If I had a bigger paper I could have done more waves. Then I could draw them all the way up to the dry sand.
Some guys were on the pier fishing but all I could see of them from my spot sitting on the sand was the tops of their heads, so, no guys fishing will be in a painting of this unless they’re on the sand.
A few people were catching rays today. It was sunny and warm with a nice breeze from the South. Near perfect weather.
An old couple walked past me barefoot. They beat my record for late season barefoot. I’m not taking my shoes off between Nov. and March.
I saw some pelicans dive into the water and some surfers.
Weird thing happened on the pier. If you’re easily grossed out read no further.
It was cool and windy. Some people were walking on the beach so I zipped my windbreaker up to my chin and decided to try to sketch. The wind was coming from the North. I was doing ok with the sketch, resting my sketchbook on the railing, then suddenly a drop of water flew onto my paper and I wondered where did that come from. Then I realized the cold wind was making my nose run and snot actually flew out of my nose without me knowing! So I just left it there. hahaha. Did you think I was a high class dame? I don’t even care about the snot. It dried up on my way home.
This story is to let you know how gross plein air drawing and painting can be. All year long sand, leaves and dirt get in my paintings. In the summer bug spray and sweat get in my drawings. And there’s snot in the winter, evidently.
The weather hasn’t been great for your plein air artist. I’d really like to go back to the swamp and finish my big painting. I only need about 2 more hours to do it but the sun hasn’t been out much this week. Sometimes I get up early and it’s sunny so I check the weather channel and it says it’ll be cloudy at 10. So, forget about it. I don’t want to lug my stuff out there and only have an hour of sun. I need the sun shining on the Spanish moss to get the right shades of gray mixed. Then sometimes it’s cloudy in the morning and clears up in the afternoon but that’s too late. Sometimes it’s cloudy and rainy all day. I guess the rain won’t hurt because it was getting too dry around here. Today is cloudy and cool but I wanted to get out and scout another view. This weekend it’s going to be cloudy and rainy. My next chance looks like Mon.
I was happy to see the parking meters wrapped up for the winter because I didn’t explore this little park before and was kind of worried about getting a parking ticket if I didn’t pay. Guess I can go back for free over the winter. I liked the view of the waves from up on the fishing pier. I want to go back and sketch looking North too. This is looking South. And the pier is a good thing to sketch from the beach. Every time I go out to sketch I find so many more subjects. No one was fishing today but if I can paint the pier from the beach then I can go back and add some little fishermen later if I want to. I could use the practice painting little figures in a scene. I have more inspiration than energy. And don’t forget the pretty white thorn bushes. Got to draw those things too!
Today was a little bit of drawing waves practice with a couple dead horse shoe crabs for interesting subjects. First I sketched the one on the right. The wave wasn’t washing over it, I just wanted to try to fake it to make it look like it was. I had that drawn in and a dog DESTROYED IT! I thought, that thing got crushed real easily. They must be fragile.
Then as I was walking back out to the parking lot next to the water I saw 2 more. The one on the left was upside down and being moved by every wave so I carefully dragged it back up on the sand a little to sketch it.
How many legs do they have? I don’t know, a lot.
Seeing these dead ones makes me think, how many live ones are there? Could be thousands right in that area. What if you were in the water and stepped on a dead one and crushed it under your bare feet! EEEEEK!
What if you were in the water and a live one crawled on top of your foot?! EEEEEEK!!!
I never heard anyone say that happened but we can’t rule it out.
I used my sketch from a couple weeks ago and painted this at home because it was too hot and humid to paint on the beach. We had a few storms but it didn’t help. Tomorrow, rain, but then they’re calling for some nice days just in time for Labor Day! I’m so excited! I’ve been hanging around at home too much.
I went out walking a few times early in the morning but then didn’t want to go back out later. I saw some real neat things I want to draw while I was walking. I hope I can find them again, a washed up jellyfish with small waves lapping on it, and part of a fish skeleton, it mush have been a big fish. I also found some inspiring sand dune with water scenes for after Labor Day.
I taped my paint brushes onto yard sticks again, ala Matisse. You can see how wild the brush goes in this close up.
I tried to pick my colors from memory. The dark green was painted with my modified fan brush taped to a yardstick. It was easier than I thought it would be. I hope it’s a good representation of waves, maybe a little abstract.
At first I painted the clouds too dark and I scraped it off and went a little lighter but they’re still stormy. I smeared and blended my brush strokes on the clouds so they would have a different texture than the waves. Kind of winged it a little on the clouds because they were moving fast and I was looking out the window.
Here’s another wave close up. I’m trying to show dry sand, wet sand, wet sand with a thin layer of water on it which is reflecting the sky, moving water with a direction, and foamy breakers.
The weather hasn’t been great around here lately. It cooled off a little the past few days but stayed real humid and we had rain. Today was great out there! We have a nice breeze from the Northeast so I faced South. I was getting started on my sketch and two ladies sat right in front of me. They were wearing backpacks that I didn’t want to draw. So, I only got the one figure in the sketch. She was moving around and looking at me but didn’t know what I was doing.
The wind blew my paper half off the drawing board but I had a roll of tape in my bag. When I hurriedly taped it the paper didn’t go down evenly. That’s why there’s a shade in the sky, where the paper is slightly warped.
A man stopped to talk and asked if he could take my picture so I said yes. Then I asked if he could email the pic to me and he said he can’t off this. He was holding an expensive camera. Then he said he didn’t have anything to write my email address on and I said I have something to write on. He obviously didn’t want to do it. He said carry on with what you’re doing and left. Made me kind of mad. It reminds me of some other people I know who don’t mind asking me for what they want and I say ok but when something is important to me, no can do. If I insist they ghost me. The jerks.
Most people that take my pic out there will at least try to send it to me even if I can’t use it for some reason.
I stopped at the Happy Oyster on my way home and got some fried oysters to treat myself. They were delish, as always.
We have more rain coming in this week. I hope I can get out to draw another morning real soon.
This is my favorite spot so far to draw waves. They redid the path from the parking lot to the beach and put a nice thick mat all the way over the dunes to the beach.
It was calm and the waves were small again. Flies were biting me even though I used bug spray. It was getting too hot and humid by the time I left. I worked on this for around an hour. It was still nice to get out on the beach and sketch.
They had a sale at Jerry’s Artarama and I got 3 of these big pieces of Canson Mi Tientes paper for $6!
The wind was calm and the sky was reflecting on the water as I was looking in that direction. The waves were small.
A couple guys were fishing and I tried to sketch one but it was pretty weak so I erased it.
A lady with a camera stopped and asked me what kind of tracks those were in the sand. I hadn’t noticed them. I thought they were raccoon tracks but I’m not sure. She said she saw the same tracks about 1/4 mile down the beach. She also saw a sign that said there are bob cats in the area. So we can’t completely rule out a bob cat. I didn’t have my camera.
This spot is a little easier to get to so I might take my camera along some time.
These are my Kneaded erasers that I use to work with charcoal and chalk or pastel.
I bought a new one to replace the oldest one on the bottom of the photo. The one in the middle is getting old but still workable.
They’re not exactly sticky but they’re tacky. To clean them you stretch it like taffy and fold it back over on itself. Keep doing that a few times and it’s renewed.
Kneaded erasers are great for charcoal because it doesn’t matter how many times you erase, you won’t wreck the paper.
Every time I drive to the ocean front to draw I am so happy. This is the best thing for me. My therapy. I think what did I do to deserve this? Must have been something real good because I never thought I’d retire to the beach and get to do this. But I don’t really believe in karma. You could look at it another way if you did believe in karma. You might say this is a consolation prize for all the s— I been through in my life. Now I get to sit by the ocean and draw.
Anyway, I think I’m improving on my waves. I’ll do more sketches then when I have a few taped to the wall I can pick the best waves and try to do them again in a painting.
I see a texture on the ocean so I don’t want to paint it flat. I’m experimenting with background waves a little too. To do the ocean I filled it in with charcoal but not solid, then I went back and erased and blended the charcoal into the paper, blending and lifting some out at the same time to give it some unevenness and hopefully wavy directions. Then I wanted a little swell so I added a little more charcoal and didn’t blend it down.
Drawing with charcoal, for me, is as much erasing as it is drawing. And it goes faster than a pencil because you can use the side of the charcoal and block in a large areas faster. It took me around 2 hours to get this sketch. Also, a beach is a simple scene, sand, sky, ocean, little bit of dunes far away, and a misty horizon. I’d get bored drawing the same thing again and again but not this because it’s always changing and the waves move. Plus, it is so sweet to just hang around there on a nice morning. Tiring to lug my gear over the dune, but worth it.
It was really nice out there this morning with a strong wind from the North. Lots of people were out running, biking, and walking on the way in, but not many on the beach.
It rained last night so the sand wasn’t blowing because it was still wet, but I had to face South to draw. I collapsed my beach cart and leaned my drawing board on it and sat on the sand with my back to the wind.
When I’m trying to observe waves there’s so much going on. You have the wet sand, the sand with a thin layer of water, water rushing back out, big bubbles, water between waves (which direction is that going?) breakers, water in front of breakers and water behind breakers, all moving at once in different directions.
It’s hard to say when to stop. The temptation is to draw too many waves.
The dry paint on my drawing board from previous paintings is showing through causing a texture in the sky. Next time I’ll have to put a few pieces of newsprint under my pastel paper so that doesn’t show up again.
I bought 3 pieces of Canson Mi Tientes pastel paper so I could do 6 large sketches of waves using both sides of the paper. That might be enough practice before I paint the scene because I did wave sketches in the past only smaller. It’s kind of a haul lugging my supplies down the road and the path then over a dune. The beach cart makes it possible. I guess the exercise won’t hurt me.