le kwak sportif

le kwak
Kwak! A beer I very much enjoyed when I lived in Belgium all those years ago (can I go back there again please, just for a few days, please? I miss Belgium, and have several good sketching friends there). It’s the beer in the funny glass. I still have all the Belgian beer glasses I was given by my amis Belges back in the year 2000, though I actually got this one in England a couple of years later. The big bottle of Kwak was given to me at Christmas, but took me a while to open – that’s a lot of Kwak for one sitting. Kwak will always be associated with a funny story about my friend Tel who visited me in Charleroi one weekend, which I recounted in this blog post from 2008, “The night Tel drank the Kwak“.  That was funny. We were at my local, La Cuve a Biere, where we ordered a couple of Kwaks, but he drank his too quickly, and then the room started spinning, and everything went foggy (for him, not me, I was alright) and then he spent the best part of an hour in the small toilet of the pub, and it was not pretty. The “Kwak Incident” we called it. I miss Tel, he lives in Japan now. I miss a lot of things, places, people. Memories. That’s life I suppose. I miss recent things such as watching the Thor Ragnarok trailer a few minutes ago, that was so much fun, I miss it already. Difference is I can watch it again in a minute. And lets face it, I’m gonna. That’s gonna be a film I will need to watch with a much bigger glass of beer, Thor style. “Ragnakwak!” One glass I was given in Belgium was one such massive glass, with the words “Tres Grand Soif” on it, and a bell on it for when you need a refill. Santé!

still getting the sketches in

cafe mediterranee, davis

Unusually on a Sketchcrawl, I stopped and had lunch. Most of the group ate at Cafe Mediterranee on D Street (far less crowded than the eateries around Central Park), and sketched, and talked about sketching. And then, after lunch, I realised that I had never drawn this building, and now was good time to tick that off my ‘to-draw’ list. Very interesting to see everyone’s different interpretations of it!    

three sketchers

When I was done (and I found that after going on and on about how wonderful the waterbrush is, I found myself missing my regular brushes – next time I won’t leave them behind!), I got back to practising my people sketching, quickly drawing Steve, Cynthia  and Laura. Cynthia (who drove over from Napa; I met her at the USk Symposium in Portland) was talking about ‘ten thousand hours’ I think it was, she hadn’t just dropped her sketchbook…

sandra torguson

While eating lunch I sketched on the menu, this was a quick drawing I did of Sandra Torguson, who is a fellow art-blogger from Sacramento. Check out her website, Sandra’s Mixed Bag.

smooth as silk day spa

As the Sketchcrawl drew to a close (that pun got old decades ago, by the way) we returned to Central Park, now quiet after the Farmer’s Market had departed, and I sketched the Smooth as silk day spa building (I’d been in there last week for an exhibit in the Davis Art About). I drew small. Very green.


After everyone had gone, I stopped off for a rest in Burgers’n’Brew, and was amazed to discover they had Kwak! My second favourite Belgian beer. After all this time, it’s now in Davis. I have one of those glasses at home, and so it was a nice treat at the end of the day. (Well, even nicer was watching the Giants win in the evening, having already had my beloved Tottenham win in the morning).

Worldwide Sketchcrawl 29

Let’s Draw Davis! Flickr group

the night tel drank the kwak


My entry for Illustration Friday (I haven’t done one in a while), theme: Foggy. Yes, I had all these ideas of San Francisco or Prague or Strasbourg, of buildings half-immersed in grey, but I’ve been drawing so many buildings in grey lately that I wanted a change, and came across an old pic from an interesting evening in Belgium in late 1999.

This is my oldest friend, visiting me when I lived in Charleroi. We went, as always, to my local, La Cuve a Biere (an excellent and warm little place), and I got one of my favourite beers, Kwak (it comes in that funny shaped glass and is pretty strong, and tastes incredible). Tel did too. He liked it so much he downed it and ordered another. The Belgians on our table were surprised (and possibly nervous), for these sort of beers you have to enjoy, not chug down – for a beer like Kwak can be a bitch.

The room went foggy, the walls started spinning, the speaker above us started changing shape – at least that’s what Tel told me at the time. He suddenly got up, went into the bathroom, and pretty much didn’t come out for almost an hour. From what I heard, it was not pretty. When he emerged, we wisely decided not to get another, and walked home in the snow, not even stopping for a kebab. He has not so much as sipped a Kwak since. I can’t say I blame him.

This is faber-castell warm grey pen, with pilot varsity ink as the wash, on bristol paper. Yes, I’m trying something new for a change. I might illustrate other chapters of my life in strip form, if I get around to it.