Pacita Abad only learned how to draw at the age of 29 when she went to art school at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington and The Art Students' League in New York. Her first drawings were stick figures, but gradually after many late night, live model drawing sessions she began to enjoy it immensely. She then honed her skills in the field as she met and sketched people she met during her stays in Bangladesh, Sudan, Thailand, the Dominican Republic and other places. Pacita was never without a sketch book and would fill her waiting time sketching the world around her wherever she was. Most of her sketches she gave to the person who modeled for her, but a number she brought back to her studio and continued to work on with watercolors, oil pastels and occasionally paint.