Sunday Sketch – Transit Sketching

I have been thinking a lot recently about transit sketching and how the new Green Line LRT will change my transit sketching habits. I like sketching people, but finding people to sketch in the Twin Cities is often a problem. Streets can be devoid of life as if a neutron bomb went off. There are people on the street, but hidden from view in vehicles. If you want to sketch people in the Twin Cities, I suggest taking your sketchbook on a bus.

I usually ride the bus in Winter. In the warm months I ride a bike or put my bike on the racks of buses for long trips. The #94 bus between the Twin Cities is just about the right time to sketch figures (the #94 route has changed since I did these sketches). Passengers are mostly in their own world and staring straight ahead, perfect models. Most of the time passengers don’t know I am sketching. I am always trying to keep up with the latest style of clothing. This passenger’s hat was fun to sketch:


My wife Roberta Avidor did this nice study of winter garb on the #21 (a really long ride between Uptown and Lowertown).


People on buses are mostly absorbed in their electronic gadgets:


Buses are good places to study the different ways people hold their phones:


Lots of passengers are just bored:


Sometimes passengers can be entertaining. This passenger was complaining about having to go to anger management classes:


The bus is also a great place to learn what’s new in the zeitgeist. A passenger on the #2 bus sitting behind me was relating a paranoid fantasy featuring Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.  To be featured in a paranoid raving is an achievement of a sort:


I don’t sketch a lot on buses because reading and sketching on a rocking, lurching bus gives me motion sickness. The ride on the Blue Line’s LRV’s is smooth but often too short a trip for me to do more than a quick sketch. The Green Line is smooth and just long enough from the Union Depot station where I live to Minneapolis to do a good sketch. I am expecting to do lots more transit sketching. This is my first Green Line sketch:


Fellow Twin City Urban Sketcher and friend Lisa Marie Greenly did this awesome Green Line sketch last week:


Ken Avidor

About Ken Avidor

Ken Avidor is an illustrator, cartoonist and occasional courtroom sketch artist. Ken Avidor is an active urban sketcher and maintains a daily, illustrated journal. Ken is married to urban cartographer and talented sketch artist Roberta Avidor in the Union Depot in Lowertown, Saint Paul. Follow Ken and Roberta's sketching/bicycling adventures on their travel blog.