When you’re stuck commuting through Penn Station, it really pays to enjoy people and people-watching. Because nowhere else will you encounter as many different people from all walks of life. (Not to mention, nowhere else is the system of standing around waiting for your train’s gate announcement more stressful or tiring! But I digress…) This weekend I had to pass through Penn Station quite a few times on my way to rehearsals and a performance at Kean College in Union, NJ. As always, I was travelling with my little Joana Miranda Studio sketch pad. Here is the pen sketch drawing I did yesterday of the people waiting along with me.

Pen Sketch Drawing – People Watching at Penn Station

Pen sketch drawing of the people at Penn Station by Joana Miranda

(In case you’re wondering, I’m the one with the viola case.)

And here’s me dashing off to make my connecting train at Newark’s Penn Station on the way home…

Pen sketch drawing of girl with viola case running

For those fellow artists reading my blog, I did these mini sketches with a Pilot Varsity fountain pen. I enjoy drawing small-scale illustrations with the Pilot Varsity since the fountain nib is quite fine. Unfortunately the ink is NOT waterproof . Alas, neither is it smudge-proof. However, I recently learned that you can actually transform these type of “draw-backs” into assets. Here’s the fun how-to video that turned me on to the possibilities of working with water-soluble ink:

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with a friend! And be sure to check out my original illustrations here.


  1. Mm says:

    Yup, they do look like stressed out Penn station travelers! You do these standing up? Great sketches! Xoxo

    • Joana says:

      Hi Mm,

      Actually, I did the sketches sitting on the train. To be honest, you need to be pretty alert in Penn Station so that one of the crazies doesn’t take you by surprise. But all that “alertness” makes it easier to remember people and faces. 🙂

      I lurve you!

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