Here are some observational drawings I made at the Jazzfest in New Orleans. I am trying to do more drawing from life because it is good practice. It challenges an illustrator to make quick decisions about design, hierarchy, and actual visual form in order to convey best the story of the scene (or the illustrator's interpretation of the scene). Visual reporting puts your brain and hand under the pressure of interpreting movement and life.
There is something so true or honest about a drawing from life. When I am creating a drawing from my mind, I have time to think about exactly how I want the forms to look or how they SHOULD look, I have time to think about the appropriate environment and colors and medium. In the heat of the moment of observational drawing, though, you don't have a lot of time to "make things up". Even if you do, it's a quick decision to help convey your observed story.
These are made with colored pencil and graphite. I actually would have liked to try and make the drawings in ink, but I chose to fill up my liquid bag for my airplane carry-on with toiletries. I question that decision, in retrospect...
Please see the observational drawings of my dear friend and former classmate Meredith Nelson, for further viewing. She is a marker specialist and is well-seasoned in the art of visual reportage.