This is the second sketch I did while in Marlow and is another one for the "sketches of restaurants I have eaten in" collection!
The sketch was done while sat in the Alfresco Brasserie of the Compleat Angler, which is a hotel on the banks of the Thames inbetween the suspension bridge and Marlow weir (quite spectacular). It's got a good reputation for its food and had been on my target list of restaurants for far too long! I'd imagine having dinner there on a sunny evening would be delightful - unfortunately on Tuesday it rained very hard on and off all day. So plans to draw outside had to be abandoned and I drew inside instead. And I wasn't 'dressed for dinner' so I decided to give the restaurant a miss and tried the brasserie instead.
This is a free hand and sight-sized sketch done on an Arches HP block while I ate my dinner. This was the scene at the beginning of the evening - it filled up with people over the course of the evening. It's got all sorts of perspective and structural errors and omissions in it - but it's a good record of what it was like on that evening in that light. If I want to work it up I've got photographs I took while it was empty to correct the drawing of the architecture and perspective.
For the record, I had the Feta parcel with fig marmalade and celeriac salad and then Fillet of sea bass with fennel, butternut squash salad and haricot blanc and lemon dressing and finished with a lemon tart with creme fraiche ice cream - well it took a long time to do! The fact I enjoy good food is neither here not there!
Many people are afraid of sketching and drawing away from their normal environment, particularly if drawing from life in a public place where people are part of the subject. In my experience people are always completely fascinated by what you're doing and always want to know if they're in the picture! I always tend to draw people so that they are clearly a person but wouldn't be recognised. Judging by their comments, the people at the next table were both intrigued and impressed by my sketching but one of them did 'complain' as they were leaving - because he wasn't in the picture! The other thing that happens is that the waiters always want to see if they're in it or not and I invariably get better service when drawing in restaurants! In this instance the waiters were very impressed and even wanted to show it to their colleagues in the kitchen - so off it went into the kitchen as I packed up.
I'd just like to thank the staff of the Compleat Angler for allowing me to sketch there - and for a very fine dinner!
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