it’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out

little prague again

I went down to Little Prague again, to carry on the spread I’d started before, with a dark Krusovice, nice beer to sketch with. Again I splattered the page with lots of little spots of paint, and then after drawing everything with the pigma sensei pen, I did a sepia wash. I was glad to get some people in this one. It’s such a sketchable place.

little prague spread

It was the ‘2nd Friday Art About’ earlier in the evening, though I missed many of the exhibits this time. And now it’s the weekend! The weather is cold and bright, which means scarves and sunglasses, a great time of year. Christmas shopping and afternoon sketching in store.

bayern some time

bavarian band at little prague, davis

I had to draw this Bavarian band that has been playing occasionally at Little Prague in Davis during this past month or so for Oktoberfest  – I finally went there to sketch them. They played interesting German-style music, sometimes donning a sombrero to add some Mexican into it. I sketched alongside fellow Davis sketcher Steve, and after the band finished our photos were taken by the singer’s wife with our sketches and the band.

The band wasn’t called ‘Bayern’ by the way, I just felt the need to write that up there. I like Bavaria – my wife and I spent a couple of weeks there back in 2005, partly in Munich, partly driving around the Alpenstrasse, to small towns and lakes, popping into Switzerland (where I spent an afternoon studying the Abrogans, a 1200-year-old manuscript and the oldest thing in German language), and then back into Bayern and up the Romantische Strasse. I loved that each town had its own beer, and we ate only local food (I had the most amazaing roast duck in Schliersee), and castles and timber-framed chalets and the odd hilarious name (there was a mountain called ‘Wank’). And it was truly ‘Bavaria’, not just another part of Germany, it felt like its own country, with that blue and white flag everywhere and the Bavarian dialect everywhere. I wouldn’t mind going back some day.

that is you can’t you know tune in but it’s alright

little prague tonight

I went out last night to my local pub Little Prague (I’ve sketched there once or twice before) with fellow Davis sketcher Steve Wright, to draw a German band who were playing (I’ll scan that in later) and do some more bar drawing. I decided to do some more paint-splattering on the paper first, since that effect would look good on a theme such as this. I splattered fairly subtle tones, and this made it feel like I was drawing on craft paper rather than in the moleskine, which was a nice feeling. Steve drew into his regular moleskine, and produced some amazing work using both micron pen and watercolours, both of which I had never been able to use in the regular moley – but he made it work really well! Pleasure to sketch with him. I stuck to a sepia wash, still trying to draw bottles (I seem to have some problem with sketching bottles, hence my recent practising). This is a particularly interesting bar area to sketch though, and the bar staff were very friendly and checked up on our sketching progress from time to time.

That beer in the foreground is a Krusovice dark, a very nice beer. You can spot me in the background there.

czech please

little prague, october 2010

After the 2nd Friday Art About and the talk at the bookshop, I went off to possibly my favourite pub in Davis, Little Prague, for a beer and to sketch that German band I didn’t sketch a couple of weeks ago (I am little prague beer-pumpattempting to sketch musicians these days). They however were just finishing up, but told me to come back in a couple of weeks, and asked that I make them look slimmer when I draw them. Fair enough! So I got a beer and settled down to watch the baseball, which was amazingly still going. I like the San Francisco Giants (thanks to my wife and especially my brother-in-law) and they are currently in the play-offs against the Braves.

As soon as I got my first beer, the Braves got a game-winning home run. Bugger. So, out came the sketchbook. The music that replaced the German oompah band was not so good, just some dance music for them what like to dance. I sketched the beer pumps and the lamp, and then turned my attention to the opposite direction and drew the very busy bar. I’ve sketched in here many times. I like drawing in bars, because you can really capture an atmosphere, and you can have a beer and some conversation with locals while you’re at it. It had been an evening full of mixing with Davis locals in the Art About so it was nice to sit and relax at the end of a busy week, with another week to go until the Davis Sketchcrawl

czech out

little prague

I cycled downtown last night, while the air was cool, and looked for the latest World Soccer magazine (not to be found), looked through countless books written for year-and-a-half-year-olds (didn’t end up getting one; I’ll let the one-and-a-half-year-old choose for himself, he knows best), and stopped off for a beer in the Czech-style pub, Little Prague, always an excuse of course to do a drawing. Bar-sketching is tricky for me, as there are always a lot of bottles, plus the light is never that great, and my eyesight isn’t either (I think I need a new prescription on my glasses). But this pub has lots of interesting things to draw, at least. Up there, Fox 40 News, the mouthpiece of the dreaded Murdoch (but even so they were kind enough to show one of my drawings on TV a couple of months back).  I noticed that they had the closed captioning on, and that it was lagging a little behind, so they would talk about one story, eg Steven Tyler falling off stage, while the pictures would show an elderly woman and a shop fire; I did wonder at first, Tyler has really let himself go. I focused on the details. The pub’s music wasn’t very good. A couple were dancing.  There was a Russian wrestler sat to my left who complimented me on my drawing.

Ten years ago this month, my friend Tel and I took a trip to Prague, Big Prague, spending almost two weeks there. Oh, there are stories alright, memories, it was a fun trip but so long ago now. I’m less hectic now. I’d love to go back to Big Prague, but I imagine the beer is more expensive there now. In Little Prague, I drank Krusovice. It’s a nice beer. I’m pleased with how this turned out. It’s the height of summer, and it’s pretty cool.