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Sketching in the Rain; Fingerpainting with Coffee

Potted Palm, Ink & coffee in sketchbook, 8x6"
Potted Palm, Ink & coffee in sketchbook, 8x6"

I’ve been desperate to get back to sketching and was determined to do some today while I was out for a walk doing errands. Just as I sat down to sketch, cup of coffee in hand, it started raining.  I didn’t care. Little drops of rain splattered on my paper, making interesting texture where they met the ink.

I’d forgotten my watercolor kit at home and was annoyed until I looked at the cup of coffee in my hand and thought of how much I liked sepia washes that Pete Scully sometimes adds to his sketches. I dipped my finger in the coffee and began finger  painting.

Then it was time to head home and get ready for a special 10-year-old’s birthday party. I’m the antithesis of a party girl these days, preferring quiet time alone or in one-on-one time with friends. But last night’s dinner party and today’s birthday party were both “command performances” so I gave myself the push I needed to show up.

The intimate, sophisticated dinner party for 6 last night was a joy; the other diners brilliant, funny intellectuals beside whom I felt like a peanut brain. But I adore them all and it was an absolute delight. What a contrast to the non-stop activity and noise of kids loaded up on sugar and then cooped up  indoors because of the rain today.

Mariah's Birthday Guests, pencil drawing, 8x6"
Mariah's Birthday Guests, pencil drawing, 8x6"

I spent the last hour of the 4-hour birthday marathon trying to sketch the jumping-bean children. They were nice kids; a junior United Nations representing as many nationalities as there were guests (and there was a dozen of them, I think).

I’m happy to be home now with no plans for the next couple days besides painting and sketching.

10 replies on “Sketching in the Rain; Fingerpainting with Coffee”

Wonderful sketches, Jana – and I love the way you used the materials at hand! Coffee! Brilliant – and I will certainly try to think of you next time I’m finding excuses for not sketching!

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Oh, Jana! You did make me laugh! I have used tea on paper, but never coffee. Maybe I just love my coffee too much!

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OK Jana. If you can brave the rain, and paint with coffee, I have no excuse. I’m leaving the house and not coming back til I have something on paper! (Besides another debit card receipt!) Seriously, very nice!

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The coffee wash adds just the right touch. I like the new “heading” better than the previous one; I did not care much for the “flowing lady”. Enjoy your messages.

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The coffee wash adds just the right touch. I like the new “heading” better than the previous one; I did not care much for the “flowing lady”. Enjoy your messages.
Oops, should have added good post! Waiting for your next post!

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Jana, I LOVE your sketch and can’t even tell you why, except that your joy in putting pen to paper really shows through somehow! The coffee makes a perfect wash here—and your faces are so strong and confidently drawn! What a good day you had, in spite of the rain and your initial misgivings about party-going!

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I love that “McGyver a sketch”! I used to love watching that show with my
kids when they were little. Of course it had to be Peets coffee to get such
a nice color — Starbucks coffee is pale in comparison. Jana

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