We met to sketch at the new Vietnamese restaurant, Nong Thon, on the corner of Central and San Pablo in El Cerrito and we had a great time. The restaurant is large, open and has been completely redesigned. The food was delicious and the service was beyond fantastic.
In the entry there is an elegant, life-size statue of an ox standing in real growing grass (below a skylight). My friends made beautiful renditions of the ox but I got all snarled up on its proportions. I’ve saved a page in my sketchbook to go back and give it another try. The waiter told me that in Vietnam boys ride on the ox playing a flute to pass the time, as they till the soil.
I’d called ahead to make sure it was OK for us to come sketch and they generously reserved a whole section of the restaurant for us where we’d have the best views and could move around to sketch different scenes.
You can see some of my friends’ sketches on our Urban Sketchers blog. Micaela is going to India for a wedding soon so her ox looks very “Indian Water Buffalo.” Beth and Sonia both went in the direction of Babe the Blue Ox.