Embracing the Bohemian Spirit: Painting a Plein Air Cafe Scene in Fitzroy’s Brunswick Street

Fitzroy, with its bohemian charm and vibrant art scene, provides an endless source of inspiration for artists. As I wandered through the bustling streets, I stumbled upon a captivating street corner on Brunswick Street. Here, an ornate lamp post stood as a silent observer, casting its warm glow over the scene below. The rhythmic hum of conversation and the clinking of glasses merged with the energy of the street, creating an atmosphere that begged to be painted.

Setting Up the Scene

Finding the perfect spot, I positioned my easel to capture the essence of the street corner. With quick pencil strokes, I sketched the architectural details, paying close attention to the ornate lamp post that added a touch of elegance to the scene. I composed the arrangement of tables and chairs, ensuring they interacted harmoniously with the surrounding buildings, and made note of the patterns of light and shadow that danced across the cobblestones.

Layering Colors with Watercolor

Watercolor, with its transparent nature and ability to capture the subtle nuances of light, is the perfect medium to bring this lively scene to life. Beginning with a light wash, I delicately layered hues of blues and purples to recreate the sky’s soft, dreamlike quality. Progressing to the buildings, I built up layers of color, gradually revealing the character and charm of the architecture. The intricate details of doorways, windows, and wrought-iron balconies were brought to life with careful brushwork and a keen eye for light and shadow.

The Enchanting Lamp Post

The ornate lamp post became a focal point, exuding a sense of nostalgia and adding a touch of magic to the composition. Using a combination of warm yellows, oranges, and hints of sepia, I carefully painted the intricate details and subtle patina that told stories of years past. The interplay of light and shadow on the lamp post’s ornate design created a captivating play of textures and added depth to the scene.

Breathing Life into the Painting

To truly capture the vibrant energy of the street corner, I turned my attention to the people dining outside. With loose and expressive brushwork, I painted figures engaged in conversation, raising glasses in celebration, or simply taking in the lively atmosphere. These tiny details infused the painting with movement and brought a sense of liveliness to the scene, inviting viewers to imagine themselves among the diners.


Painting the watercolor plein air cafe scene on the street corner of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, has been a captivating experience. It allowed me to embrace the bohemian spirit and capture the unique energy of this vibrant neighborhood. As I completed the final brushstrokes, I felt a sense of satisfaction in bringing to life a moment that reflects the essence of Fitzroy’s artistic and lively culture.

I hope this blog post has transported you to the enchanting streets of Fitzroy and allowed you to experience the joy of plein air painting. Stay tuned for more artistic adventures and reflections as we continue to explore the world through the eyes of art. Until then, keep seeking inspiration, embracing the beauty that surrounds us, and allowing your creativity to flourish!

Wishing you endless inspiration,