Tuesday night sketching :: Empire Espresso

Almost every Tuesday night while Hannah Mae has her hip hop class at Northwest Tap Connection, I get about 40 minutes to see how quickly I can sketch or paint a little something. One of my favorite spots is Empire Espresso in Columbia City (awesome service by Rose, and the perfect double, short Americano with Kuma Coffee). This watercolor (above) and sketch (below) were both products of these Tuesday nights. The pen only sketch was just done tonight. Part of my mini sketch series — all black and white, all mini, all in restaurants. Will post more of those soon.

Cooking at Silver Fir Campground

If you want really good food camping, take my parents with you. Or hire them to cater your trip. Aebelskivers — Danish pancakes (really more like a little doughnut, a sphere of sugary, fluffy goodness — see pan featured in this sketch). French toast with homemade rasberry sauce, fresh blueberries and hot maple syrup (syrup heated up in this cute little Lodge cast iron butter warmer as seen in sketch). Homemade pineapple, raspberry, grapefruit, lemon and lime juices. Falafel fried in a cast iron pot over a beach fire. Best-ever Reubens. My mom working her food magic — cooking over the 35 year old Coleman stove we used when my sister and I were kids. Oh, and don't forget your watercolors and sketchbook.


Fall with Stumptown Coffee

I hadn't meant for this sketch to look just like the last one. Just trying to get back into it.
The only reasons for this one:

  • I love drawing and using white colored pencil on kraft paper.
  • I love Stumptown Coffee, especially when I buy it from Dubsea Coffee.
  • I love taking a break from the giant bag of cheaper Costco coffee.
  • It reminded me of drawing on a Stumptown bag in the car on the way to Bellingham. I bought some for my parents for a thank you gift on the way out of town. I didn't have a card, so I doodled all over the bag instead. I didn't document that one (and there was no color), but this gives the general idea.
  • Nice way to repurpose this used bag.
  • I would love to do more illustrations and design for food packaging.
  • I love orange.

Strawberry shortcake

I needed something to distract me from Ezra's bedtime cries last night. Michael has taken it upon himself to help Ezra cry it out. We need some sleep in the middle of the night. If he can learn to put himself to sleep, we will all be happier! 

Everything for the strawberry shortcake was ready (which I kept statusing about on Facebook, hoping to get a spontaneous dessert guest...turns out it was just us). Waiting for Michael. I took Hannah Mae out to the studio to get my paints. She loves painting with me, especially before bed since I put off putting her to bed as I get too into painting. The longer it takes me, the later she gets to stay up.

I got out my usual black pen and started to sketch the bowl containing the strawberries. Not into it. I didn't want to use black. I really wanted to get that feel of everything toppling over  onto the plate. The melding of everything together. The seeping of the strawberry juice into the biscuit. Soft edges, not hard. Lots of bright red splashes, not thin black lines.

I painted the first layer with watercolors, thinking simple splotches of red would do the trick. I asked Hannah Mae if they looked like strawberries and she said no. It wasn't quite right. Neither were the biscuits. I was going to draw strawberry slices on top of the watercolor with black pen. Instead, I made myself ditch the pen for this one. Colored pencil added the right touch. I could get some detail and blending (love blending with white colored pencil) without getting too fussy with it. Hannah Mae had said that I didn't need to paint the whipped cream (or "whooped cream" as she says) since the paper was white. I had to do something though. After we finished eating and Hannah Mae was in bed, I completed the painting with thick splats of white gouache. Looks good enough to eat!