Having spent six months sketching almost daily on a train, I’d grown fluent in how to spot, compose, and detail a subject. Picking the right seat, selecting people who were bound to move as little as possible, and finding unique details (hair, pose, hands, clothing) to focus onto and render were all critical factors in creating a good character study.
Sketching in a café is a new area for me, and I’ve been learning a few things. The choice of seating is more dynamic and unpredictable. People move around much more, and are usually seated, so most times they’re partially obscured by tables, chairs, and laptops. In particular, beverages and laptops are defining details, unlike on a train, where iPhones, newspapers, and bags were the main accessories to a subject.
Here are two pages of drawings from a local café: