Brushless in Ikea

How to get people to stay still for a moment so you can draw them? Easy; all you need is a large chill cabinet with a display of Danish pastries, croissants, gateaux and cheesecakes! That slows them down nicely.

Rushing out in the morning, I'd brought only my sketchbook and palm-sized watercolour box so, as I sat down with a latté (and, yes, I admit it, a pain au raisin), I had to borrow Barbara's Staedtler 0.7 mm pigment liner pen to draw the figures in the Ikea coffee shop and make notes of the colours.

Sketches and Swatches

figuresSome of colours such as 'Taup(e) Brown', 'Fawn' and 'Dark Roy(al) Navy' would mean different things to different people but they helped me remember a particular colour when I came to add the watercolour when I got back home.

You can see the influence of all the bird drawings I've been doing recently; this is a form of note-taking rather than pure drawing, but I like the way the little written colour notes punctuate the sketches and I like the simple watercolour washes which are there just as swatches, as information; under the circumstances I can't attempt to explore light and shade, for example.

The finished effect, in figures such as the seated man, bottom right, remind me of the figures Hergé drew in the Tintin stories.

Every object has a shape and every shape has a colour (even if that colour is fairly neutral, like 'Taupe Brown' or 'Fawn'). Simple.

But apologies to the lady with the black handbag who ended up with a brown handbag!


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