It takes a huge amount of focus and energy, but the buzz I get from it is, I have realised, addictive.
Looking through my old sketchbooks the other day I found pages and pages of tiny moving figures, and I remembered doing them over 40 years ago. I was working on a college project at the time which featured clowns in strange positions. I had to draw them without models because the poses were impossible, but I wanted the contortions to look as realistic as I could. I had the brainwave of drawing footballers on the TV. This proved to be a fantastic training for drawing moving figures . I learned to capture a mental snapshot and then draw as quickly as possible before the image faded..
I have filled the pages of many books with quick sketches of people ever since.
Drawing at speed overrides any critical interference; there’s just no time to think. Years of studying anatomy - first in formal classes at college, and then from years of working with both nude and clothed models – have given me an awareness of how the bones and muscles move below the surface to support the outer appearance. This knowledge has become a sort of instinctive identification with the figure. I am always drawing myself in a way. I physically feel the flamenco dancer and the jazz musician in my own body. I can now feel animals and inanimate objects too, which is pretty weird, but I think the drawings are better for it.