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.
It was nice out there early this morning. If they had a tornado I didn’t see the damage so maybe it wasn’t too bad. I like the beach erosion that makes a little drop off for a fisherman to sit on. I. was sitting back from him at a respectable distance. It looks like I was closer in my sketch.
Waves aren’t easy to sketch from life because they’re moving. You have to really observe and draw from memory but still compare what you drew to the next wave.
Have you ever seen paintings where the wave looks like it was frozen? Those paintings were done from photos. When I paint waves, however long that might take me to do, my waves will look like they’re moving. I don’t care how many sketches I have to do. I don’t care how many paintings I throw away before I get it down. Stay tuned because I think I can do this right.
This is how you can draw a straight line in plein air without a ruler. Tilt the paper so you can look down the edge, close one eye and look at your line. It’s the same as if you were buying a board and you look down the edge to see if it’s warped. Take your time and sketch the line from one side to the other. So my horizon line is ok, not perfect but not bad.
The best time to go is early in the morning at this time of year. It wasn’t too hot and a slight breeze and sunny with no one in that direction.
A lot of guys were fishing behind me and when I drove out a lot of cars were going into Sandbridge, so I avoided today’s big traffic jam. I might shoot for it again tomorrow morning if I get up early enough.
I saw 2 big groups of pelicans skimming up the waves along the shore and when I was leaving some people were standing in the road taking pictures and urging on a huge turtle that was making it’s way across the road.
After I get a few more sketches I’ll try to paint waves again. This time with oils because I’m used to working in oils and might have better success.
Waves and dunes are the same shapes. They both are always moving but you don’t notice the dune moving. They’re so much alike you could dress a dune up in wave colors, tell people it’s a wave and everyone would believe you.
I want to paint waves but it’s too hot to hang around on the beach. I used my sketch of a dune and did a palette knife painting of it with wave colors from memory, then folded the paper in half to make a mono print.
Dunes are like waves in another way, they’re breaking.
In my dune sketch there is some plant life on top of the dune and the sand breaks below the vegetation. So instead of painting that part green I used white and it would put the white water of a breaking wave in the right place. It’s me dressing a dune in wave colors.
This mono print is a variation of the dune painting I’m working on and hope to finish tomorrow if I can get up early enough to be at the beach before it gets too hot.