Transit sketching


I have been thinking a lot recently about transit sketching and how the new Green Line LRT will change my transit sketching habits. I like sketching people, but finding people to sketch in the Twin Cities is often a problem. Streets can be devoid of life as if a neutron bomb went off. There are people on the street, but hidden from view in vehicles. If you want to sketch people in the Twin Cities, I suggest taking your sketchbook on a bus.

This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Streets.MN. Check out the links below for other recent Streets.MN stories:

I usually ride the bus in Winter. In the warm months I ride a bike or put my bike on the racks of buses for long trips. The #94 bus between the Twin Cities is just about the right time to sketch figures (the #94 route has changed since I did these sketches). Passengers are mostly in their own world and staring straight ahead, perfect models. Most of the time passengers don’t know I am sketching. I am always trying to keep up with the latest style of clothing. This passenger’s hat was fun to sketch:

My wife Roberta Avidor did this nice study of winter garb on the #21 (a really long ride between Uptown and Lowertown).

People on buses are mostly absorbed in their electronic gadgets:

Buses are good places to study the different ways people hold their phones:

Lots of passengers are just bored:

Sometimes passengers can be entertaining. This passenger was complaining about having to go to anger management classes:

The bus is also a great place to learn what’s new in the zeitgeist. A passenger on the #2 bus sitting behind me was relating a paranoid fantasy featuring Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. To be featured in a paranoid raving is an achievement of a sort:

I don’t sketch a lot on buses because reading and sketching on a rocking, lurching bus gives me motion sickness. The ride on the Blue Line’s LRV’s is smooth but often too short a trip for me to do more than a quick sketch. The Green Line is smooth and just long enough from the Union Depot station where I live to Minneapolis to do a good sketch. I am expecting to do lots more transit sketching. This is my first Green Line sketch:

Fellow Twin City Urban Sketcher and friend Lisa Marie Greenly did this awesome Green Line sketch last week: