Representing my cohabitants

We are aware of our cohabitants and their daily chores, yet to observe them, and sketch them is a bit different. We are familiar with these daily chores but we never really try to detail those observations at a particular moment at a particular time. I know the routine of my cohabitants, yet this exercise was a challenge in terms of documenting that routine, that might not even last a minute.

I started sketching while my cohabitants were occupied with their daily chores. The biggest challenge I felt was to have a basic outline ready before the posture/gesture I was trying to document changed drastically.

I attempted all the sketches in graphite pencil. I chose the medium to capture the basic form quickly in light shades, and later the details can be added using darker strokes. The next step was to capture the right proportions, and my position while sketching played a major role in that.

In one of the sketches, as observed, I tried sitting in the corner of the wall unit mounted in my home, to capture a posture concerning the surroundings. The outcome somehow gave me a perspective view that was similar to what is sometimes captured from a lens.

I also tried capturing different postures of my cohabitants other than sitting upright, including relaxing on the bed while working on the phone. It felt easy too, considering that I had a bit more time margin to complete the sketch and not a rush to immediately finish the sketch before the individual moved entirely into a different position. Otherwise, it led to assuming certain details and adding improvisations of my own within the sketch, if I couldn’t capture a certain detail in time.

I tried different positions for almost all the sketches. Sitting at the dining table where I am not a part of the conversation, but two other people are talking among themselves. It was interesting to note the different hand gestures and face movements during the interaction. The fact that the conversation continues even if they are not looking at each other but occupied in their own work. The presence of two individuals is enough for a conversation to take place.

When I talk about the different postures and gestures of my cohabitants, I also feel that it differs when they are involved in a more focused work or if they are relaxing. There is an upright posture and a sense of seriousness that can be seen even while sketching. On the other hand, when one is relaxed, it led to more loose postures and positions of ligaments. Even in one of the sketches it seen, that one of the legs was folded while the other was resting on the coffee table in front of the sofa. More random postures were being observed while an individual was at ease rather than sitting tightly in front of the laptop as if completing a scheduled task.

When I reflect upon my sketches, I think that with each sketch, I was focusing on a different detail altogether. Sometimes my position mattered in terms of what I was seeing and what I wanted to see. I changed my position too because I felt that anywhere else I wasn’t able to get the view or detail I wanted to capture. I also felt that I got a hold of the graphite pencil in terms of my line strokes. When I started with the drawings, I was working in more broken lines, as if I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was drawing, Even later, I was working from light to dark line strokes, but there was a continuity in the line weights. In terms of my observation skills, I feel an increase in patience I had put into the later sketches. The hassle of capturing the cohabitant details in my mind decreased, and hence I was more observant rather than thinking about the outcomes or what-ifs.