One of my favorite places in San Diego is Newbreak Coffee Shop in Ocean Beach. Located along the beach, it's a welcoming environment with incredibly kind baristas and friendly locals. It has a great vibe.
I'll bring my sketchbook and pens, get my large coffee and bagel with pesto cream cheese, and take refuge at a small table drawing. I carry a small stack of 4x6 photos with me to use as reference. I flipped through my photos yesterday and just didn't feel excited by any of them. I looked out the window and found my subject matter... a palm tree, the lifeguard tower, and Newbreak written on the window itself.
I went straight-in with pen for the tree, but wanting to capture the font of the lettering, I opted to first draw the script in pencil and then go in with a pen. I drew guidelines and then carefully crafted the letters, and once satisfied, I went over each letter with pen. I added color using my watercolor pan set and water brush. I felt generally pleased with the result. Not perfect, but I felt like I captured a moment.
Later in the evening I opened my sketchbook to review my work and my lettering. Oh crap.
Out the Window (Pen and watercolor in Moleskine sketchbook, 5 x 8").