Tag Archives: unterwegs

Mädchen mit Sterne: July unterwegs bonus round.

Madchen mit Sterne on S Bahn by Suzanne Forbes July 29 2018This young dad got off the S-Bahn with his family before I could draw the face of his sleeping baby.

Little girl in star dress WIP by Suzanne Forbes June 2018The whole drawing was hard because I was so enchanted by the little girl and how pretty her dress was that I didn’t look that carefully at the handsome dad, who anyway was wearing all white which is hard as hell to draw!

Plus, they were only on the train for two stops. So I had to kind of fake it. I was planning to use photo reference of babies, although you know I never use photos for anything but objects. Babies are so challenging, though, I was willing to get some help. I let it simmer for a while.

Then this weekend we were riding the S-Bahn again, I was working on some other drawings in that sketchbook, and I had a flash of recall. So I drew the baby’s little face in two seconds from memory. I think they came out okay!Madchen mit Sterne on S Bahn by Suzanne Forbes July 29 2018

Thank you, my Patreon Patrons, for making it possible for me to capture these Berlin moments and tell these stories. It is so precious.

I have some new unterwegs in progress from this month but they will have to wait til I ride the S-Bahn again and can get the architecture in!

previous unterwegs:

July 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018 bonus round

February 2018

January 2018 bonus round

January 2018 round 1

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

First unterwegs of the summer! Post-accident, drawing on the train again.

Unterwegs July 20 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI couldn’t draw on public transit for quite a while.

Plus, I have become quite cautious about using the bus, always making sure to be seated and holding a rail or handle before the bus starts moving.

Which means I have to hustle; part of the efficiency and speed of the bus system here is that the bus driver does not wait for you to be settled and secure. The drivers just take off after a certain number of seconds, even if there are older folks looking for seats. They do pause for wheelchair users and baby carriages to get arranged and strapped in the wheeled area, at least.

Unterwegs July 19 2018 by Suzanne ForbesBut everybody else is on their own, and passengers are alert to help seniors and mobility aid users find a seat and be safe. So someone like me, who looks perfectly healthy, is not accorded any concern whatsoever, and my scramble to be seated in the regular seating may look a bit unseemly or neurotic.

I don’t care, because my hand feels terribly vulnerable, and it’s my job to protect my livelihood and my ability to contribute to society. I didn’t take transit much at all while I had my cast on; it’s only the last week or so I’ve been out and about.

This Tuesday was the first time I brought my drawing kit with me since the accident. It was fantastic to sit and draw from life again, I felt like a horse let out of a stall, running around the paddock like a fuckin maniac. Drawing isn’t “fun” or pleasure for me – it’s the exercise of the strongest muscles, the best skills I have, and using those skills is like working out.

It feels fantastic to use these powerful muscles, and at the same time it feels like work. Doing my job. Telling people’s stories.

I was put here to do this work, I believe, and doing it again makes me feel useful and strong. On Thursday, headed to the Drummess Jam, I was so caught up in working on the top drawing I didn’t realize I’d taken the wrong train til I had passed several unfamiliar stops!

Thank you, my Patreon Patrons, for making it possible for me to do this work and tell these everyday human stories. I am so grateful to be back to work.

Previous unterwegs are here:

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018 bonus round

February 2018

January 2018 bonus round

January 2018 round 1

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

April 2018 Unterwegs

Unterwegs April 22 2018 by Suzanne Forbes So Many DogsThis punk girl with so many dogs was reconstructed from a glimpse I had on a train.

I tried several perspectives to get the scene to make sense without reference; it was really hard to figure out how to show all the dogs. I’m not sure even now if you can tell how many dogs there were. Which is fair, because I wasn’t really sure when I saw her either!

Unterwegs April 22 2018 by Suzanne Forbes LookingThis father and son were looking at something, but I couldn’t see what from where I was standing.

Unterwegs April 21 2018 by Suzanne Forbes Pre Gaming the NightI saw these two girls in the front seat of the upper deck of the M29 when I was on my way to some  fetish party.

They were pre-gaming the night by drinking vile-smelling booze out of a plastic soda bottle and listening to music and giggling. They were happy!

Previous unterwegs are here:

March 2018

February 2018 bonus round

February 2018

January 2018 bonus round

January 2018 round 1

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

March 2018 Unterwegs: including the artist at work!

Self portrait on S Bahn by Suzanne Forbes March 29 2018I drew myself in this month’s unterwegs!

It’s good practice for a portrait artist to do regular self-portraits, but I did so many in school I can’t get excited about it. I know other people find it entertaining though!

Noodles on the bus by Suzanne Forbes March 28 2018This elegant young lady was having some hot noodles on her way home.

I loved her sneakers with stars.

Bubble gum by Suzanne Forbes March 10 2018This girl was really OVER her older sister.

Previous unterwegs are here:

February 2018 bonus round

February 2018

January 2018 bonus round

January 2018 round 1

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

February 2018 unterwegs, bonus round – video buds and listen to your elders!

Video game buds on the U1 by Suzanne Forbes Feb 25 2018These two little dudes, with their matching undercuts, were very excited about a game.

It was the hour of the day when the subways are full of kids taking the train home from school, as I used to do myself.

Advice giving on the U Bahn by Suzanne Forbes Feb 23 2018Now pay attention!

It was not at all clear that the two younger women knew the senior lady who was informing them of something very important. But they were listening seriously nonetheless.

Crowded Berlin bus by Suzanne Forbes Feb 23 2018Crowded bus standup drawing.

I made this in a seriously crowded bus, surrounded by all different people of Berlin, filled with gratitude for this place. As you can see the guy right next to me had his headphones on and paid me no attention at all.

You can see previous unterwegs here:

February 2018

January 2018 bonus round

January 2018 round 1

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

February 2018 Unterwegs!

Woman in U Bahn by Suzanne Forbes February 5 2018As I have been very fatigued this month, I haven’t gotten out and about much.

So two of these unterwegs are from other months, drawings that started as quick sketches and were left unfinished. Often I’ll have a sketchbook that has some orphans in it, left behind when I ran out of empty pages.

This month I’m gathering up the orphans and finishing them!

Actually, pretty much every sketchbook has a sketch or two I forgot about or didn’t finish because I ran out of marker, lost my pastel, or needed some reference for a bicycle.

Unterwegs by Suzanne Forbes February 2018Sometimes a drawing is put on hold til I ride that particular model of train again!

I might need to check the layout of the car, see where the doors or handrails are. Orphans are generally dated the day I finish and sign them, which is why the woman with the tree in summer clothes is dated February 18.

Woman with tree in U Bahn by Suzanne Forbes February 20 2018You can see past Unterwegs here:

January 2018 bonus round

January 2018 round 1

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

January unterwegs bonus round: chunky knits!

Berliners on the U Bahn by Suzanne Forbes Jan 16 2018Sometimes people in Europe just look really European.

These two just slayed me. What you can’t see is that her amazing vintage 80s coat was a rich deep marigold yellow and her chunky knit scarf was a darker mustard. She was coolly wearing the hell out of her whole look.

Phone frowner on U Bahn by Suzanne Forbes Jan 20 2018Phone frowner.

People often look so displeased when they are looking at their phones. Since I don’t have a phone, I’m free to look around and observe this!

U Bahn music by Suzanne Forbes Jan 26 2018Butt bump!

Guy with spotted horse seen from bus Suzanne Forbes Jan 26 2018The interesting thing about this kinda heavily-worn older guy and the techno-looking younger guy is that I don’t know that they knew each other.

The older guy was playing and they just started dancing together. This isn’t the prettiest drawing, it’s kinda clunky, but I found it half-finished in a sketchbook this weekend and decided to finish it cause I like the women in the background.

And I really like the fact that I drew a guy doing an actual double take!

I also found this drawing made very quickly from the upper deck of the M29 bus and finished it roughly.

It’s a good example of how elements can be added to a documentary drawing responsibly. You couldn’t see the typical European notice column with its posters in the same shot as the guy, but it wasn’t far away, and adding it helps to sell the setting of the sketch really quickly.

You can see previous unterwegs here:

January 2018 round 1

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

 

First unterwegs of the new year – January 2018 travel drawings!

Woman singing in the U Bahn by Suzanne Forbes Jan 17 2018As usual, I’ve seen all kinds of interesting things riding the Berlin transit system.

This woman was singing Tracy Chapman’s “Give me one reason” on a cold night, pretty late. Her voice rose up in the station, and she laughed as she got a little feedback howl.

Guys on weed mission U5 by Suzanne Forbes Jan 15 2018These two guys, one Russian and one British, were speaking English and having the loudest, most public discussion about buying drugs I’ve ever heard.

Brit: “Her message – ‘love gettin fucked with you'”

Russian: “And yours?”

Brit: “Gonna go get weed.”

Russian: “Aw that’s the sweetest thing to text to a girl!”

They had a long discussion where the Brit explained she had offered to get the weed, but he said he’d do it his own self, because “Gotta show I’m a provider”, which the Russian guy followed with this whole story of how when they had kids, there would be a little miniature boy who felt the same need to take care of supply maintenance, and then they rambled into how to split two bags for €15 three ways, which is not a math problem they were really up for. To be honest, I don’t know that they needed much more weed.

The German girl with the skateboard was laughing at them.

Little guy on the U8 by Suzanne Forbes Jan 12 2018This little guy sitting on his mom’s feet is named Miguel.

Little guy on the U8 by Suzanne Forbes detail Jan 12 2018I know that because he said to his mom, who was eating fries out of a deep-fried flour bowl (something I’d never seen before as a fry vehicle), “I NEVER get to do what I want!!”.

She replied, “Actually, Miguel -” and she enumerated some recent times when he’d gotten to do exactly what he wanted.

She said it in a very chill way, like she was just explaining something reasonable to a reasonable person.

And he kinda huffed, like, “Fair enough”, and settled back against her legs.

Small dog with large head on U5 by Suzanne Forbes Jan 17 2018This small dog had a really big, hairy head.

The little girl next to him was blown away by it. As her mom was herding her off the train, she was staring at me and I flipped my sketchbook around and showed her the drawing, and then she was even more astonished!

You can see previous unterwegs here:

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

Unterwegs, three different ways!

Grandmother and child by Suzanne Forbes Dec 21 2017This stylish grandma and young lady were drawn from inside the bus as I waited for it to leave.

So she couldn’t see me carefully noting the details of her all-black outfit. It was one of those very gray Berlin days, but not very cold.

Grandpa and little bud by Suzanne Forbes Dec 21 2017This grandpa and his little bud were so cute.

I drew them mostly from a memory snapshot, since it would be creepy to keep looking over at a little kid. You can see I’m not very good at drawing Minions.

phone people by Suzanne Forbes Dec 21 2017Phone people never notice me drawing them.

So it’s too bad for them if they don’t want the interesting angles of their limbs recorded for posterity.

You can see previous unterwegs here:

December 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

November 2017 Unterwegs: the Leopard Print Backpack.

leopard backpack by Suzanne Forbes Nov 16 2017I made this entire drawing to showcase this fellow’s on-trend leopard print backpack.

black and white unterwegs seated november 2017 Suzanne ForbesOf course, it is also a technical exercise on multiple levels. First of all, it is the drawing without any black ink line I said I might ultimately challenge myself with last month.

Second, it is an exercise in defying the classic light and dark value principle that lights come forward and darks recede.

black and white unterwegs seated november 2017 Suzanne ForbesAnd third, it is a chance to try and get some of the value rather than line based effects I’ve been working on with the pastel drawings in an ink drawing. I am very pleased with it.

It looks a bit like a sepia ink wash drawing. It was definitely influenced by seeing the ink wash drawings of comics artist Nicola Scott on Instagram.

black and white unterwegs arm november 2017 Suzanne ForbesI’ve also been making little white pencil drawings on black paper.

Just for fun, as a way to see what happens with my brain when drawing in reverse. When I get home I add a bit of white conte crayon to punch up the contrast.

black and white unterwegs ladies november 2017 Suzanne ForbesAnd here’s another sepia tone marker drawing, from the top deck of the M29.

I did most of this one a week before the one at the top, and you can see I had a quantum leap of understanding of about using tonal marker values between the two.

M29 upper deck by Suzanne Forbes Nov 16 2017black and white unterwegs hat november 2017 Suzanne ForbesBut they have the same date of signature, because they were both finished at home this week.

I am trying to stick to ink mostly for a bit, both to see how the insights I got from the pastels transfer over and because the pastel drawings take so much finishing work at home.

I’d rather get the drawings mostly or totally done on site and on the u-bahn home. I don’t like having work to finish lying around the house.

I’d rather be working on all my mixed media multidisciplinary crazy insect stuff at home if I don’t have a model to paint!

I’ve never been interested in the process of drawing itself, for its own sake. That is purely work to me.

I’m interested in how drawing allows me to capture real people and tell their stories.

More unterwegs here:

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November