Social phobia and the beer breath of strangers

City Tanzcafe, Dortmund (fineliner and watercolor)
City Tanzcafe, Dortmund (fineliner and watercolor)

I have never attempted to — but I’m fairly sure I could convince a doctor that I have social phobia, if I tried.
So I usually look for a hidden, sheltered spot when I sketch outside.
This was not the case when doing this sketch. I was sitting on a circular bench on a busy square in the city, and soon after I started sketching, a bunch of older men sat down there, too, talking loudly in a language that I didn’t know. I tried to ignore them, but even though I didn’t understand the language, I could tell that they were talking about me.
I imagine the conversation went something like this:
– What’s she doing now?
– She’s putting in shadows. (The man sitting next to me answered.)
– What?
– (Louder) She’s putting in shadows!

At times the guy sitting next to me was leaning in so closely that I could smell his beer breath.

But in the end it wasn’t such a traumatic experience after all.


4 thoughts on “Social phobia and the beer breath of strangers

  1. Really like this sketch and your style, and fair play to you for overcoming your anxiety and sketching outdoors – something I only tried a couple of times before when on holiday and haven’t been brave enough to do since!


  2. I’ve had the weird experience when on holiday abroad of being watched by other English-speaking people while sketching – who not realising I was English stood behind me and made lengthy comments to each other about what I was doing, without ever once speaking directly to me. It felt really odd and the longer I kept quiet and said nothing the more difficult it was to keep a straight face. I couldn’t decide what to do!


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