Coffee Shop Sketches to wrap up the year

‘Tis the season for drawing in coffee shops. Because I’m a cold wimp. So come 60-ish degree weather (yes that’s cold) I’m headed indoors.

Drawing in coffee shops is a great way to start at people drawing, if you find people-drawing intimidating…For one, they’re sitting down, not moving a lot, and you’re basically just drawing torsos, not full-length figures. Grab a corner seat. A small book, and the simplest of tools.

Sometimes I’ll draw the action at the counter.

But mostly I’ll settle for simpler stuff, often sketches that don’t get finished because people get up and leave…

If you find multi-people scenes intimidating, pick one person.

Still intimidating? You can draw someone not facing you, perhaps?

Your tools can be super-simple and not every little vignette you attempt needs to work out…
Sometimes I’ll work in black and white, other times in color…

All of these people were sitting atleast a couple of tables away from me, which means I couldn’t see too much detail: perfect for simplifying shapes and for leaving out extraneous detail.


You can use this same “quick coffeeshop portrait” style to draw friends too. The nice thing with drawing people you know is it’s not rude to stare at them. Once you make peace with the fact that your friends might not look fabulous in your sketches, it gets easier…

I’ll be teaching the basics of coffeeshop portraits in the one-day workshop I’m teaching with Nina Khashchina and Gay Kraeger in June 2018. It might be a long time from now but the class is filling up quickly.  More details here.

With that, I’m wrapping up the blogging for 2017. Thank you for following along for all these years, for commenting and sharing. Writing about my art, why and how I make it, and sharing what I know has really helped me grow as an artist. I could do all of that in a void, but it makes for a much better experience to have you there to read, share and comment.

Happy New Year. See you in 2018.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Everyday Sketches, How to, people, Portrait, san jose and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Coffee Shop Sketches to wrap up the year

  1. marilynyung says:

    Love this post! Great ideas and tips! Coffee shops are perfect places to capture people living their ordinary lives. Thank you! Happy 2018!


  2. Raman says:

    Happy 2018 to you….May you travel to lands you love and find subjects that bestow you with immense joy of sketching….Best wishes….


  3. Lynn says:

    And the very happiest of the New Year to you and your family – I LOVE your blog – thank you.


  4. miatagrrl says:

    Happy New Year, Suhita! I always enjoy your sketching adventures and the processes you share!

    – Tina


  5. miatagrrl says:

    P.S. 60 degrees and you go indoors? Bwaa-haa-ha!! That’s when we put on shorts! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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