Image by Melvin Nesbitt Jr used with permission.

Local artist Melvin Nesbitt Jr sketches passengers on the train and bus during his commute, and often adds endearing comments about his subjects when he puts them on Instagram. Check out some of his work:

"It’s Christmas. I slept all day." All images by Melvin Nesbitt Jr, used with permission.

"Strangers on the bus. I kinda love METRO."

Nesbitt was born in South Carolina but is now living in DC. He says he hates driving and hasn't owned a car since moving to the District about 12 years ago, and instead relies on Metro to get around.

“My commute from Shaw to the studio is a lil long. I started sketching other passengers as a warm up exercise before hitting the studio,” Nesbitt says in an email.

Image by Melvin Nesbitt Jr used with permission.

"Love her hairstyle!"

Nesbitt uses crayon for his Metro sketches so he doesn't have to worry about using them, but also paints and works with collage (when he's not creating on the train, of course). Some of his train sketches are finished in mere moments.

“I only work on a sketch for as long as I can see the subject. Once the subject is out of sight, the sketch is finished. I don’t do any additional work afterwards,” Nesbitt says. “Sometimes it’s just a minute…just from Gallery Place to Metro Center. On the train, it’s rare I get more than three-five minutes but people are on the bus much longer.”

"I HAD to sketch this guy! His dreads were all on one side."


"Talking with the bus driver."

If you like what you see, be sure to follow him on Instagram!

Julie Strupp is Greater Greater Washington's Managing Editor. She's a journalist committed to building inclusive, equitable communities and finding solutions. Previously she's written for DCist, Washingtonian, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and others. You can usually find her sparring with her judo club, pedaling around the city, or hanging out on her Columbia Heights stoop.