One of our favorite neighborhood restaurants is Kona Kitchen. Just a few blocks from home, it was an easy takeout meal (my
favorite is Hawaiian-style fried rice with scrambled eggs on top) in the Before
Times and continues to be After. In fact, in the early months of the pandemic,
we learned that both the owner and her husband had died of COVID, and we
tried to patronize the family-owned restaurant even more after that. Even
though we didn’t know them personally, their deaths felt personal: They
were among the first of many people we were somehow connected with (if only
peripherally, like this couple) that would eventually perish of COVID.
Across the street from Kona is Café Javasti, which makes some of the best scones in town. I usually get things to go, however, because they have only a couple of small outdoor tables. Walking by the other day, I saw an open table, which gave me an opportunity to finally sketch Kona Kitchen.
I wasn’t thinking about it at all when I decided to stop there, but the Beya Rebaï -inspired palette I’m using turned out to be a good fit! Kona’s colors are blue and orange with brown “thatched” awnings that evoke the Hawaiian theme.
The palette’s pastel tints are teaching me an interesting way to convey low-contrast values. The Kona building is white, and on that bright morning, it was almost equally lighted on both sides of the corner – a frustrating lighting situation for sketching a building (and of course that situation also happens on overcast days). Using the cast shadows as a guide, I figured out the side that was a little less lighted (though it was difficult to see any contrast). I colored both sides with Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle’s Apricot (041) but activated it only on the slightly less lighted side. Keeping a pale tint of a warm color and a cool color in my kit would be handy for this purpose (which comes up relatively often).