25 July, 2007

Sketches so far

It has become a routine nowadays to have my pencil and sketch book in my back pack, just like other essential stuff required for a journey. Every week it is a different experience. I keep some newspapers or magazines with me, to draw few interesting pictures. From the day one I entered UK and all these years I have not seen a paper without headlines about Beckham. He is one of the most popular sportsman in UK. Now that he has joined LA Galaxy in USA he was in the headlines again. This picture tempted me to draw Becks.
On 08 th July, when I looked for newspaper in my bag, I found few Tamil magazines. Poet Vairamuthu's picture in one of those magazines was really tempting me to try my hand.
There were lots of news about the outgoing PM Tony, and incoming Brown. One of the newspaper had published few photographs which showed how Tony is transforming into Brown. It was a very good thought of the photographer. I always admired Tony for his dynamic personality. His speeches are his pluspoints. The whole nation was eagerly waiting for Brown. He is unassumable right now. His face also drew my attention.

On 15 th July, I reached earlier for my train. I did not know what to do. Then I decided to open my sketch book in front of London Euston station. I sat quietly in one of those benches and started drawing the station. People were coming and going. Those two were standing for few minutes and chatting. Also the person on the bench was there for few minutes.

On the same evening while I was travelling the train stopped at Milton Keynes Central for few minutes. It could be hardly 2-3 minutes. I have drawn whatever I could see from my seat. The station was empty and this is how the station looks on a Sunday evening around 7.45 p.m.
I never worry if I do not carry any newspapers or magazines. In UK most of the commuters in public transports have the habit of leaving their newspapers on their seat, after they finish reading. So others who would like to read them can take them. In case, if I do not have any papers to read and draw, I look around to see whether there is any paper around. If not, sometimes I pick up the Virgin magazines and pick up few pictures. One of those is the picture of Yorkshire street with boat on the river and houses on one side. Also, the other man whom I have drawn with beard is from one of those magazines. I think he is an Italian and there was some article about him.
I do not need to say anything about Hillary Clinton. She was there in one of those papers on one day. Her picture was appealing. I enjoyed sketching that too.
Most of the times when people see me spreading my sketch book and pencil kit they become inquisitive. It is nice to see them becoming inquisitive about my activity. Few see from their sides and pretend as if they are not noticing me. But they do try to have a glimpse at my drawing when they move around. Few openly exclaim. Once a Jamaican girl asked me whether I could draw her. I politely said that I am not a great artist and she should not be offended if the picture does not resemble her. She kept quiet. Once two African boys who were sitting opposite were often looking at the pictures, during their conversation. Once when their stations arrived, they had a final look and said it has come out well.
On the whole, I enjoy every time I travel. Last week I met a lady who was very interesting. Only few have conversations during the journey. I pick up conversation easily. This lady, was so good. Though she often said that she was not highly educated, she had immense knowledge about many things. She must be over 60 and was returning back after visiting her daughter. She said that her daughter visits India very often. She was talking about the Indian culture and said that she was very fascinated to hear about it. It seems her daughter likes India so much and keeps visiting very often, through her job. She has few Gujarathi speaking friends and knew a little about India. We had convesation ranging from Indian Culture, Children, Problems in moving places and schools, etc. She said that her husband being a Jew, wishes more love spreads among fellow human beings. She said that inspite of being a Jew he likes Germans. We also had conversation about Gandhi and she said that it is a shame that he was killed by his own religious person. She said that she regards Indian origin people, for the reason they have come from the land where Gandhi was born. I felt really proud about Gandhi.
I am eagerly waiting for this Friday. I don't know who will be sitting next to me. Travelling does give lots of exposure.
I don't care even if the train is empty as long as I have my pencil and sketch book.
Next post you will know what I mean! I have drawn a very interesting personality! Guess who!


Jeevan said...

Its that me(interesting personality) hehe... Very nice to see u enjoying by sketching… these sketches makes inspiring to try my hands too :) vairamuthu is good in all!

waiting to know who is that personality...

Balaji S Rajan said...


LOL.. It is not you. Just wait and see. Thanks for your comments and encouragement. I wish you start sketching soon.

Ravi said...

Nice sketches and well written posts. You write well. Thanks for visiting my blog,though I don't write much.

Btw, who is this interesting personality you have sketched ?

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thank you for visiting and comments. Though my family lives in Ilford, I am now working at a different place and commuting between Manchester and London. You are also writing very well.

Oh..that is suspense. Just wait. Sketch is ready and the post will be there.

Kittu said...

Fantastic sketches. You really got some artistic scooe in you. Even i love to do some sketches and painting as well. I also have some sketeched and its haning in my wall :-) After seeing your post, i also feel like posting it in my blog hehe

In yours, vairamuthu is excellent. I think it is very tough to sketch a personality than some places. Places can go wrong and it wont be noticed but the finer differences in a personalities face would be a mocking. I have tried some of them and i've laughed out loud seeing some bad output LOL

Some of my best skectches were Charlie chaplin and Mother Theresa. I need to get more going.

PLease post more of your sketches and it is inspiring to me :-)

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thanks for your comments and encouragement. Please do draw and post them too. You seem to be a sagalakalavalavar. Singing, writing poems, drawing, painting. How about cooking?

I shall keep posting.

Rama Iyer said...

Wonderful pictures, especially Vairamuthu's. You have captured his eye very well :)

Waiting for the suspense

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thanks. Yes. I was attracted by his eyes while drawing. I could have done it still well. I forgot to mention that I have drawn all of them while travelling at a speed of 200 KPH speed. Sometimes the shake will be felt and it is difficult.

Sundar Narayanan said...

keep it up.. the hairline on the last two pictures is excellent.. lot of detail!


Jo said...

Like Rama maam said, you have done his (Vairamuthus) eyes very well. And it is really good to see that you keep doing the sketches in your journey. Very interesting!

Gideon said...

Very good drawings, nice posts too. I enjoy reading them. You are turning what most would consider a dreary boring travel trip into a very nice pass time. You post them on your blog too. Nice use of your travel time. Keep it up Balaji.

PS: Is that Hillary really, she looks beautiful in your drawing ... :-).

arvindh said...

Impressive output here!! Keep doing more. Your portraits are excellent! Looking forward to seeing more.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thanks for your encouragement. Yes I agree about those two pictures. Since the pictures were like that and I wanted to draw exactly.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thanks again for spotting it out. His eyes did attract me. There are so many pictures in a book or magazine. But you need to be attracted by something to draw that. This picture of Vairamuthu attracted me. Especially the eyes.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thanks a lot for your encouragement. Yes. Within this 5 months I must have travelled 50 times from South to West of UK. I made up my mind within the first few weeks and thus took this up. I hope this will continue for few more weeks before I settle down in one place. Does Hillary look beautiful in my drawing. She did look nice in the picture which I took from a daily newspaper.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Thanks Dude. I do not have words to say. Thanks for your encouragement.

Niraimathi said...


Your sketches are really good...

I often visit your blog (came here through Loga's blog actually)....and have enjoyed many of your posts :) Nice ones :)