Coffee Shop Sessions

Two of the projects that I have been working on lately require illustrations of people interacting with one another and each of these projects require a lot of illustrations. While I was developing preliminary sketches for each of them I was getting discouraged with how the results were coming out. Having been away from life drawing for so long I have gotten more than rusty. In order to prevent myself from getting discouraged and dropping the projects, or developing something I am not proud of I decided that I would start back up with some observational drawing. I promised myself that I would go out this past weekend to see if I could back into the groove.

The day after I decided that this was what I was going to do next I saw this article on the National Post website. The article describes Richard Johnson’s experience while he spends time drawing different areas in Toronto. Although I am more interested in drawing people I thought that this was a great idea, to write about each session showing progress, experience and things you learned. I was also glad to have found this article because Mr. Johnson is the same artist who wrote the “Kandahar Journal” for the National Post. I was following each update closely when it began, but suddenly it stopped showing up and I was curious as to how the rest of the trip went. Luckily “Drawn T.O.” provided a link to the full journal and I was able to continue reading.

While I was inspired by this article and my need to avoid being discouraged I went out to one of the coffee shops near home with my sketchbook and pencils ready to go. I got my green tea and set up in what I thought would be a good vantage point to observe my fellow cafe goers. I had left work earlier because it was a Friday, so I got there mid afternoon hoping to score one of the couches, no luck. Despite not being able to grab one of my favourite spots the rest of the place was pretty much empty, everyone was still at work. So I sat down, got out my supplies and the week of work quickly caught up with me. I spent the first half hour there being mellow and staring out the window, just winding down. Finally, it picked up a little more and some people were sitting around me in the cafe, so I started to draw. I got a few good sketches in and the whole session went pretty well, I was worried at first but it went pretty smooth. Here’s what I ended up getting down.


 I was at the coffee shop for nearly three hours, just sketching and unwinding. I still have a lot of practice to do for sure but I am glad that the session went so well because I will be more encouraged to go again. I did try to go a second time on the weekend but I forgot my glasses and it was so bright outside that it was a little too dark inside for me to do my sketches without being really obvious about watching the individuals, so I will try again next weekend.


One thought on “Coffee Shop Sessions

  1. You’re doing a great job! It’s just like me thinking that I really need to get back into practice by writing every day. So far, it’s not quite that regular, but I do try to get a good session in at least once a week.

    Hope the progress keeps going well!

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