This past weekend my wife Gail and I had a very enjoyable Friday night and Saturday visiting Madison, Wisconsin, home to the University of Wisconsin. Gail had meetings to attend for work on Saturday, (nice of her to bring me along eh?) which meant I was free that morning to find some interesting Madison cafés.
I walked several blocks form the Hotel, on the directions of the concierge, to Dunn Bros Coffee, and was pleased to see they had free WiFi and fair trade coffee. However, the shop didn't open until 10am! What kind of coffee shop opens that late?
Fortunately, I had noted several cafe locations on my Madison map just in case. I turned up Lake street and headed to State, where I immediately saw a Starbucks. I really wanted to experience a local cafe though, So I walked up State and found a Steep and Brew, which is (I think) a local chain.
But I kept going as I knew of one more place on State that seemed like a local place, called Espresso something or another. Well, I found it, but it too was closed, even though the sign said it should have been open.
I made the decision to head back to Starbucks, where I knew could get net access and reasonably decent coffee. Before firing up the laptop, I pulled out my trusty Moleskine Sketchbook for a relaxing sketch, which you see above (click for a larger view):
The sketch started as a pencil scribble and then expanded as I moved to the Uniball Signo 207 gel pen. I intentionally keep my strokes loose at first, to try and capture the mood of the view I had from my Starbucks table.
Since the sketch might be a little unclear due to looseness, here's a brief description of the scene: I was seated at a table facing the window onto State Street, across from a Walgreens and other shops. The dark figure on the lower right is an older gent enjoying a coffee, and just outside of the window are bicycles on bike racks. You may also notice trees outside, and a woman walking down the opposite side of the street.
I was unsure how things would go when I began, but am now quite pleased with this sketch. It's a little unusual for my Moleksine style, in that it began so loosely. Generally my Moleskine pen sketches are quite tight and measured — with this sketch I tried to remain loose.
I hope you enjoy viewing the sketch as much as I did making it!