Cafe catch-up

As I’ve been trying out my new sketchbook over the past few weeks, I’d forgotten I also had several cafe drawings in the book I always carry in my bag. Here they are.

A bulldog waiting for its owner, ballpoint pen, 23 August 2014

A bulldog waiting for its owner, ballpoint pen, 23 August 2014

The construction site opposite the cafe offered an unusual subject by way of a cement mixer.

Cement mixer, pen, ink and acrylic paint marker, 30 August 2014

Cement mixer, pen, ink and acrylic paint marker, 30 August 2014

The Loading Dock Cafe, is exactly that, a cafe in the rear lane of West Row, in the centre of Canberra. Thankfully some very solid concrete bollards separate the cafe-goers from reversing vehicles.

View onto the lane from the Loading Dock Cafe, pen, ink and watercolour, 10 September 2013

View onto the lane from the Loading Dock Cafe, pen, ink and watercolour, 10 September 2013

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Bean there!

This morning we decided to head out early-ish to the markets and have breakfast while we were there. We decided to eat at Bean and Grain, (where we have previously only stopped in for coffee and pastry). Good choice. While we were waiting I did a sketch of one of the staff members. I was going to include another person, but they were just moving too fast for me to draw.

Breakfast at Bean and Grain, pen and ink, 12 September 2014

Breakfast at Bean and Grain, pen and ink, 12 September 2014

Breakfast was really good. I had French toast brioche, with berries, bacon and passionfruit butter. The passionfruit butter was particularly lovely, creamy and full of flavour. Suffice to say it was such a good breakfast that I didn’t need to eat any lunch.

Three Sketches

Three sketches from the past week.

I borrowed my partner’s Rotring Tikky water proof pigment pen, 0.5 nib, to try it out with some watercolour. I like the line so I’ll probably get my own. There are several nib widths, both smaller and larger, so I might end up getting several.

Rotring pigment pen with watercolour, 5 September 2014

Rotring pigment pen with watercolour, 5 September 2014

I’m continuing to work on drawing people. This one is a combination of pen and ink and acrylic marker.

Portrait, pen and ink and acrylic marker, 6 September 2014

Portrait, pen and ink and acrylic marker, 6 September 2014

I continue to be captivated by construction. There is building work going on across the way from where we regularly buy coffee. Here is a look at the current state of scaffolding and wire safety fences. The biggest problem is the wire which was lighter in tone that the building behind it. I had trouble working out how to get the different grey tones working while I was on location, so I added some watercolour when I got home. When I scanned my amended version of the drawing  I could see that the upper half of the windows weren’t looking like they were part of the whole. So with some additional drawing I came up with the final version.

Three stages of the construction sketch, 9 September, pen, ink and watercolour.

Three stages of the construction sketch, 9 September, pen, ink and watercolour.

The final version, I’m hoping some impression of the fencing is given, without resorting to adding a white grid over the drawing. Perhaps in another drawing  I could focus on a much tighter section of the scene and see what I can do by  reserving the paper as part of the sketch.

Construction site with scaffolding and safety fencing, 10 September 2014

Construction site with scaffolding and safety fencing, 10 September 2014

Testing #2

Back to the new sketchbook, but first I must make a correction. I’ve now realised that the paper in this book is actually 150 gsm, not 110 gsm as I’d previously written, so perhaps the results I’ve been getting are not so unexpected. However the best test of the paper quality is water colour. I have made two basic paintings using subjects close to hand. This is the first work and it has another water colour on the reverse side of the page.

Watercolour on the new sketchbook.

Watercolour on the new sketchbook.

You can see from the painting below that each work stands by itself and there is no bleed through from either side of the page. I used quite a bit of water on each side of the page, but I did allow the page did dry thoroughly between paintings. So I’m quite impressed with how this test has gone – I didn’t expect, even at the heavier weight of paper, that the result would be this good.

watercolour on the reverse side of the page above.

Watercolour on the reverse side of the page above.

I’m now working on testing my own skills. I have been trying to integrate the different pen and ink and acrylic paint markers I’ve been working with, into a more style. It’s not as easy as I had hoped. I’ve struggled with not letting the heavier acrylic paint markers dominate the finer pen and ink lines. I’ve also had problems getting carried away and ‘colouring in’ with the paint markers. Because it’s so easy to go over the top I’ve decided to limit my palette to my black markers and one colour only.

Today I think I have made some positive progress with my sketches in mixed media. Any ideas or thoughts from your experience on how to proceed would be welcome.

Path and trees, acrylic paint marker, pen and ink, 3 September 2014.

Path and trees, acrylic paint marker, pen and ink, 3 September 2014.