Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Coffee Shop as Still Life

12/19/12 Private Reserve Velvet Black ink, Zig marker, Hand Book sketchbook
For the third time, I’m re-reading Judy Martin’s Mastering Sketching, and in one paragraph that I was reading over breakfast, she mentioned the types of subject matter most popular with painters and sketchers: landscapes, portraits, figures, still lifes, nature, interiors, etc. When I sketch in coffee shops, I tend to think of the subject matter as a combination of life drawing (figures and portraits) and interiors. But this afternoon at Zoka, fueled by a particularly delicious eggnog latte, it suddenly occurred to me that what I’m really sketching is a large still life.
People are more interesting to me than apples, flowers or water pitchers, but the people in coffee shops move so little that I can sketch them almost like still life compositions. And like sketching a still life, the challenge is in showing the varying light values, expressing the relationships among the objects and giving the objects life.
The main difference with my large still life is that the flowers are already arranged for me, and sometimes the apples get up and leave.


  1. Interesting insights, Tina. If only those apples wouldn't walk away :-)

    Cheers -- Larry

    1. Hi Larry! Yeah, those wandering apples are a constant problem. :-0


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