Tempe NSW 2044 Dino’s Diner

October 7, 2012

Day 1. There’s a 1950s-looking diner, much in the style of a drive-in picture theatre eatery, on the Princes Highway, next to The Harp hotel. Not until I sketched it did I realise that it seems to have been recently repainted, with a giant model of a hot dog on the roof, a flagpole and an Australian flag and a set of solar panels on the roof. I’ve always known it as “Dino’s Diner” but it’s now a franchise of Harry’s Cafe de Wheels.

What inspired today’s sketch, with almost no tonal treatment, was the urban sketches of William Sim, Singapore. His work I think tends to be on full A4-sized sheets; mine is a trial in my 5×8″ sketchbook. The ‘pattern’ created by the sketch (to follow the model of Ernest W. Watson) lies in the gabled roof, in stark red and yellow against an otherwise white building. Pattern-wise too there is the long horizontal, the length of the building, of the red curb in front of the parked cars.

I’m hard-pressed to think of any other buildings around Sydney like this one.

Day 2: I returned to define some of the edges in black pen, but took offence at the scratchy mark-making, so abandoned that in favour of watercolour washes on location, losing a lot of the simplicity and directness of the contour in the process. The diner is used from time to time in television advertisements to evoke the past; I’ll be back to sketch it from different angles.

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