Learning to Paint – Dining Alone

I’ve just returned from a couple of days working in Newcastle with some great customers. I stayed overnight on Tuesday which led to me dining alone that evening. Although I went to a very good Italian restaurant (Sabatini’s) and enjoyed good food and good service, I don’t enjoy dining alone. I took water colours and a small pad with me and started to paint.

So what is this picture all about? I guess the tree is me. Alone and stripped bare (this is my mood we’re talking about here – not my state of dress!). Dancing around the tree are vague outlines of creatures, a cross between something woodland and something quite sinister. I don’t think they represent my fellow diners, at least I hope they don’t!


After sketching this I was drawn into a Twitter conversation and my mood improved quickly I’m happy to say. And this is the first time I’ve really felt like my mood has so heavily influenced what I’ve painted.

The main colours in this picture are purples and browns with some bluey grey. For all you colour geeks I used Paynes Grey, Raw Umber and French Ultramarine for the tree, and Windsor Violet for the background (which was mainly applied to wet paper). The colours were drawn from the decor in the restaurant, though I should say they create a much more welcoming atmosphere there than they do in my picture!

6 thoughts on “Learning to Paint – Dining Alone

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  3. joeystepho

    Wow. That’s beautiful.
    I find it admirable that you’re comfortable enough eating alone to get your water colours out and paint. Plus that tree has some strong base/roots/trunk.
    Last time I ate alone I ordered Ramen – then realised I was eating noodle soup with chopsticks (and a ladle thing). Soon had to adopt a ‘don’t care’ mood.

    1. dougshaw Post author

      Thanks for the feedback Jo. I remember this picture standing out, for me and many others it would seem judging by the feedback I’ve had on various channels. Hard to believe I painted it almost two and a half years ago. Truthfully – I find it quite awkward to get my painting stuff out in public, and I think overcoming that is a part of the whole Art For Work’s Sake process. If we remind each other – perhaps we can alight on this subject at the forthcoming session in October?

      Nice noodling by the way – love your attitude 🙂

      Cheers – Doug


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