The art of Paul Madonna

San Francisco-based artist Paul Madonna is the author of “All Over Coffee,” a drawn feature that runs every Sunday in the San Francisco Chronicle. His beautiful drawings of San Francisco’s cityscapes, which he makes on location, sitting on a fold-up stool, were one of the things that inspired me to pitch Seattle Sketcher to my art editors at The Seattle Times in late 2008 — my work in the newsroom at the time focused mainly on infographics and illustration.

Seeing Paul’s work, you’ll understand why I think newspapers should publish more drawings and illustrated journalism. His work is not only artistically stunning, it also brings a wonderful sense of place to the pages of the Chronicle. I bet readers love it.

Paul’s pen and ink compositions aren’t quick or sketchy, but carefully rendered and colored. You won’t see people in the scenes he draws, yet the atmosphere he manages to create has a life of its own.

A couple of years ago, I had a brief conversation with Paul for this article about illustrators as storytellers. He told me that “All Over Coffee” grew out of hours sketching at cafés, that pastime enjoyed by many an urban sketcher.

Paul is also the only sketcher I now who has his own iPad app.