Crowded Restaurant Drawing

It’s only been about a week and a half or so of social distancing/self-quarantine where we live, but somehow it feels a lot longer. Not that we should be complaining though; we’ve got shelter, food, and the apparently highly valuable commodity known as toilet paper. We are also fortunate enough to live in a time where technology can bridge some of the social, educational, and entertainment gaps. Still though, in normal situations, work, family, and hobbies keep me from experiencing boredom for the most part.

I think we’ve done a pretty decent job so far of battling against boredom. My wife and I have been able to telework, which is another thing to be thankful for. School is shutdown, probably for the rest of the year. But our oldest’s teacher has been provided homework for the kids, and they’ve been doing some online meetings with the class. We’re establishing a decent “at home” routine now;

  • Breakfast
  • The kids do some exercises (typically Cosmic Kids yoga)
  • Pete the Cat story time (author James Dean reads stories and draws with the kids via Instagram Live).
  • Time for school work, with a break for lunch somewhere in there.
  • Outside activities (riding bikes, chalk drawing, walking around the neighborhood, or even just playing in the open garage if it’s raining).
  • Nap time
  • Dinner and TV

That’s mostly the kid-focused stuff. My wife and I are basically squeezing in whatever we need to do around those activities. So we can both get work done, we have to tag team a lot of activities. Since my wife was once a teacher, she’s mostly guiding them on there school stuff while I try to get some stuff accomplished. Then I take the girls outside so my wife can make calls and whatnot. So, like I said; we’re establishing this new routine and it’s been a learning experience. But even with all that, I can feel boredom creeping in for everyone. Regardless, in the grand scheme of things boredom is a very tiny price to pay to flatten the pandemic curve.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I expected I would probably draw more than usual. That has been true so far, as I’ve completed three sketches over the past week or so. I’m not sure if that pace will keep up, but I’ll keep rolling as long as I’m enjoying it. I should caveat though; after binge-watching The Witcher on Netflix, I saw the game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was on sale on Steam. That could become a time-consumer because it’s really an incredible game.

Anyhow, back to artwork. I thought it would be interesting for my next piece to draw what everyone’s been missing; hanging out with people. So, this one is a group of people hanging out at a restaurant or bar, having some drinks and socializing. Even before the coronavirus sent everyone inside, this is not something we did often. Having two young kids definitely limits these opportunities. But from time to time, especially when visiting home, hanging out with friends over a couple of drinks is always a fun time.

Here’s the final version of this drawing, followed by some discussion of the process:

This was a strange one in a lot of ways. First, it had a strange “how I feel it’s going” arc, where I started feeling really good about it all the way up until I started blending. Once I blended the initial shading, I thought it was falling apart…then I lost a lot of details/definition and felt I had lost control of the piece. I kept going though, and after adding some color and diving back in for to restore facial details, my confidence in this thing grew. Once I got to a near-finished state, I was happy with it again.

Also, this is probably the most people I’ve ever drawn in one scene. There are at least 10 people, maybe 11 if you count the floating head of hair at the top. I don’t know what my previous high was, but if I had to guess, I’d say likely only five or six in one sketch. There are some varied faces here, so it was pretty enjoyable to work on. The concern I often have with artwork involving multiple subjects, or with pieces that are very time-consuming, is that I’m going to get tired of it and not finish. My art attention span is relatively short, which is probably not a good thing if I ever want to really improve my realism.

Unlike the last art I shared, I actually have a ton of progression images this time. I have 10 different frames for this .gif! So you can get a real sense of how this piece came together, and maybe get a feel for what I was talking about above:

I’ve got no clue about what’s next! I’m sure it will be something though. Maybe it would be fun to draw something related to The Witcher, since I’m so interested in it right now.

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