Friday, January 14, 2011

Coffee Shop Sketching

Last weekend I had the chance to hang around that bookstore's coffee shop at the mall, while my dear wife and daughter did some errands. I've been slow to regain the same pre-Holiday momentum I had. My frequent doodling has increased, and there are promised activities, follow-up, and ideas cooking.
Here are the 3 pages from last Monday's coffee shop sketching session. In the 1st page, a white-haired and bearded gentleman talking with his contemporary lady friend. The lady sported a "mod" hair-do. Both apparently having good conversation with a 3rd. The guy with the beret was sitting at a distance, playing chess with seemingly more than one person. An older man broke out a harmonica to play local holiday favorites (holidays linger in Puerto Rico). He was too fast for my sketching, but he made the crowd smile.
On the second page, a slender middle-aged lady sitting 3 tables in front would not stray from her lecture. She pretty much did not move, except to turn the page. Her book or magazine was not all that visible, and her friend seemed to be in the same trance, though I couldn't see her face. There were folks actually studying too, their headphones blocking out the noise of the place. There was this an lady, about 2 tables over, listening intently to what her friend had to say.
Lastly, what turned out as a quick rough, depicting the chess player area. I don't know how artists approach live groups of people. I tried making "marks" in the scene, then coming back for another pass for what I thought win any way ould be essential details. Repeating the cycle as many times as needed. But I got interrupted before finishing the second pass.
A blue stuffed dog suddenly peeked over my sketchbook, signalling my recall to the family group. The mall was teeming with shoppers, and we had to go. I hope you liked these. I hope to have more frequent updates here, and at the LAB!
I almost forgot! I got "featured" at the Doodle Swap Blog! I joined their last swap, and had a blast. I was asked to answer some questions, and voila! Instant interview! Here's the link if your interested. I'm just honored to be associated with such great artists. I have lots of great original art in the mail too! The next swap is on right now.  Well. Enough of that. I hope you enjoyed this, and wish you a great art time!


  1. I love when you post these!

    Some of my favourite stuff because I get a feel for where you live and the people around you!


  2. That's one of the reasons I like doing this. Its "artsy people watching" LOL!
    I am going to look for other opportunities. I was just getting tired of the same general type of subjects at this coffee shop. Lets see what target pops up next.

  3. Good idea! These sketches are brilliant! I can't believe you have the guts to draw in public...I am too timid but would like to do it...the fear of someone leaning over my shoulder bothers me.

  4. It depends how curious the crowd is. So far, so good. It's a glancing game. Don't sketch anyone that looks at you "funny".
    Shoulder leaners, and art snoops, I've pre-empted their approach showing them what I'm sketching. After all, that's what they want to see. This may take you into a conversation, but after telling you something like "my sister paints..." they'll comment, and leave you alone.
    If there's someone with you while you're sketching, you may be less bothered by interruptions (not counting you're friends conversation).
    I haven't had the need to take any action against interruptions. The only drawback I've encountered is having to engage in some nice small talk conversation that may cut into sketching time.
    I hope this helps. I totally encourage you to try it in a peaceful setting first, like a park, with friends around preferably. Good luck!