quick sketches from the lunar new year

Lion Dance for Lunar New Year
Last month our department held its annual Lunar New Year party. We have a lot of Asian students, predominantly from China, and so this has been a popular event each year. This time around I brought my sketchbook. Above is a very quick sketch of a “lion dance” by the Golden Turtle Lion Dance Association. This was set to music and was a really fun performance, though I had to be quick to capture it at all! The person at the rear of the lion is one of our co-employees Michael, and it was a great show.
Here are a couple of people I’ve known for years now, Kevin (one of our PhD students) and Irina (formerly one of our PhD students, now an alumna who teaches on campus). I am practicing my five-minute people sketches , so did a lot of that on this day, mostly in my little Fabriano sketchbook. Below, a group of students eating (actually they muts have already eaten because those plates look empty). This was a single-line sketch, no taking the pen off the paper, drawn in the Moleskine.
Lunar New Year people sm
There was even karaoke. Above, one of our faculty, Professor Sharpnack, singing the Bowie song Golden Years; Professor Paul looks on. And yes I did in the end sing a song on the karaoke, after most people had already gone of course. And it was Bowie, and I did that thing where, have I ever mentioned this before? You take any song, any song at all, and replace the words of that song with the words from Yellow Submarine. And it works! So I proved it with ‘Modern Love’. “In the town where I was born, lived a man who sailed to sea, and he told us of his life, in the land of submarines…” You see? Totally works. I overheard one lady say, when it was announced I’d be singing Modern Love, “Ooh that’s my favourite song!” Ok, I thought, this version won’t be. Now I did something I’ve never done before, I sketched while singing on karaoke. Not particularly well, but I was multitasking and singing Yellow Submarine to the tune of Modern Love while someone else held the microphone up to my mouth. Now at last I can finally say that in my life, if I’ve done anything, I have at least done that. I haven’t scanned the result. I’m not showing all the sketches I did that day, they didn’t all turn out great…

I did draw a monkey though. Being the Year of the Monkey, we gave out special certificates to those who were born in a previous Year of the Monkey which said “Certificate of Most Excellent Monkey”, and here is our little monkey:

Monkey Logo crop

I hope you all had an enjoyable new lunar year, and have a most excellent year of the monkey.

8 thoughts on “quick sketches from the lunar new year

  1. trulyunplugged says:

    Just so impressive and entertaining…including “Yellow Submarine” substitute (I’d never heard of that phenomenon) and that you sketched while singing…so cool/creative :) Thanks for sharing :)

    • pete scully says:

      Yes, I came up with the Yellow Submarine thing while sketching in a bar in Los Angeles, every song that came on I switched the lyrics, and five songs in a row it seemed to work. You do have to stretch it a bit, but it’s a fun game. Kept me amused, anyway.
      I should post the sketch I did while singing, truth is I forgot to scan it, and my computer is so slow now…I need a new one.

  2. miatagrrl says:

    Holy cow, I thought your sketches were good. . . but simultaneously sketching while also doing karaoke and that Yellow Submarine trick? I think you ought to teach that at the Urban Sketchers Symposium. I’d sign up!


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