“Stealth Sketching”

Paul Lappin

There is a part of me that feels guilty about drawing people without their knowledge. Even while I’m doing it I feel a bit like I’m stealing something. Despite my emergency “quick glance elsewhere” pose people have hidden their faces, checked their clothes, walked off, and, on one occasion, introduced herself as Natalie and asked me out for a coffee.

My only defence (if it is a defence), is that I’m more interested in who they are rather than what they look like. I’m trying to capture the moment rather than the person. Even looking at these sketches now I wonder what their story is; why are they there, what are they thinking or saying? So as guilty as I feel about ‘stealth sketching’ I’m afraid my notebook will continue to fill with hastily scribbled moments like these, and i’ll continue to perfect my “quick glance elsewhere” technique in the hope that I become invisible. Unless of course she’s pretty. And fancies a coffee.

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