A day in St. Charles, Illinois

Today was a beautiful day and we went to St. Charles, a charming town next to the Fox River. It's been a while since the last time I was here, I came to a Zucchero concert back in 2007 and it was at night! So it seemed like a good idea to explore the town by day. 

Before I head to describe the sketch above, I'll jump to our first stop. We went to the Koi Whisperer Sanctuary and Japanese Garden that seems to be very popular but it's open only on Saturdays. It's the backyard of a private home. I have never fed koi fish in my live. The owner gave us small containers with finely diced fresh fruit, watermelon and cantaloupe. The pond is small but  looks very deep to hold very well fed big fish....many, like two dozens. 

A family was feeding the fish, the platform was quite small so we waited upstairs and I sketched the view with my magic color pencil. 

When they finished we went down to the platform to feed the fish. Feeling the fruit being sucked from your hand was the most weird sensation. It made me laugh. I sketch one of them with watercolor, it seemed the appropriate medium. 
I was so funny and entertaining.
Here the big mouth.
Our next stop was the Pottawatomie Park, there we ate something and I sketched the food stand on a A5 size sketchbook with basic pencil line work and then watercolor. It was difficult to me to define the areas. I realized that for doing this I needed a bigger size and better paper. 
Next we headed to a pub where I went back to the magic pencil to sketch people. 

Minutes later, "Stephan", a costumer, arrived and sat close to us. How do I know his name? I'll explain myself. 

He was smoking a cigar, he asked the waitress her name, it was Lola. He started a conversation with a man from the table next to his, eventually asked him if he smokes and offered him a cigar after the affirmative answer. Later he introduced himself and announced his name, Stephan. I had a sangria, it was delicious, so did he. His next move was to yell across the patio. -Hey Lola! Sangrias for those two! This was a man who knew how to engage people to make himself present, how to own the place. He wasn't drunk or else. It was his personality. There was a aura of self-confidence which was a magnet to me. Either people was comfortable with his behavior or not, he made himself sketch-able and  now he is in my sketchbook.  

It was time to return to home but I needed to sketch a nice scene. The Baker Hotel and the bridge over the Fox River. The sun was utterly on my face and so the glare of the water  but I was determined to make at least a quick one. Next time I'll sketch in the morning when the sun is in my back. 

Good day. Until next time St. Charles.


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