Kensington Bistro

Ink and watercolor in small Moleskine notebook
Click here to see larger

I supposedly work half a day from home on Mondays so that I can get out and paint in the afternoons. Unfortunately I often have trouble turning off the work email and end up working most of the day. Today I forced myself out the door around 3:00 for a walk and a visit to my favorite produce market, Colusa Market in Kensington. I parked at the Colusa Circle, took an enjoyable walk, and then came back and sat on a bench in front of the pub called the “Kensington Circus” and drew the Kensington Bistro across the traffic circle. The little peaks on the building are all wonky but I just couldn’t make myself get out a ruler and use 2 point perspective. I just wanted to draw so I did. The bistro is situated on a slight hill so the building does slant downhill from left to right…but still…

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Category:
Outdoors/Landscape, Sketchbook Pages, Watercolor
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Join the conversation! 18 Comments

  1. I love this, Jana. The style perfectly fits the subject.

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  2. Love your bistro Jana! And of course all the last posts of the last few weeks…I enjoyed the cantaloupe story and the sketch is just great. And I’m looking forward to the finished painting of your cowboy, I think it is going to be great…you’re awakening the desire in me to do someting in oil again.
    Ronell

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  3. Jana, I love this painted sketch – wonky peaks on the roof and al! Actually, I think a bit of wonkiness adds a lot of charm to drawings. Lovely!

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  4. lovely sketch. great!

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  5. I agree with Casey…the style really does fit the subject. I think that if it hadn’t turned out just a bit wonky, then it might be in danger of being sterile, something the bistro doesn’t appear to be.

    Kudos on tackling this one. One look at that roof and I wouldn’t have turned in the other direction!

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  6. Jana-
    I really like this sketch/painting. Sometimes “wonky” is what a piece of work needs and it gives it a special touch. No ruler needed here.

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  7. i think the ‘wonky’ aspect of it improves it enormously actually, it gives it another ‘colour’ as it were, makes it feel more alive. great stuff.

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  8. Yup – I recognized this in an instant! You definitely have captured how that quirky building steps down the street. And the color – dead on. Did you show them (or email them?) the sketch?

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  9. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!! JANA! After working for several days (using ruler and adjustments and a ton of erasers) on a small simple building, I would so love to be able to opt out of my own perfectionism and create something like you have — utterly charming and beautiful as it is!!!! You’re an example and inspiration for me, Jana!!

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  10. I LOVE the wonkiness of this sketch! I has so much more character than if it was in perfect perspective! I have to learn to do this once I get out on the road! If I can get even half this good I’ll be delighted!

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  11. Jana,
    The roofline really adds so much to this sketch – so glad you just kept on sketching purely for pleasure. It really shows.

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  12. The wonkeness (as you call it) just adds charm to the buildings. Glad you were able to get out and do some sketching … those outings are necessary for our sanity, don’t you think?

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  13. aren’t bistros wonderful! great sketch! I also love your Mexican Vaquero! and I especially like and learn from you showing us all your ‘steps’ to creating a painting!

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  14. I’m so surprised by the positive response to this sketch and I’m so happy that people like stuff that are more “me” than something drawn “correctly.” Yay!
    Nancy: Absolutely! And making myself slow down enough to do them helps my sanity too. I tend to always be rushing to the next thing and that little half hour enjoying the moment makes such a difference.
    Jana

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  15. I agree, this is a great sketch: lots of detail, charm and character. My favorite thing you wrote is, “I just wanted to draw so I did.” That’s pure and wonderful.

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  16. I think I’m addicted to your site. I’ve spent a lot of time looking through your links, and you have some amazing ones there! Thank you for your comment about the art therapy that you did. That’s such an incredible process and I’d really like to try it. I love the metaphor of the paintbrush carressing the person’s face. Lovely!

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  17. I’m glad you didn’t use a ruler, it’s delightfully wonky. 🙂

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  18. Dear Jana,

    My son and I are the previous owners of the Kensington Bistro. I’ve bookmarked your sketch of the Bistro every since my daughter-in-law showed it to me but today is the first day I’ve taken the time to say it’s wonderful! I miss the Bistro and our dear dear customers. I’d love to know if you might sell the original of this charming place? These were wonderful years of my life and the friendships we’ve made there are precious to both my son and I. Thanks for helping us keep our Bistro in our hearts forever.
    Lynn Sullivan

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