Food sketch Gouache Sketchbook Pages

Gouache Still Life Studies

Gouache still life studies, 10x8 inches
Gouache still life studies, 10×8 inches

These were gouache sketches from a couple of months ago that I’m just now getting around to posting. I’m still loving gouache but have been missing using it.

I’m working on two commissioned dog portraits in oils so have put aside most of my other art projects temporarily. I’m enjoying the difficult challenge of painting two very similar dogs with dark brindle fur for two different owners but I’m missing taking the time to draw my daily dream images, play with gouache and work on painting people portraits.

Food sketch Gouache Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Susan’s Sausage at Gaumenkitzel

Susan's Dinner at Gaumenkitzel, graphite and gouache, 7x9.25"
Susan’s Dinner at Gaumenkitzel, graphite and gouache, 7×9 inches

When we met a Gaumentkitzel for sketch night I’d already had dinner so just ordered a decaf and sketched Susan’s dinner instead. I added gouache when I got home.

Food sketch Glass Sketchbook Pages Still Life Watercolor

EDiM 14: Glass of Juice

EDiM 14 Glass of Juice. Ink and watercolor, 7x5 in
EDiM 14 Glass of Juice. Graphite, ink and watercolor, 7×5 in

I got confused and skipped over posting this glass of yummy Trader Joe’s Garden Patch juice yesterday, and numbered the two pics I did post with the wrong numbers, which I’ve now corrected. This is an odd glass, made by Bodum and meant to be used for tea as it’s double-walled for insulation.

This was more fun to draw than to use since I prefer my tea in cups with handles, even if the glass doesn’t get hot. I love painting glass!

Food sketch Interiors Oakland Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Cato’s Ale House, Oakland

Catos Ale House, ink and watercolor 7.5x10 in
Cato’s Ale House, ink and watercolor 7.5 x 10 in

When we planned the Urban Sketching evening for Cato’s, a great old pub, little did we know that a large group of Kaiser doctors were also planning a happy hour event that night too. The place was totally packed but a large group of urban sketchers made it work anyway. We gathered around several tables and sketched eaters, drinkers and sketchers (and in my case, dinner).

My hamburger was delicious but I ate it too quickly, anxious to get sketching and a bit overwhelmed by the noise and crowds. That was my first night out sketching since adopting my pup, who was waiting patiently and not all that happily in her bed in my car in the parking lot of the PetFood Express store across the street from the pub.

Food sketch Ink and watercolor wash Sketchbook Pages

Deep Fried Fish Lips

Sketch of a fried fish, Deep Fried Fish Lips, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Deep Fried Fish Lips, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

When I see my neighbors at my door holding a covered plate I get excited because they are fantastic cooks who often bring me treats. Except this delicacy was not from their kitchen; it was deep-fried take-out fish from 99 Ranch Market’s seafood department where they scoop live fish out of a big tank, “dress” them (euphemism for remove guts and slash the skin) and toss them otherwise whole in the deep fryer.

I gratefully accepted the gift and sketched it instead of eating it since I prefer my fish grilled, not deep-fried. Then I gave the fish to my tenant who enjoyed the nice dinner.

Photo of thank you card on returned plate
Photo of thank you card on returned plate

Today I returned the plate with a little thank you card featuring the fish.

Food sketch Ink and watercolor wash People Sketchbook Pages

Pork Bung Gut (?) at 99 Ranch Market

Mackerel and Tea Lady, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Mackerel and Tea Lady, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

We made our annual pre-Chinese New Year sketching visit to 99 Ranch Market and the Pacific East Mall (an Asian marketplace) with some new sketchers who joined us for our  monthly Urban Sketchers First Tuesdays sketch night.

I headed first to the fish department and we ended the evening at the Ten Ren Tea Shop (sketches above) where there were so many interesting and colorful items to draw but for some reason I chose instead to sketch the very nice shop girl.

Poultry and Pork on the Hook at 99 Ranch Market, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Poultry and Pork on the Hook at 99 Ranch Market, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

After the fish, I went where the Peking Ducks hang and was surprised to see a small pork carcass hanging there too (on the right above). I drew it first, and then found myself in a race with a woman taking down the ducks to clean up for the night. She won the race and I ran out of ducks so I copied the menu instead.

Could that carcass be Pork Bung Gut? Or is it what it sounds like (ew) and just wasn’t on display?

It’s interesting how different cultures are squeamish about different parts of the animal. I grew up loving my grandma’s roasted beef tongue, the chicken feet in her chicken soup, and my dad’s gribenes (pronounced “gribnis”)—like pork rinds except made from chicken skin. After removing the delicious crispy skins from the hot chicken fat that he’d rendered from them, he put the fat in the fridge to harden and then spread that “schmaltz” on his rye bread instead of butter.

None of those foods sound gross to me, nor does caviar, raw oysters (yum!), or rump roast, but please don’t offer me brains or intestines, thank you very much.

You can see my friends’ great sketches from the evening on our Urban Sketchers blog here: Susan’sMicaela’s, Cathy’s, and Ceiny’s, and my sketches from previous visits to 99 Ranch in 20012 and 2010, 2010, 2007.

Berkeley Drawing Food sketch Ink and watercolor wash Interiors Sketchbook Pages

Tickle Your Tastebuds: Gaumenkitzel

Sketching German Cookies, ink & watercolor, 5x8"
Sketching German Cookies, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

When we visited Berkeley’s very colorful Gaumenkitzel Restaurant, they offered us a large “community” table where we could sketch and snack all evening. After most of the other customers had left, one sketcher pulled her chair right up to the pastry case to get a better look. Gaumenkitzel means “Tickle Your Taste Buds.” Just saying the name feels tickly on the tongue.


I sketched the back of Susan’s beer while she drew the more decorative front. Click their names to see more sketches from the evening by Ceiny and Cathy.

My January and February have been swallowed up by a ton of organizing and business chores which I’m hoping to declare completed tomorrow (YAY!). Then I can finally get back to a life centered around art instead of on spreadsheets, file folders, computers, and tax forms.