I stood outside on a dark, drizzly night in front of Brennan’s Bar and Restaurant last Tuesday night, drawing until my sketchcrawl buddies arrived. Brennan’s recently moved to a new building, a former train station a block away from their former location under the University Avenue overpass in Berkeley.
I’d propped up my sketchbook on the hood of a truck parked nearby and immersed myself in figuring out the building. “HONK! HONK!” Suddenly the truck honked at me. I jumped, and moved away, thinking someone was approaching and would get in their truck and drive away. But nobody showed up so I went back to drawing. But then every few minutes the truck would HONK at me again.
Each time I jumped and then I heard guys laughing. One of the three silly, half-drunk men joking around near the bar was using his remote to play around with me. He came over to see if I was drawing him, as his friends said I was doing. Uh, no. But I told him he could pose for me. He declined and they left just as Cathy and Sonia arrived.
We went in and ordered dinner. I have a thing for turkey legs so while Cathy and Sonia each ordered half turkey sandwiches, I got this huge plate of turkey, mixed veges, boiled cabbage (yuck, what was I thinking?) and boiled potatoes. The turkey was great and I took home enough for two more meals.
I switched to using a Pilot Varsity fountain pen, adding water over the lines with a waterbrush to make washes. It was so convenient sketching at Brennan’s. The light was good, the atmosphere full of energy, and we sat right near a water and condiments station so we could fill and empty our water containers a few feet from our table. Since it’s cafeteria style dining there was no waiter to care how long we sat there.
Cathy suggested we do some contour drawing so I drew the condiments at the next table.
I used to go to Brennan’s back in the 70s for their Irish Coffee (and for pitchers of beer with my women’s softball team after our games). Now that I’m not consuming sugar or much caffeine that wasn’t an option. But I did get a cup of decaf and it was worse than our office coffee so I figured I probably wasn’t missing much.
This couple was pretty good about moving between two poses. I found that if I just waited a bit they would return to the position I was drawing.
These guys at the bar were soooo nerdy. The guy on the left was actually wearing orange pants.
This week we’re going to the Berkeley main library to draw.
8 replies on “Tuesday Night Sketching at Brennan’s Berkeley”
Hey! Your lone diner looks remarkably like Antony (sigh…) Quinn!
Good sketches here, Jana. I really must do more figures.
Haha. That’s so funny. Clearly I did NOT get a likeness since this gentleman was a tall, substantially built, older, African American man. But thanks for the chuckle! Jana
Wow, you had a busy evening Jana! Did you have time to eat anything?
You must have been there for hours! You got so much done. Loved the story too.
Loved this. You paint food I want to eat! (And talk about discipline, since I’m assuming you paint first and eat it later…)
Yes, dinahmow–yay Zorba!
I love these sketches and wash, Jana. This series of your sketching group is such fun– stories as well as sketches.
I look forward to each one.
Great sketches and I like the watercolor washes. Wonderful story to go with the sketches.
Oh, what a hilarious story about those guys messing with you! And the guy with the orange pants, too. Sounds like you had a great sketch date.