I don’t know if you can see it well enough in this photo. As I was working on these separate pieces of sketch paper I was putting the others in my bag loosely and the charcoal and chalk was rubbing off inside the bag. No big deal, these are only sketches that I’ll never frame. They got messed up with sweaty fingerprints too. This is 4 pieces of sketch paper each 11″ x 14″ with a 4″ piece of a gray paper added to either side because I need 64″ across for my panorama but I ran out of the tan paper.
The watercolor papers are 15″ x 22.5″ so if I deduct a few inches from 3 x 22.5″ because I’ll staple them to boards, then when it’s all finished I’ll have to trim off the staple holes, I’m figuring roughly 64″. I’ll transfer this to the watercolor paper tomorrow and I might have to redraw at the beach a little before I start painting, but the hardest part of the planning stage is under control now.
I made some notes of colors I think I’ll need. And I want to do a couple practices for that little triangle of ocean showing between the dunes on the left. The ocean looks gray and it has sparkles. It’s far away but still sparkly.
The chance of rain goes up over the next few days. I’m hoping for a blue sky with light clouds. That will be the first step in the painting. If the weather cooperates, it might not take long to paint my 3 pieces of the triptych, or it could take weeks.
That’s the ocean in the background.
I bought two big sheets of watercolor paper for my dunes now that I have a few sketches I can use. I’m planning a triptych. I want to show more sky in the watercolors than is showing in my sketches and it would be great if I could make the three paintings of the triptych look connected. The watercolor paper is larger than my sketchbook so I’ll be able to extend my sketches on both sides a little.
I’ll have to haul my watercolors supplies down a path but not real far, I/4 mile or so, I guess. I can use my beach cart. I’m not sure if I can take all three pieces out with the paper stretched on boards, or if it would be better to work on one at the beach and the other two at home. The three watercolors will be a big job for me. I’m not sure how to paint that little bit of ocean and I’ll have to decide how to do the sky.
The bugs were after me this morning. Now I’ll have to start taking bug spray along too.
This plan seems like a lot of work but I think it will be worth it. Just hanging around there is worth the drive.
The earlier I can get to Back Bay the better when it’s hot. Today I got to my overlook around 8:30 and it was great! Not many people were there either.
I could get at least two more sketches from this one spot. It’s pretty 360* around and a place where I can see a little ocean between dunes. I could do a series of dune paintings in a row to give the panoramic feel of it.
Walking on the beach is nice exercise after sketching. The dunes get my heart rate up for a few minutes. The waves were small again this morning. In another week or so the tides will be all different from this week and I might be able to do some wave studies.
There’s not much shade down there but I found some and sat in it to sketch. It was uncomfortable but better than standing in the sun. By the time I got to my overlook at 10 this morning I already had enough sun.
Yesterday was cloudy and cool. Then, on my way home at 11:30 today I passed a long line of cars waiting to get into the public parking lot at Sandbridge. If I had to wait in that line I’d just turn around and go somewhere else.
The past two times I walked on the beach at Back Bay the waves were small. That’s why I’m getting into the dunes even though I really need the practice drawing and painting waves.
I’d also like to sketch more at Pleasure House Point, so depending on the weather I might go back over there. It’s closer than Back Bay. I need to check the tide charts again.
I’ll try to get out earlier so it’s not so hot and I can sketch the better views in the better light.
This is weird, I went back to the old wordpress editor for this post because I couldn’t find the place to click to add media on the new one. I had a post made up but somehow I lost it and couldn’t get it back. This makes my 3rd try here.
I’m going to do a few sketches at Back Bay and get some sand dunes then decide which one to do a watercolor from.
This will be a short post because I’ve already worked on it too long.
charcoal and chalk
There are so many nice places to get off the main trail and sketch. The fishermen have beaten little paths all around. If you’re concerned about social distancing you can step back easily when a group of people walk past you.
I enjoyed being there so much this morning. It was sunny and windy. I had to take my hat off because I was afraid I’d lose it.
When I left there today I decided to run by Jerry’s Artarama and see if I could buy a piece of watercolor paper. The store is open but you can’t go in. People are calling in their orders or ordering online, then you can pick it up at the door or they will deliver it to you. So, I didn’t have to wait very long and the sales lady brought the paper out to me.
Modern problems require modern solutions, right?
I’d like to try to paint this scene in watercolor as my next project.
I like this one more than my sketch from yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be nice again then a couple days of rainy weather. I could find another view and do another sketch before I make up my mind which view to paint.
I hope they open VA up real soon because I thought I had a big piece of watercolor paper and all I have is smaller sketchbooks. I guess I could order the paper from somewhere but I’d rather go to the store and buy it.
Meanwhile, I could prime a canvas, maybe do it in oil paint. Which medium to use… often the first decision to make out of hundreds when planning a painting. I really need the watercolor practice.
Today I broke one of my own rules. I stepped into the tall grass to sketch. I didn’t spray with Deet first either.So far I don’t feel bug bit so maybe I got away with it today.
That guy standing out there in the sedge made me think nothing would bite me. He might be wearing waders. I couldn’t tell. I just scribbled him in before he moved.
If I paint this scene I’ll have to look at the tide tables so I can catch it at low tide so the oysters won’t be under water.
It was nice to get over there today. I smelled honeysuckle, my favorite scent since I was a kid and the honeysuckle bloomed when school let out for the summer.
A lot of people were there but I found a spot off the trail to sketch. I saw a lot of birds, egret, osprey, some kind of small heron type bird, possibly a sand piper.
This was easy to sketch. I’ll stretch a piece of watercolor paper and go back tomorrow. The weather is going to be nice again.
The little black dots in the water are oysters. mmmmm, fried oysters. You can’t take these, they’re protected.
I sewed a lot of masks for the cable guy to distribute. He sent me an email to say thanks. Whatever he does with them, I don’t care. It’s too many for one guy to need, he’ll probably give them away. I didn’t tell him it’s a bad idea to sell them. I hope he doesn’t, but it’s really out of my hands.
A few days at the sewing machine made my back tired. I’m glad I have the opportunity to help the community in the corona crisis. I might sew more, but first I need to get out and try to do an art project.
This is a sketch I can use for a pastel on this nice rough sanded paper. I’ll go over it again later and even up my lines. That’s all freehand, no ruler either, so, it’s still a little rough, but an improvement over my first try.
To me architecture is as hard to draw as the figure.
I’m planning a nocturn. Tonight I’ll mark in the lights with chalk and pastel then make my sky dark. There’s too much light from the city to see stars but the moon was big and bright before sun up the past few days. I’m undecided if I should put the moon in the picture or not.
This is my first rough. I worked on it for a couple hours and stopped. At first I wanted to draw the whole bridge but when I got this far I could see it wasn’t working out. This rough helped me decide to start on the left so I could draw the narrow inlet where boats go through. I had these lines so I transferred this to the bigger better pastel paper and it was easier to draw the second time making corrections as I went.
This is what it looks like to my camera during the daytime with clouds rolling in.
Tomorrow I can get the keys to my new apartment and put some thing in it. Then Sat some moving guys are coming to unload my mini storage and put my stuff in the new place. I don’t know if I’ll finish this pastel nocturn. I’m tempted to stay at this hotel until I do but on the other hand, I want to sew masks for nurses. As soon as I get my sewing machine plugged in I’m going to get with the mask sewers group and sew for the hospital for free. A lady told me Joanne Fabrics is donating the materials to the group. I think it would do me some good to make myself useful in the emergency.
Also, I bought a nice souvenir of my week at the oceanfront, a mermaid statue, on sale. She can hold a small potted plant. So she’s my model when I move away from the beach inland a few miles if the state park is closed and I have to pay to park at the beach.
I’ll miss walking on the beach. (sigh) I won’t be bored though.
This is the view from the window at the end of the hall on the 6th floor in this hotel where I’ve taken up temporary residence. (facing South) It’s charcoal and chalk. I worked on the sketches off and on for 3 days. It was cold and windy so I ducked back into my room to warm up and then went back to it later.
I’d like to paint the scene but I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I might be able to find an apartment this week. The ones I called last week don’t have availability until May. Not that I’d feel bad about staying here a whole month, but this isn’t a residence hotel, I should move on.
I might have time to finish this in pastel. There’s a bridge I want to sketch first. The bridge scene would be great for a nocturn. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try. The lights reflecting on the water at night are real pretty.
This is the same view as seen by my camera. I don’t think the photo does it justice. I’m posting it so you can compare my naked eye perspective to the camera’s perspective. I don’t need a photo that’s half parking lot. Big yawn! haha
I must have stayed at this hotel long ago but forgot this was the one with the view I wanted to capture. I remembered it has a great location when I was faced with the prospect of being locked down. Then when I got here I said to myself, “OH YEAH!”
The bridge is out the room’s window. (facing West) I don’t have to go out at all to draw it.
The boardwalk is open. Guys are out surfing. A lot of people are out getting exercise but traffic is light.