I’ve added a new item to the menu for eating out — urban sketching.
Restaurants have such different personalities, ambience and atmosphere created through their decor, their table setup, their wall colors and their food. When I sketch while waiting for an order to arrive, I’m thinking about all the mood-creating effects.
Mood is created by light, light fixtures, plants, bread boards with knife and whipped butter, the view of the kitchen and even the ice tea. When it comes to sketching ice tea, I took a cue from urban sketcher Liz Steel, who regularly sketches her cups of hot teas. A favorite server at a local restaurant once surprised me by serving me an iced tea in a speciality glass with a strawberry solely to be drawn rather than drunk.
When friends join me to sketch in restuarants (and elsewhere), it is always fun to see what other eyes see – the colors, shapes and styles.
I might sketch bottles of barbecue sauce at the rib place. A friend might sketch a view of a tree outside the restaurant window.
There are different ways to create an urban sketch and that is part of urban sketching — to be inclusive of all styles. Whether pen and ink, watercolor, marker or pastels. You can read the USk manifesto on my page dedicated to urban sketching.
Urban sketching encourages creating in the moment when possible — surrounded by your subject matter. That’s good because even though I enjoy the sketching, I do want to eat the meal while it’s hot.