Years ago, I bought Ronald Searle's "The Secret Sketchbook" from a book dealer. Published in 1969, it's a reproduction of a sketchbook he drew while in the red light districts of Hamburg, Germany. It is filled with scenes he witnessed there, like a patron being removed from a club in a stretcher.
If you feel uncomfortable when people catch you drawing them, imagine how hard it would be to draw the patrons in a strip club. If they caught you drawing them they would probably be upset, but then again maybe Searle didn't have that problem because their attention was firmly focused elsewhere. I can only imagine that trying to draw in darkened, loud, noisy nightclubs would be very difficult and uncomfortable for the faint of heart.
I wanted to scan these because some pages contain what I called before "floaters" - sketches of several subjects scattered around one page, as opposed to the more "classical approach" of doing a little self-contained scene on each page. In some instances here he catches a whole tableau but several pages are covered with floating women of all different sizes and shapes.
Click to see bigger.
More than any artist I know, Searle has had many books published showing his sketchbooks. I have one he did in a refugee camp in the sixties as well as the book that contains his sketches done while a Prisoner of War in a WWII Japanese prison camp. His sketches are amazing. He has a way of capturing the underside of life and bringing to it a grace and beauty while portraying all the ugliness as well.
If you like, in future posts I will scan more of his sketches. Things are going to be very busy for me for the next few weeks so I probably won't be writing too many posts but I can set aside some time for scanning stuff that relates to sketchbooks, if people would like that. Let me know in the comments if you're interested.