The Memphis Urban Sketchers met at the Cleveland Street Flea Market on Saturday. It's a funny little indoor flea market, right in my neighborhood, that has its own community inside. There are not only booths with regulars manning (or, more often, womaning) them, but a cafe and a barber shop tucked in the back also. One of our urban sketchers works there part-time and made us very welcome, with drinks and snacks laid on. It's an almost overwhelming place visually. I did all three sketches from one chair, near a window, instead of wandering around too much and having too many options.
I was playing with minimal color choices that morning. I liked my sketch above with just the sky colored in. (Watercolor and a Stabilo grey fine liner.) My second one I tried to pick out mostly the blue and yellow in the hat display, but I wasn't happy with the watercolor splashes in that one.
I switched over to Faber Castell markers, also with a Stabilo fine liner, for the last sketch. I've had better luck with them in the streamlined color sketches. Also I've been working a lot in watercolor lately, and I find I lose my touch with the markers if I don't use them regularly. This seemed like a good opportunity to play with them again.
Both this sketch and the scene itself reminded me of a brocante (French for antique/flea market) I sketched in my neighborhood in Paris, so I scanned it in for comparison. It was one of the sketches from that trip I was really happy with.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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