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Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Kensington Painting Places Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Street Light Battle and Dinner at the Gas Station?!

Kensington Street Lights, ink & watercolor, 8x6"
Kensington Street Lights, ink & watercolor, 8×6″

The little village of Kensington is battling over their streetlights. According to El Cerrito Patch, “A number of residents in the upscale community complained in late July when PG&E began removing the distinctive old streetlights on wood poles and replacing them with generic “cobra head” lights on shiny steel poles.” The replacement project was put on hold and community meetings planned to sort it.

I wanted to sketch the controversial street lights so we met on The Arlington, Kensington’s main street for our Tuesday night sketch-out. I found a spot to sketch where I could see all three of the street light types (though of course not so close together as in the picture above).

Kensington Chevron with Whip-Out Food Truck, ink & watercolor 8x4"
Kensington Chevron with Whip-Out Food Truck, ink & watercolor 8×4″

It got dark quickly so we sat outside the Sugar Cone Cafe at their sidewalk tables and sketched by the light from their windows. Across the street at the Chevron Station, people were lining up to get dinner from the Whip-Out Food Truck. It’s funny how food trucks have gone from being “the roach coach” that served awful food to factory workers to the new gourmet thing.

You can see some of the delightful sketches my sketch buddies Cristina and Ceiny did that evening of the festive cafe and the food truck on our Urban Sketchers blog. I give Cathy credit for the pool of light in front of the gas station that I added to my sketch after I saw it in hers (which I’ll link to when she posts it).

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Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Kensington People Sketchbook Pages

Kensington Harvest Parade

Boy Scouts Waiting to Parade, ink & watercolor 5x7"
Boy Scouts Waiting to Parade, ink & watercolor 5x7"

I was supposed to go to a plein air paint-out but woke up in an ornery mood with a headache and decided to stay closer to home. Kensington, a nearby community of hills, big houses and trees was having their annual Harvest Parade so I drove the mile or so up there and perched on a low wall outside the combination drugstore/post office. These boy scouts above were fooling around on the bench beside me, waiting for the call to line up. They were constantly moving but I somehow managed to draw them as if they were holding still.

Lining up to begin the parade, ink & watercolor, 7x5"
Ready to march, ink & watercolor, 7x5"

Across the street in front of the Sugar Cone Cafe in the hardware store parking lot staging-area, people started lining up. The El Cerrito High School Gaucho’s marching band practiced their flute and drum routines, cub scouts hug-wrestled, and a girl in a fairy costume twirled.

Once the parade started moving I followed along the six blocks to the library/community center destination. It was a charming, small-town event that had everyone smiling.

Categories
Drawing Faces Ink and watercolor wash Interiors Kensington Painting People Places Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Sketching at Kensington Circus Pub

Kensington Circus Pub, ink & watercolor, 5x7"
Kensington Circus Pub, ink & watercolor, 5x7"

It was a cold and rainy night so we met indoors at the cosy Kensington Circus Pub (named for the traffic roundabout it faces in Kensington, on the Berkeley border. It’s a very pleasant place to sip a beer and sketch. After eating a delicious sandwich I spent most of the evening facing the bar and doing the sketch above. I wore my L.L. Bean flashlight hat to see to paint and it worked great.

Old friends plotting at Kensington Circus Pub, ink & watercolor, 5x7"
Old friends plotting at Kensington Circus Pub, ink & watercolor, 5x7"

Then I turned to face the other direction and sketched these gentleman who were in a booth a few feet away but didn’t seem notice or care that we were drawing them. They were meeting to dine, drink and plot a business venture from what I could overhear.