Mildred’s Coffeehouse

Mildred's Coffeehouse

Today I’m taking you to Mildred’s Coffeehouse with this little doodlewash done in my little Moleskine! It’s a popular coffee place in the Kansas City Crossroads district. And yes, it’s actually that bright and orange! I love this place, and it’s very close to work and home so it’s a great place to meet for a spot of coffee.

For this doodlewash I used my new palette of M. Graham paints! I bought the deluxe set of 10. Turns out I had some credit card points sitting there, and what better way to spend them than on art supplies (okay, they were meant for plane tickets, but since we’re not going anywhere lately, I put them to good use!). And I love these paints!!

M. Graham paints are less expensive than other professional watercolors, but have a ton more pigment in them. This means you can get everything from solid saturated colors to light washes, all while using much less paint. So in the end, they’re actually one of the best and the least expensive professional watercolors you can buy!

And even better, they use honey as their primary binding medium which means the paints don’t harden as quickly in or out of the tubes. Since I’m standing by my little paint tin that’s not airtight like the larger ones, this is fantastic for me! And the colors are both rich and smooth and frankly a sheer joy to use!

Am I gushing?! Yes! I feel like I’ve found the paint I’ve been dreaming of and that’s not an overstatement. Plus they’re committed to green manufacturing with 100% solvent-free paint, they use renewable energy, and they have a third of the product waste of the industry average. In my book, that all adds up to, yes please!! Ok…sorry for the commercial…I’m not being paid for this…but they are so cool!!

Where was I? Oh yes! Mildred’s Coffeehouse…apparently I had too much caffeine! They are family-owned and were established in 1994. I should note also that they serve wonderful baked goods, breakfast and sandwiches. And I love them too, so they seemed like a good candidate to break in my new paint.

I love this area of the city, and it keeps growing and changing each month with new businesses popping up all over the place. But I’ll leave you now, as my coffee buzz is wearing off and well… I really need to doodlewash something with this new paint!

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
51 Comments
  1. I just love the tour you’re giving us 🙂 One note of caution with the M. Graham paints – apparently if you use them outside, the honey in them attracts bees!

    • Author

      Lol…thanks for the tip…I thought it was just my charming personality!! Been very attractive to bees lately with or without paint. I don’t like painting outdoors in summer much as I’m a wimp when it comes to heat, so I should be safe come Fall. 😉👍🏻

  2. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    What delicious looking paints. Good word of warning from Lindsay. 🐝 😎
    Mildred’s looks like a delightful hangout. I hope that you shared your colorful doodlewash to your friends at Mildred’s, you did them proud!

    • Author

      The honey-based thing is also very French and my French guy in the house definitely approves. 😉 And I think I let Mildred’s know! Hehe…I tagged them…or someone that sounded like them. Whoever they were I hope they like it!!

  3. Kari 2 years ago

    I love coffee! And one of the first things so do when I visit a city is to find a locally owned coffee shops! You are fabulous at drawing buildings. I’m finding it difficult to get the perspective right. Gorgeous color!

    • Author

      Thanks Kari!! ❤️😃 I love these colors!! I think I’ve just drawn more buildings than anything because I like architecture so I’m getting better at them. Guess I should do more portraits like that before I give up. Lol

      • Kari 2 years ago

        You got me drawing a portrait.. I drew my daughter from the photo I posted on IG.. She has not given me permission to post that yet.. Lol.. 😁

      • Author

        Awesome!! Yay!! On the portrait drawing!! That’s great Kari! Boo on the waiting for permission…lol… I want to see it!! 😉

  4. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    Looks and sounds like a great little place! The new paints have really nice hues; I’ll have to give them a try when I finish all the tubes I have. How do you keep your Moleskine pages from buckling with the watercolors applied to it?

    • Author

      There’s only a slight bit of buckle, but I’m not using a lot of water on it (skies are wet in wet and can be a little tough). I only use the Art Plus Watercolor Albums too because people said the regular Moleskines don’t take water well and buckle a lot. I don’t know as I just skipped them and took them at their word! Lol But this one I have works really great for me!

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        Ah! I didn’t even know there were the Art Plus Watercolor Albums. I have a regular Moleskine and even with just using ink, it buckles. :} Thanks for enlightening me!

      • Author

        Hehe…yay! I did one thing right today! Lol Yes…get the Art Plus Watercolor only and you’ll love the difference!

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        I’m sure you do lots of right things daily! 🙂 Can’t wait to try one of those!

  5. Jodi 2 years ago

    Oh Charlie – Love the painting! Love M Graham paints also – have 10 tubes so far :), love the tour you are giving us – and Love You! 🙂

    • Author

      You just like to make me blush, Jodi!! 😊😊 Is this because I’ve got everyone calling you an artist now? 😉 love ya back! And yay to M Graham! I don’t know why exactly, but I just connected with them instantly! Was going to give my other tubes to Philippe but now he wants M Graham too. I guess I’ll share 😉

  6. Jessica 2 years ago

    Charlie, I was just painting with M Graham in my Stillman & Brin journal and then read your post :). I like these paints very much too- instant rewet! I keep the pans I’ve filled in a bamboo box. Love your painting. How long did it take you? I have an online urban sketching class that I’m taking soon. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Author

      Thanks Jessica!! My sketches this size lately all take around 15-20 minutes or so. I’m also taking an online class on Craftsy when I can and want to sketch a bit faster still. (Faster single line drawings are one goal!) To complete the doodlewash, it’s another 15-20. I’ve been busier and busier lately with work, so trying to get to where I can do something on a lunch break and still have time to eat! Lol

      • Jessica 2 years ago

        We might be taking the same class 😀, I’m doing that one on Craftsy too. Great minds….

  7. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Fantastic Doodlewash Charlie! And great info on M Graham watercolors. I have several tubes of Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith. I have taken lots of WC classes and purchased what the teacher recommended. Happy to know they are 100% solvent free paint! A toast of (coffee) joe to you! 🎨💜☕️

    • Author

      Thanks Jill! Glad you liked it! And I would definitely recommend buying a tube and trying it. The colors are so rich and smooth. Thanks for the coffee too! Hehe 💜👍🏻☕️

  8. ann christina 2 years ago

    Love this post! Reading this made me smile! I´d love to sit in this coffeehouse in KC now… And what a beautiful doodlewash!!! Great colors and perspective!!! 😊👍

    • Author

      Thanks so much Ann!! You should come do it! I’ll buy you a coffee! 😉☕️😃

      • ann christina 2 years ago

        If I had wings… 😉 But you can paint me a coffee! 😊☕️

      • Author

        I might just do that! I’ve never doodlewashed coffee before…too busy drinking it 😊☕️ And by the way…when do I get to feature you on my blog? 😉

      • ann christina 2 years ago

        Oh, thank you for asking… *blushing* 😉 I don´t know – how does it work? If you find something you like, you can use it… Or should I doodlewash something special for the occasion? Thank you again for asking, that´s really kind! Looking forward to my coffee! 😊☕️ Want some cake in exchange? 🍰

      • Author

        Hehe…just send me a note via my Let’s Connect link at doodlewash.com and I can send you the details!! Special doodlewashes are always welcome!!! Yay!

      • ann christina 2 years ago

        Okay! Thanks, Charlie! 😊

  9. amaryllislog 2 years ago

    I love the orange hue building against that brilliant blue sky, it just sings! M Graham…something new to try, oh boy. Thank you for that insight. Who doesn’t need a little more honey in their life!

    • Author

      Exactly how I felt! Hehe…at least that was my excuse for buying tubes before I drained my other ones. 😊😊 So happy you like it Cathe!! Thank you!!

  10. M Graham paints ARE the bomb! I’m SO glad you are now a convert! I hope my sales pitch helped! Love this painting, particularly the perspective on the slope. Really admire your work with all subjects, and particularly buildings, which is where I’m weakest (well, one of my many weak areas lol!) Thanks again for a wonderful post, Charlie, and it makes my morning to hear you singing the praises of M. Graham paint!

  11. Jacob 2 years ago

    So vivid and inviting! You can’t go far wrong with blues and oranges. It’s rather like my parents’ house, the front of which they recently painted ora… I mean terracotta. 😉 (It’s definitely orange.)

    • Author

      Haha!! Thanks, friend!! I bet their house is orange…and unforgettable. Love that they’ll always swear the paint swatch said terra cotta though. 😉

  12. Sand Salt Moon 2 years ago

    I just love your style of writing and doodlewashing, Charlie. You’re so cute – the points were for plane tickets, and yes – art supplies are worth the points, too! A reward in and of themselves, with all that great color – for that bright orange building. Glad you enjoyed the coffee and had a good doodlewash time.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Cynthia!! ❤️You’re so sweet!! Come to KC so I can buy you a coffee and we’ll sketch together!! 😃👍🏻

      • Sand Salt Moon 2 years ago

        You got it! Or if you come to FLA – that’s where I’ll be come Nov. from then on. I’ll buy you an orange juice. lol

      • Author

        Lol…hmmm…does the orange juice come with coffee?

  13. mariarigou 2 years ago

    Oh wow, this looks great! I’m always looking for more *affordable* materials. Art is an expensive hobby! Also, I love that they are committed to green production; such a nice plus!

    • Author

      Thanks, friend!! And these are definitely paints to try! They’re awesome! They have a 5 tube starter set that’s super adorable on Amazon (I just got excited and went for the big one 😊)

  14. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Lovely sketch of a great looking place, love coffee hang outs. So glad you are enjoying the M. Graham paints, they really are amazing and wonderful to use. The tour of your beloved city is so enjoyable, and your obvious delight in sharing makes it that much more sweeter. Peace.

  15. […] My boss took me to lunch here on my first day and I had an incredible carrot soup. I should note that Philippe is also amazing at making soups and his are still better, but this one was super delicious. The Webster House is a very iconic looking building in the Kansas City Crossroads. My new office is just a block north of Mildred’s Coffeehouse when I posted yesterday. […]

  16. […] I should also post Philippe’s (@Phinomet) version of Mildred’s Coffeehouse (mine was a couple days back) so you could see it from another angle and style! And even better, you get a closer view of the […]

  17. Jessica 2 years ago

    Thought I’d pass this along because it made me love and appreciate M. Graham paints even more. I recently emailed the company inquiring about their gouache and I received a reply from Diane describing their operation- “Our whole operation is 9 folks and a part time stray cat in a 3000 sq. foot cinderblock building surrounded by hops fields in rural Oregon.” She also sent me a photo of their warehouse. Maybe that can be my first urban sketch!

    • Author

      That’s so awesome! I know Diane has commented on my blog once before. They seem super nice and responsive and what’s not to love about small operation?! Hehe Love that the stray cat only works part time. You should sketch there warehouse and doodlewash with M. Graham paint! 😃👍🏻 Of course to count as an Urban Sketch it would have to be done on location (they have rules…hehe… doodlewash doesn’t! 😊) and if you do go, you have to take me with you! Okay, that’s nobody’s rule actually, it just sounds super fun!

      • Jessica 2 years ago

        Doodlewash rules, with no on locale rules 😉 I appreciate you letting me know on the urban sketch- which makes sense for it to be urban- one has to be out in the urban too.

      • Author

        Hehe… It’s just with the urban sketcher pros told me! (Their whole thing is direction observation from life…which of course is cool…sometimes!) But you inspired me to mention it in today’s post. Rules can be silly. Doodlewash has a “drop of water” as the price of entry! Lol Anyone can do it… any way they like!!

    • Jessica, I was wondering if you went ahead and bought their gouache, and if so, what you think of it? Does it stay semi-moist the same way their watercolours do? I like to keep my gouache in an airtight watercolour palette, but even then it doesn’t stay moist for more than a week or so. Thanks!

      • Jessica 2 years ago

        Hi Lindsay, I haven’t gotten any yet. This is what she told me “it does not reconstitute like the watercolor. We use the same pigment is both watercolor and gouache but the gouache lays on top of the paper in more of a layer. However, we do not use whites or chalks to get the opacity so you can dilute our gouache all the way down to a wash without the chalkiness.” I have one tube of Brilliant Gold Holbein gouache that I use. I reconstitute it, but I have to work at it.

  18. Thanks Jessica – I’ve ordered some tubes and will no doubt review them on my blog if you’re interested to know what I think of them 🙂

  19. […] to see Philippe’s Second Look. Sketching the same thing together was so fun the last time (here and here) we figured we try it […]

  20. […] to your right, across the street, is Mildred’s which was our first attempt at this (here and here). For each of these, I stuck with my tiny Art Plus Moleskine and Philippe painted much […]

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