14 January, 2018. It’s Restaurant Week in Kansas City and I’ve dedicated some time with a pen and sketchbook to a favorite subject of mine: observations of the world of dining and foods. The sketch above, drawn directly as most of my recent sketches are, has been really popular ever since I added it to my Flickr account. I’m very happy with the body language and rendering of the figures, and I’m particularly taken with the two profiles on the right.
Lounging in a bar can be a great opportunity for people watching, not to mention people sketching. Depending upon how crowded a place is, it also presents an opening for interacting with curious patrons around you interested in checking out your sketches. I find that larger crowds mean more anonymity, and fewer gawkers. Conversely, a quiet setting seems to encourage others to strike up a conversation with a sketcher.
This was an interesting sketch of a fellow seated a couple stools down from us at Rock and Run in Liberty, Missouri. Long, curly locks of white hair and an even longer wavy beard of snow bushed out from under a camouflage ball cap. He was meeting up with a small group of younger people – relatives, I presume – but none were as visually interesting so I left them out of the picture, and thus also from the visual story as well.
Great weather earlier in the week, especially for January was a stark contrast to the following day when the roads are iced over and all the local schools closed. As late afternoon closed in I found myself with a few free moments and a ready subject at hand, only to discover the only tools in my car were a roller ball pen and a couple blank sheets of sample paper that I’d forgotten was in the trunk. No paint, no fountain pens.
I kept the roller ball ink flowing and enjoyed the fact that I could lean against the trunk of my car to sketch and enjoy the fleetingly nice weather.
This sketch is 4 x 5 inches on gessoed illustration board. I’ve just playing around with gouache lately, as I did on the following day of icy roads and frozen afternoon. Too much a sissy to go out and paint on location, I worked from one of my old photos for reference…which brought me ’round to one of two quibbles: Painting from a photo leaves me a little cold; my colors feel too beholden to the photo, so shadows tend to be lifeless and dead. I mentioned two quibbles, the other being: Black. Damn it all, I NEVER use black in a color piece, except as line work. And here’s the reason why – it overwhelms everything else. I’d much rather build up shadows from mixtures of my primaries plus a nice “mixing” green. I decided to check to see if Holbein or WN makes my favorite watercolor green mixer, Perylene Green, in gouache. I was dismayed to find the answer to that question is no.