Thumbnail Sketches

If you were asked to describe someone you know in just ten words, could you find a way to distill everything into a thumbnail sketch as brief as that?


Sometimes a drawing can capture the essence of a person better than words. I like trying to do this, trying to draw people as they’re moving about and doing what they do. Trying to describe them in a few lines. It’s terribly hard to do but addictive.


I like drawing people in the park; they’re relaxed, (usually) and absorbed. I went there yesterday and stood and sketched for half an hour, until I got too stiff with cold and had to move about. There were the usual dog-walkers and people out for a stroll (including a man in track-suit trousers walking in a very funny way) and as it was half-term there were more families than usual in the playground, including parents and grandparents pushing their children on the swings and playing in the sand-pit. Some of the adults were happier watching from the sidelines and took charge of looking after buggies, or leaned on the railings or sat watching on a bench.



The children are of course the hardest to draw because they’re bouncing and jumping and running and climbing and crawling and sliding almost without stopping – and drawing movement is the most difficult thing of all. But what fun trying! It makes you look harder than you’ve ever looked at anything, and everything else disappears.


11 thoughts on “Thumbnail Sketches

    1. Hello! Not sure if he knew, as I was quite a distance away (but a sketchbook is an obvious thing and there was no-one else around, so quite possibly!) I’m not sure what he was doing, it seemed quite deliberate though it didn’t look like any kind of known exercise.

  1. You know what I love about your posts, Dapple Grey (besides the lovely sketches, of course)? Their authenticity and lack of pretension. As a reader, I really appreciate this quality in the way you present your work.

    1. Oh, Pamela, that is such a compliment, thank you so much. Authenticity and lack of pretension – absolutely without a doubt the qualities I admire most in writing so it is so wonderful of you to say this about my posts! I always appreciate your comments and this has just made my day!

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