Saturday, January 30, 2016

Warm and Dry at Whole Foods

1/28/16 ink, colored pencils
After sketching the utility work on the pole outside our house, I was told that the power would still be out for a couple more hours. Getting chilly and hungry, I dashed over to Whole Foods, which has the added benefit of underground parking: I can go from my own garage to theirs without getting wet. 

As soon as I found a table at Whole Foods’ café, I spotted my first “victims” right in front of me: two women conversing in sign language. For me, hands are always one of the most difficult body parts to sketch, but that day it was easy – I could draw a blur of rapid movements and call it good. 

1/28/16 ink, colored pencil
The Roosevelt neighborhood Whole Foods café has an interesting mix of patrons – lots of parents with kids stopping for a snack after shopping; retirees having coffee with their newspapers; students from the nearby high school; neighborhood workers on their lunch break. Unlike most coffee shops and fast-food eateries I’ve tried sketching in, people tend not to linger at Whole Foods; they have to get back to their offices, classes or errands. I still spot the occasional phone gazer or texter who stays put for a while, but most are there to eat and run. (The man at left was in such a hurry that he didn’t even pull up a high stool to sit at the bar – he remained standing!)

Having less time to sketch a particular victim adds to the usual challenges of sketching people in public. But other than that, Whole Foods’ café meets all of my criteria for an ideal sketching location (as far as cafés and coffee shops go): Plenty of victims (despite the high turnover rate); good interior lighting, most of it natural; a large space with varied levels; tables at various angles. A bonus: a full range of foods and beverages. And I never have to get wet! I don’t know why I haven’t been sketching there more regularly, but I’m sure to return.

1/28/16 Zebra brush pen
1/28/16 ink, colored pencil
1/28/16 Zebra brush pen, colored pencils

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