Forced to spend part of a glorious summer day on the beach at Tenby I resorted to my usual pleasure of people watching and drawing. There is a protocol I follow on these occasions because, for one thing, my wife gets very upset with me “staring” at people, and for another, it’s not without it’s attendant dangers.
One time I was accosted by an angry boyfriend who threatened to give me a good smacking for ogling his girl. I was saved on that occasion by her liking the drawing, so I had to give it to her to mollify him. Another time I became surrounded by a noisy group of jostling young people all wanting to look over my shoulder and scaring off the quarry.
These and other discomforting moments mean I spend time choosing my perch carefully. Always so no-one can get in behind me, e.g. against a wall, and preferably behind a table or a wall. This usually means a cafe or bar, and drinking lots of coffee and lemonade, so there must be a toilet.
I try and look like I’m writing instead of drawing, not looking at my subject except when I have to, and looking the other way a lot. The ephemeral nature of many of the subjects (e.g. walkers or games players) means a lot of working from memory and knowledge of anatomy etc. But it’s a good way of trying to get character and qualities down quickly. Here are some of the results.