Sunday, February 27, 2011


And then he went for a bike ride...

After getting home from the cafe, I ate lunch, unfolded the newspaper, and became bored. It was a really, REALLY nice day outside, and it seemed a shame to spend it alone, inside. So I took a bike ride. I rode to the Market Street Market, bought a scone (which I didn't finish, but brought home; it was chocolate mint) and read the paper, in the little area they set up for people who buy deli sandwiches. I, a rebel through and through, ate a scone there. And then, since I had my equipment with me (I really thought I didn't) I started to draw.

Now, here's the difference between drawing in a market and drawing at a cafe. People in the market move very fast. Even the eating people were in and out in half an hour. The one person I could draw, and to be frank, wanted to draw, was the girl at the check-out (name unknown). I go to the market every Sunday to pick up groceries, and we have a nice little 30-second exchange about weather or whatever. It's a nice change of pace from the cafe, where everyone avoids eye contact. Of course, drawing her is a different experience. There are people moving through the store, wanting to buy stuff, so painting this was a little like a time-lapse photo. The customers just blow by; you can't even register them, and she stays in the same spot. I could rely on her being there in a few minutes even though at the moment she was blocked from view by an elderly lady pushing a basket.

At those moments, I ate scone.

Also, I finally got in some scenery, which is nonexistent in the cafe.

When I was nearly finished, she came over to see, seemed pleased by the results, and then I had to go.

The End.


HEY! New format. In an attempt to appear cooler, and just to shake stuff up, I used my moleskine watercolor sketchbook at the cafe today. This allowed me to used color, which it too hard to incorporate when using regular, ultra-absorbent sketch paper. Let's take a look at the results, shall we?

This guy, drawing him, all I could think was that this guy lookedlike a cross between Academy Award winner Javier Bardem and Benedicio Del Toro. He was writing something, but I don't think it was a screenplay. The other girl has appeared in the cafe before; I've drawn her before, and just like before, she chose a seat that obscured her face. By making her hair purple, (actually blonde) she instantaneously looked like Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
I had with me four colors. Red, Blue, Purple, and Payne's grey. This girl seemed to know Javier Del Toro, nodded at him, and sat directly across from me, in exactly this pose, for hours. Yay! Other than leaning over and her hair getting in her eyes, I had all the time in the world, except when some guy sat between us, and I sort of had to bend around him to continue drawing. Oh, well. Success, all around here.

...which makes up for this poor guy. Almost the entire time, I listened to him talking to his friend about consulting and being let go soon. He's a lawyer, which has nothing to do with how horribly I drew him. I wanted to go up and apologize afterward. The girl was also there the entire time, but my success drawing that hairstyle varies incredibly. She was working on a laptop, and nowhere near as Chinese or old as she looks here.

Having grown tired with eye-searing pallets of reds and purples, I decide to go monotone. The half-girl on the left ended that pose before I could finish, and did not once go into it again. I drew a better picture of her on the next page. While waiting for her to resume the pose, I drew blue girl, who was reading an e-book. Fancy! I'm a little sorry I made her look so sad. She wasn't really. Maybe she just looks ghost-like and mysterious. That's cooler.

Well, okay. I went a little overboard here. The girl in the previous picture whom I failed to draw was Indian, and I do believe I made her look a little more exotic and dangerous than she was in real life. Really, she was just a college student discussing birds and learning patterns with some guy. The guy on the left was sitting by the window, and looked like he might be the kind of guy to punch me, so I drew him fast, then he got up and punched me. No, wait. He went outside to smoke. That's what he really did. The guy on the right, the Clint Eastwood with Javier Bardem's hair in that one movie, came in last, and lft just as quickly. Old people are the best to draw, because their faces are nothing BUT lines.

I had forgotten my watch, but at that point, my stomach was telling me it was time to go, so I went. It was nice out.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unfinished moose-themed postcard. Would be finished, but I left my ink at work.

I don't even like coffee

I like milk and sugar that smell like coffee. That's worth $1.60 a week.

Exciting news! Remember that old man with the beard that I didn't have a chance to finish last week? Of course not. No one reads this blog, present company excluded. Point is, he came back, and I came early, giving me enough time for a second chance. Here he is in bearded glory. That wild bunch of squiggles in the back of his head is a pony tail. I good seat this time, with a nice view of a rotating group of mostly oblivious people siting against the wall. The guy (we'll call him "young Stephen King") was talking University stuff to the girl with the sun-glasses on page three. The girl with the non-pearl earring was studying the entire time. I have no idea who I'm going to draw when college let's out.

So young Stephen King leaves and a few minutes later, lady with TV news anchor hair shows up with a bunch of friend and sits with the girl he was sitting with. One of the rotten things about the water brush (it's a pen that you fill with water, and the nib is made of plastic bristles that the water flows out of. Instant watercolor paintbrush) is that it's very hard to control the darkness of the stroke. Anchor hair lady did not look exactly like what you see here, but thanks to teeny imperfections in line weight, it's nearly impossible for me to explain how. Here is my attempt, though: she wasn't wearing that much eye shadow. The girl on the bottom there was talking to two fellows. This is her pose when she was listening to the guy on her right. The scrunched guy I drew while he was in line, worked on while I couldn't see him, and finished when he sat down.

The guy on the top left was not wearing make-up. I blame the pen-brush again. Ah! Sunglasses girl. to be honest, I don't know that she was wearing sunglasses when I first saw her. She was the constant of my visit. Always there, but I didn't get around to drawing her until page three. Why? Because as a profile, she only needed to turn a half a degree to either side and all points of reference disappeared. Was her nose this long? That long? Shape of her lips? Can't tell. They moved. After anchor hair lady and her boyfriend left, a few more people sat down with her and they were talking about internships and foreign countries and Olympics and such. One of them saw me. I can tell because she walked behind me, sat down at their table, then everyone started whispering and making eye contact with me. I had already finished, and was drawing beard-hat, so I waved back. Diane Sawyer look-alike complimented me on her likeness as she left. Of course I did a good job on her. She was watching me too!

The dark-haired girl was studying. She had on a striped sweater, and a lot of the time, she was hunched over a book, and I wanted her face. So in between her lifting her head for a few seconds at a time, I drew blondie. The dark haired girl put on her jacket and left as I was finished her. I can honestly say I drew her up until she walked out the door. I need to start leaving my cards at the Mudhouse. I want more people to see this stuff.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Coffee sketches

Let's start with the woman here, who looks like a hobbit. I mean that in the nicest possible way. She was short, and her massive coat made her look even shorter. She was reading some sort of book, which I'll guess was a novel, because it didn't look like a cookbook or a bible. She got along quite well with the dad of the kid on the second page. The thin, cropped guy here was boring, and too boring at that for me to remember even an hour after I had drawn him, much less two days. If you want people to remember you, folks, make an effort to at least look interesting.

Oh, hey, interesting people. Clock-wise from the top-right, there's the toddler, the hipster, the porn star, and the skinny pierced girl. We'll start with the kid. He had an actual story. Coming in with his mom and dad, he was gifted with a hot cocoa. THere must have been separate orders, or else the parents were ordering one of those ungodly complicated Italian coffee concoctions, because the dad was stuck sitting at the table with this kid, sucking away at his cocoa, waiting for his drink. Eventually, the dad asked if he could have some of his kid's cocoa. Answer: vigorous head shake. There are comments from the hobbit lady, during which the mom comes back with brown liquid caffeines for all, and utters the words on the page. Then they leave. I think, though, that that saying should be on a fortune cookie. In bed. The hipster is in fact a guy, but he had awesome, awesome hair. He and that kid could have given Justin Beiber a run for his money in a Hair-Off. That kid's hair was like a helmet. The porn star and the pierced girl, who I'll note now was of Indian descent, were at a table together, and I'll assume they were going out. It doesn't matter to me, but the point is that other than the kid, who was interesting by virtue of being maybe five and adorable for the time being, all of these people put a little effort into their appearance.

Confession will start now with the fact I was feeling under the weather on Sunday. I still biked out to the Mudhouse though. Wild Horses with laser guns on their head breathing lava couldn't stop me. This is my excuse, however, for slacking off on the first two drawing on this page. The blonde on top wasn't really that heavily made up, or that small compared to her hair, and the scruffy fellow is just sloppy, I'll admit. He had that "just woke up to another day in Queens" look that I tried to capture and then gave up on. Determined not to end the day on a sour note, I took it upon myself to do a really good job on his dame on the bottom there. They were playing some sort of custom card game, involving two decks and considerable strategy. She kept bending forward and getting her hair in the way of my pen.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Thought I'd try something different, since this is the exact opposite of what I get to do at work.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Moose Sketch

I put this up for critique. I want it bloody perfect in final form. Incidentally, started some time before 10, finished at 11:00. Good time.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More Coffee sketches

For some reason, the cafe was emptier this week. There was a greater proportion of women in too. Now, might this have something to do with the Superbowl? I don't know. It was 11 AM. Do people who usually drink coffee on Sunday morning also take entire days to prepare for TV sporting events ("It's not an event, it's the event!"). There were more cars than I usually see in the church parking lot. "Let's go, Steelers. Steelers, let's go. Amen."

Ignore the girl on top. These are sketchbook pages, whole and unedited. And I drew her last week. The woman on the bottom was reading children's books, and she had on a huge sweater. i assume she was a librarian or a pre-school teacher or something. Perhaps a decade or two ago, she might have been a social worker or an arts coordinator. I'll bet she was a liberal too. All this I got from the way her hair was tied back.

The bloke on bottom was working on equations or Physics or taxes. Whatever he was writing, numbers, and words combined in a singularly unpleasant way, I could see because he was sitting right next to me. He was also muttering in such a way that the vein on his forehead popped out. It made me think he didn't want to be disturbed, so I had to draw him very sneakily. Then he got up and left before I could get to his beard. He had a beard. Imagine a white beard on the bottom of that face. The girl must have been studying too, on the other side of the room. I only saw her smile once, when a toddler wandered by and said something darndest.

Here we have a short girl, a tall woman, and a man in a hat. The girl on top was sitting in a big easy chair to the left of me, doing what I assume was college work, completely undisturbed by the two other girls on the couch next to her, who were moving too fast to draw, and who were talking about either a fantasy ficiton or a game or possibly both. They were havinga grand time. She was not. Neither was the short-haired woman. She was more contemplative. Long periods would pass with her staring into space. I drew her hand in that position while she did that once, and she never did it again. At one point, she got up and left the cafe. Then she came back a few minutes later and sat in the same spot. Huh. The fellow looks like one of those kind of guys who thinks he plays more sports than he actually does. His hat was not really crooked.

Way far in the back of the cafe was the girl with the swoop of hair over one eye. I couldn't see her very well, and was therefor immediately consumed with the desire to draw her as detailed as possible. Why she was wearing such a light dress in 40 degree weather, I don't know, but I appreciated it. My attempts to capture the pattern of shadows on her shoulders were only semi-successful, but only because the lighting back there was so complex that every twitch changed it completely. I have the notion that I had seen the short-haired girl before. She came in late and talked for a long time with her two friends (backs to me) about this other friend she knew who was totally gay, and totally didn't know it, even though he accepted a date from a guy, and oh my god! And y'know, his fraternal twin sister is a lesbian. So, like, that might be the genes, do they share genes, if, y'know, you believe the genes, like, dictate whether you're gay. I'm trying to figure out how to tell him.

Friday, February 4, 2011