sketch! I just have to record this till I get to Victoria on the Victoria Line. Then from Lewisham to Abbey Wood, I have the luxury of about 35 mins to record a sleeping man. With a sleeping man and much time at my disposal, I relax and just enjoy the process, this time I was cautious not overwork it.

The human face remains to me a thing a wonder...I am on the train, I have just finished sketching an old man, then he gets off at London Bridge and sitting by his side is a lady, she's on the phone, her face is well treated, a sight that would hold any guy for a second or two-I hold my breath and sketch for 20 or so minutes...it's the life of an urban sketcher-this is the page spread....shame I had to change at Woolwich Arsenal...

6 comments :

kane said...

Please post this to Urban sketchers films. http://vimeo.com/channels/208503. Write to me and I will send you the username and password.
tom@tommykane.com

adebanji said...

Hi Tommy, I'll contact the guy who did the Dicumentary as I don't have the original file to upload.

VIN-BAR said...

Bravo!

Veronica Lawlor said...

Beautiful.

Murray Dewhurst said...

Very nice. You must be super quick on the draw!

Nina Johansson said...

Great sketches, as usual, Adebanji, and fantastic trailer - I look forward to seeing the whole movie!