Two men were sitting with A3 sketchbooks in Café Costa, not drawing the passing scene but in an animated discussion of a storyboard for a film. I’d have loved to have eavesdropped on the process but I could see that the guy in the baseball hat was going through a shooting script while his colleague, after listening intently, would start sketching out ideas.
When you’re watching a movie the storytelling – when it works – just flows along but a huge amount of planning and choreography goes into it.
We invariably head to Charlotte’s ice cream parlour after my mum’s weekly eye appointment. She doesn’t usually get out during the rest of the week but the short excursion to Whitley is about as much as she can manage these days.
The view taking in Holme Moss and a great meander of the Calder Valley is unbeatable and the activities of peacocks, goats, donkeys and hens add to the interest.
The rhea inevitably reminds me of birdlike dinosaurs. A pair of them make a tour of their enclosure. Curiously expressionless eyes almost seem to look through us, as if we were a dull and harmless part of the environment. It’s the kind of gaze that I can imagine looking out on the world during the Cretaceous era and ears like that (the round spot behind its eye) must have heard the occasional Tyrannosaurus approaching.
A haircut and my mum’s regular eye appointment give me a couple of chances to draw chairs. I can always use more practice because I find that as I move down the page I run into problems with the proportions, for instance making the legs too long. I keep switching to observing the negative spaces to double-check that I’m on the right lines, for instance the wedge-shapes between the starfish-like feet of the hairdresser’s chair.
Occasionally I find myself in a chairless environment, such as while waiting for Barbara outside the fitting rooms at M&S. Rows of clothes on hangers didn’t strike me as interesting subjects so I drew the handbag. I can see that the designer has made several decisions in the look of the handle alone to introduce some character; dependably chunky and in it’s unashamedly utilitarian details perhaps harking back to a simpler era, such as the 1950s.
In Debenhams there wasn’t even a bag rack nearby for me to focus on so it was back to drawing my hand.