urban sketches

The Neighborhood Kopitiam

6:05 PMRene

I didn't plan on visiting the neighborhood kopitiam just around the next block from where we live. Normally, it's only during weekends that I get to do this. But today was different. I took a leave from work. My daughter developed a high fever yesterday night and the poliklinik doctor saw her slightly inflamed tonsils. Poor little girl. Today, with her taking medications, the fever somewhat subsided but I knew I had to stay home just in case anything flares up.

She woke up hungry and asked for breakfast. A hot roti canai immediately came into mind. It's her favorite. I only hoped that the order list at the kopitiam wasn't that long. Last time I remembered, I waited for almost an hour for a measly 3-piece roti canai takeaway.

There were a number of cars already when I got there so I knew the wait time will be enough for me to at least pencil in a sketch. Midway through, I thought that it'd be good to put some color in later. I haven't done so on a Moleskine but I read it was tough to get the watercolors in. As a backup medium, I brought out my Caran D'Arche water soluble pencils.

Prepping Up!

Kopitiam in Pencils

The Sketch and The Kit
Indeed, it wasn't that easy to apply watercolors on a Moleskine Sketchbook. That is why Modo & Modo came out with the "for watercolors" version. I switched back and forth between a brush and the pencils but in some instances, one would be good over the other and vice versa. Well, I ended up using both!

What I noticed is, the Moleskine's paper have a shine and some sort of thin waxy surface. When I use the water soluble pencils first and wet the colors with water, somehow, the waxy surface wears off. Now when I apply watercolors with a brush, the paper now takes them a bit better. Still not ideal. Just a bit better.

The Neighborhood KopitiamThe Neighborhood Kopitiam. My Roti Canai and Kopi-O(traditional black coffee) in the foreground.

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  1. Really nice. I like how this is a cafe drawing - only the cafe happens to be in Asia!

  2. Thanks Rain! Glad to give you a glimpse of cafes this side of the world. ;-)


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