Red Rose Cafe

The Story Behind the Urban Sketching

The Red Rose Cafe if situated inside the Miles Historical Village and Museum in the county town of Miles, 3hrs west of Toowoomba. This village has lots of old building, trucks, tractors and machinery and is a Artist’s or photographers dream.

It’s just a fantastic place to sketch with such a wide variety of subjects and has inspiration around every corner.

A few moths ago I got my car serviced in town and had to kill a few hrs so I asked permission to sketch in the Red Rose Cafe, the artwork I’m currently sketching now.

As you can see this is my little setup on one of the tables next to the window and the same setup I use at home.

My brushes are in a wrap that my mother made for me a few years ago, my pride and joy. My Winsor and Newton professional watercolours are in a black box and a few in the pallet.

My paper is taped down on a cutting board and I use my photos on an iPad as a reference to work from. When I purchased a years membership to the Miles Historical Village I received a free stubby holder, which was a perfect fit for my water jar. I also have my Tombo brush pens and fine liners in the little bag next to my brushes. The only thing I forgot was my lunch and a drink, rookie mistake.

Inside Red Rose Cafe

My Sketching and Painting Process

The first stage of the sketching process is the pencil outline.

I normally try to get the overall shape of the building without too much detail, sometimes this is hard to hold back if you see interesting shapes and patterns in your subject.


Next I use the pen with a little more control and try and simply the artwork with clear outlines.


Now the fun part, adding watercolour washes, this stage gives your artwork some life and looks more realistic.

You can really play with the colours and let them run into each other. A good splash of paint works wonders for pavers, roads and stones.

Normally I’m quite free with the watercolour but for the lettering I have to use more control.


Now to add a little bit of tone with the set of grey Tombo brush pens. The dark greys really push colours back and gives your artwork some depth.

I use mid to light greys to fill in some of the pavers and create some interesting patterns and troughs in the corrugate roof.


The final stage is the fine liners the ink pens, this allows you to add all the detail in your artwork.

Depending what your subject is, this stage can take up to 50% of your time once you draw all the details in.


This is the final scanned image as you can see it doesn’t show as much contrast as the iPhone image and is more true to the original artwork.

I also made a slight change to the floor mat and lifted some of the black to make it lighter.


Standing next to my collection of greeting cards.

The Red Rose Cafe is one of twelve greeting cards that I have designed for the Miles Historical Village and Museum and are for sale in the foyer.

Next to the toilet rolls!


Watercolour Paint, Ink & Paper

I use Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour on Arches Watercolour Paper, 300g Hot Pressed or Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Paper 300g Hot Pressed.

Tombo Brush Pens N15, N45, N55, N60, N65, N95 and Faber Castell Fine-liners 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7

My painting come from my own experiences that I have photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

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