#oneweek100people2019 - Day 1 cafe sketching

April 8, 2019 | 4 Comments

So I spent 2 hours at Goodfields Eatery this morning and managed to sketch 24 people (and a coffee) in watercolour in 1 hour, and then spent the other hour doing some work (i’m trying not to think about how much work I have to get done this week!)

I’m very happy with what I achieved today. My 1 hour allowance for 20 people was about right. I want to do more than just floating heads this year, but I have the next four days to work on that.

I added a new skin-mix to my palette (I’ll share more about it later) and it worked great and meant less mixing time. The issue was more dirty palette and water as I was painting a lot of darks and greens as well. It might make sense to paint the skin tones for a few people and then return to paint the hair and clothing later as that would keep palette and water cleaner.

I felt super relaxed today doing these pages and was working at a nice calm pace (unlike my trial runs where I sketched at a crazy speed.) The wonderful thing about this cafe is that there are a lot of staff and they all know that I’m sketching people ie. them! They love to see my progress and guess who’s who on my page. We then have a good laugh! I feel free to sketch them, however they are constantly moving – making it rather challenging. But it takes a lot of pressure off sketching the patrons ie. I then only sketch other people when it feels safe to do so, when they won’t notice me sketching them.

Having willing subjects – the staff – makes this #oneweek100people2019 so much fun. I love sketching at Goodfields!

So my tip of the day, is don’t be afraid to show people your work if you get ‘caught’. And if you can find a cafe where the staff think it’s cool that you are sketching them, use this to your advantage this week!


  • Arlene Lennox says:

    You might consider carrying a flesh-tone watercolor pencil for this project. As I recall, Albrecht Durer has 3 different ones.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Yes that would be an option…thanks for reminding me. I’m hardly using watercolour pencils these days… I think I might miss the pigment magic if watercolour if I switched. But will definitely keep it in mind – might be good to switch it up.

  • Karen Williams says:

    What a great (and terrifying) challenge. My people sketches are really hit or miss, especially if I try to draw their faces. Makes me much more self-conscious. I was terrified that the person who would ask to see my sketching would be one of my ‘misses’ where I totally screwed up. Luckily the only person who asked wasn’t someone I’d sketched. This challenge is what I needed to overcome my fear of drawing people in public.

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