22 April, 2017. The City Market is a rich resource for the urban sketcher in Kansas City. Without moving a step, even the most casually observant sketcher is blessed with a scene rife with the broadest variety of people, booths and stalls, vehicles, and architectural detail. I mean, c’mon! When was the last time you actually saw a one man band? I certainly can’t recall when I have!

This sketch was penciled and partially inked on site – my wife hurried me along because we had freshly cut flowers and vegetables to shop for. Still, the guy was such a neat surprise that I had to give him a couple minutes of “pencil time.” I confess that I had to take a few liberties with the instrumentation because I simply couldn’t figure out how and where all that stuff was hooked up, or what I was even actually seeing. I used a simple yellow Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil for the basic sketch, and a Pilot Varsity for the ink. I like using the Varsity from time to time so that I can reactivate the ink with a water brush and wash in some tones on site or, as I did here, later on.

There were quite a few buskers at the Market on this morning. This fellow was part of a quartet. Although I made a couple of gestural sketches of the group from the front, this rearward point-of-view interested me the most. I particularly like the pipe clenched between his teeth. The Beaver-colored ink remains water-soluble until it cures – which actually takes quite a while – so I’ve got time to scribble with my Lamy fountain pen and decide later if I want to use a water brush to add tones. I was pretty minimal with that effect here.

I was also intrigued to find out we’ve got a busker’s fair coming up in June at the City Market. I hope I’m in town at the time because it sounds like a terrific sketching opportunity!

Here’s another sketch where I took a few liberties. For one thing, she doesn’t actually have gray hair…I just felt like it worked better with the subdued colors I brushed in later. Also, she was moving around a lot. Her customers were lined up and her booth was in demand. So a quick gestural sketch in pencil, then a sort of collage of the components of her stall – and after than, no more sketches at all…because I somehow managed to lose my damn pencil along the way!

This sketch, like the one above it, was inked with a Safari Medium Nib fountain pen using Noodler’s Beaver-colored ink. The season is changing, and so are some of the colors on my watercolor palette. Thus, I’m a bit more tentative with wash at the moment, and will probably remain so until I’m more confident with the color changes.

(Kansas City, Missouri City Market, in the River Market area.)


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