Pint-Sized Pictures

Sketches from ParisRemembering back to the last set of on-the-street sketches I did in Paris, I made sure to bring my little Moleskine pocket book and a pen with me just about everywhere I went last week. I managed to knock out several pages of drawings, the highlights of which I’m posting here. There aren’t as many as I’d like, but I came up with some stuff I was happy with.

I had a good time with these doodles; I always do have a good time doodling. I don’t know exactly why it takes traveling all the way to Europe for me to actually do something I enjoy so much. Well, I guess the obvious reason that, I’m usually not working when I’m in Paris, and when I’m in New York, I usually am working. Funny what a little bit of free time can do for one’s more artistic pursuits.

Smaller and Smaller

Towards the end of my trip, and my sketching, I started working smaller and smaller (the sketches below are not shown in order, nor are they shown to scale with one another), and enjoying it more and more. There’s something about working at a reduced scale that’s very satisfying, and if I had to put my finger on it, I think it’s the idea that every line matters more, and yet there’s less cost to messing up a drawing.

Working small forces me to be more efficient with my lines, and make every one of them count — it practically prohibits superfluous embellishments. But if I botch a drawing, then no harm and no foul — I’ve only wasted a handful of pen marks and a fraction of a single page in my sketchbook. It’s kind of the diametric opposite of the complex, contingent and sometimes plodding world of Web design. Which can be nice.

  1. These are great Khoi. I’d highly recommend you do something like this on a shirt. If you could do a 3 or 4 color version it could look rather snazzy.

    Wouldn’t need to be a full frontal image either. You could maintain the small scale and do a few images or a slightly large image placed in some offset manner or one image with some bit of typography or something to that effect.

    Don’t have it fully realized in my head but I like the style.

  2. Cant’ stop. 2nd row, first two images: guy standing, guy dangling smoke.

    Put some text, some sort of witty quote, then put the standing guy on the right margin. As for the smoking guy, I dunno, I just like that image. I’d hang that on my wall.

    I’m broke from moving at the moment but get back to me in the second half of March.

  3. Great sketches. Inspires me to get back into art. Funny how the older we get, the more we need to relax and do this sort of thing but the less time we make for it.

    …would love to post any fashion-specific doodles you have on my site (with a link back to you of course). If you’re in any way interested, just drop me a line.


  4. Chris: Thanks for the kind comments! I hadn’t even thought of trying to sell these sketches in any way.

    But I think you hit on something when you say that I should add “some text, some sort of witty quote” to accompany the picture. Which is to say, right now they’re just doodles, and they need some sort of story or narrative… I just need to figure out what that is.

    I’ll put some thought into it, but I’m willing to bet it’s just going to take some more sketching — lots more — before I get there.

  5. These are fabulous! Very inspiring.

    Funny: in my head I sketch ‘all the time’. In reality, hardly ever. Same concept with working out… HA!

    Keep it up!

  6. These are really wonderful. Did you attend art school? It’s almost in the style of a political cartoonist, but very natural and relaxed. You can see the person’s personality in every stroke.

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