Just finished wrestling with a painting commission for a wonderful family who lived locally for two years and wanted to remember the intense blue skies of California and the local flavor of Elmwood, when back in Europe. The Elmwood Café, which anchors a busy corner of College Avenue, was chosen as the perfect subject for their painting. The café was renovated recently, and has quickly become a wonderful gathering place, with great coffee and fantastic pastries. Originally Ozzie’s Soda Fountain, the premises have always been a notable Berkeley hangout, where the proprietor ‘Ozzie’ Osborne cultivated a sense of community and belonging. The current establishment follows an unusual business model, by investing 50% of its profits into charitable projects, and customers can become more involved by voting for their favorites.
The watercolor sketch was fun to do because the café is so busy and lively but I had to work on two separate versions of the final oil painting before we were all happy with the results.
At only 6 x 12 inches, the watercolor is still sitting in my sketchbook, and is much smaller than the two full size oil paintings (both 24 x 30 inches).