Coffee Shops and Farmers Markets (Part 2 of 2)

After coffee at Hearbeat Cafe (see previous post), I could see that the Cambrian Plaza Farmer’s Market had come to life, and I headed over.

Sometimes I decide what my sketch is about and keep to that first story that caught my eye. Other days, I let the story unfold and capture it as it happens. When you visit the market regularly, you see new stuff arrive every week as spring turns to summer in the Bay Area. I started this sketch with new entrants to the market over the last couple of weeks: english peas and fava beans.

Then I let the sketch grow organically, adding people as they stopped to select produce and stepped into the cool shade of the stand to pay for it. I even recorded this really cool cycle that stopped by for just a bit.

Every market has atleast one vendor who is the life of the market. Saturday markets have Larry of Hummus Heaven. I stood besides him sketching, listening to him chat with his customers and their dogs and speak passionately about his products. So many customers came and asked for their usual and Larry knew just what they wanted. With others, he explained bits of the process, like how he made his sweet labneh. (There’s no added sugar in his sweet labneh. Just a wee bit of vanilla. How does that make it sweet? Well, milk is sweet, but not aromatic, so there’s not enough to cue “sweet” because so much of taste is smell. Add in vanilla and you get an aroma that tells you taste buds they taste sugar!)

It’s no surprise that by the time I was done sketching, I’d picked hummus and some pillowy pita bread to take home with me.

Part 1 of this post is here. You can be sure there will be more from the farmer’s market soon. It’s getting exciting and I cannot wait for stone-fruit season!

If you love the idea of sketching people but find them daunting to draw, you might want to enroll in my 4-week online people sketching workshop starting this Saturday.(last couple of spots left!) Get a taste of sketching quickly using the principles of gesture drawing with this little video clip:

Read more about the workshop and sign up here. Last few spots available.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Education, How to, people, san jose, Silicon Valley, teaching and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Coffee Shops and Farmers Markets (Part 2 of 2)

  1. Nice sketches, you really captured the people well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the feeling of busyness and movement that you capture in your sketches 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mary Maness says:


    Thanks for your blog. I have followed you for years now. I love your signs!!

    I aspire to being more loose. I am still quite straight laced and precise in my sketchbook, but I’m hoping for a little channeling of you Suhita!

    I have watched your video, the one you included again today, several times now. I have a question: what are you using for the white highlights? It is bold and fantastic! I have been using a white gel pen, which is intermittent at best – it doesn’t give a consistent flow of ink. Of course I try to leave paper white, but that’s not always the way it goes ha ha.

    Again, thanks for your ongoing sharing of your work.



    Liked by 2 people

    • I use white gouache straight out of a tube. Pens are finicky and most of them just can’t give you the variable line you can get with a brush anyways . Using gouache also lets me use it super opaque for strong highlights and diluted for subtler ones.

      Looseness is not everyone’s ting, but if it’s something you aspire to , then I feel the stronger your understanding of drawing , the more you are able to make marks loosely.Otherwise, they look like random scribbles.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thomas Richmond says:

    I do appreciate the subject that an artist can relate to a opposed to a reference photo .
    You have a nice fun style that I enjoy looking at .
    Its raining here so that’s what I’ll draw.Me
    looking out the windshield of my car waiting for my wife . Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

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