Monday, 19 November 2012

Sketching in San Jose - California

This first sketch was done at Heathrow Airport (London), while I was waiting for my flight to San Francisco.

I had little time for myself in San Jose, but I managed to walk around on the last day of my trip. The weather was mild and the sky blue; ideal for a walk in down town San Jose.

First, I stopped at Bijan to have some breakfast. The dark wood and brass fixtures reminded me of an old Brasserie in Paris.

While I was sipping a capuccino and eating a pastry (I though I asked for a pain au chocolat, but it was a savoury with ham and cheese), I took my sketching kit out.

My Sennelier Watercolour travel box and brushes

From top to bottom: Pentel water brush (ideal to add washes to a sketch and the water reservoir is small enough to go through airport security) - Pentel ink brushes in metallic blue and brown.

After that, I headed toward Japan Town. I passed the San Jose Museum of Art.

Next to it was the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph.

After a good walk, I arrived at日本町 (read “Nihonmachi”, which means Japan Town).

I was a little early and shops I wanted to go to were still closed. I stopped at Roy’s Station Coffee and Teas on 197 Jackson Street. It’s great to see a coffee shop without a big corporate logo around its neck. The building looked strange until I realised it was a converted gas and service station – hence the name.

A magpie coloured police car (they make great painting subjects) was parked near to the place. The sun was shinning and the terrace was full, so I went inside. A cop was taking break and a lady was busy on her laptop, taking advantage of the fast broadband connection. Typical day in Silicon Valley.

I loved the big La Marzocco espresso machine, with its curvaceous burgundy lacquered body and shinny chrome bars. I ordered an espresso and a croissant. I was not disappointed: the croissant was tasty and the coffee strong… and served in a real cup, not a cardboard one.

The atmosphere was friendly and I set-up to sketch the barrista at work behind the espresso machine.