A few months ago, this hill was screaming neon green thanks to the record rains we got in the first part of the year. Today? Everything’s changed! The lush, rich grass is now cured in place and the only green is provided by leafy summer trees and bulrushes. We’re back to normal, really. Wet winters are an exception around here. Semi-arid climate is the rule!
After the clouds broke, I spotted a lizard sunning on a curb. He was still, but for his head swiveling around, for plenty long enough to sketch him. Of course a car parked and scared him off before I was quite done. The sketch was far enough along at that point to finish from memory. Cute little guy, I enjoyed studying him from a little distance.
My Platinum EF pen was at home on my desk, so both of these are drawn with the Kuretake #40 brush pen.
Spent a fabulous (and chilly!) morning at the beach this weekend, with a very late storm moving in. The storm only bothered dropping a smidgen of rain, but more than made up for it with dramatic skies. There was a tanker at anchor looking close enough to touch, container ships waiting for POLA/POLB, and… something between the drilling platforms. What is that? Read more
Just a moody morning on the coast. I love the beach at dawn: it’s quiet and uncrowded, and the weather and waves have a subdued and beautiful vibe that can’t be found at any other time. Today, a fog bank held sway over the outer waters, providing a dramatic backdrop to the drilling platforms.
Bonus sketch: a random gull. This is tiny, a quarter would cover up most of the bird’s body.
Went rooting through a paper drawer this weekend, and look what I found! Don’t remember when I started it, must have been 2013 or so. I recall being disappointed with the sky at the time and sort of abandoned the effort. Last night, it started looking good! Some paintings just need to age apparently. Now I like it – time to finish it!
I wondered if this was the lighthouse at Orfordness in East Anglia, but the tops are different. This must therefore be a made-up lighthouse, probably as an excuse to paint the dramatic sky.
The beach at dawn, my favorite time to go. It’s deserted and the sky is almost always at its best! Today a band of mist masqueraded as virga, and the rising sun washed everything in pastels. Also spotted a Heerman’s Gull, unafraid as I stared at him. Did not know which gull this is until I looked it up at home, but the field marks were obvious enough to ID him later.
Painted across the spine in my sketchbook. Green Apatite, PR101, PB35, Jane’s Gray, PO71, Raw Umber. Ridiculous amount of pigments there!
Both painted at lunchtime, from memory.
Ah, the tankers at sunset. Spent a lovely hour or two sketching while the sun went down. We were there late enough for the tankers’ lights to come on, so I dabbed those in with a bit of Bleedproof White. Otherwise, that’s cobalt, PO62, and a dash of PO73.
Tankers were not the only thing in view this evening – in addition to the usual birds and porpoises, I made friends with a beetle.
I find lighthouses are irresistible subjects when I want to test some paper… there is no better excuse to paint a sky!
This is some 140lb Fabriano Cold Press that I’m considering for the next sketchbook. Have been using various brands of 140lb rough for the last three books and decided to change it up a bit. I like using something different in each, keeps me from getting stagnant.
My view while painting the shells, and a transient self portrait.
I decided to paint a series of shorebirds on some of those lovely Garza Papel sample sheets. For extra fun/practice I am doing them without sketching first, just put up a ref and dive in. The Great Blue (heron) turned out nice, so I decided to do an American Avocet next. It was an adventure! I thought others might benefit from seeing a rescue operation in progress.
The short version: Better to plan ahead than try to fix things!
Testing a free sample of Garza Papel. I’m in love!! They have a standing offer for free samples, which I highly recommend if you’ve never used their paper. Now that I’ve tried it, I’m dying to purchase and make a sketchbook out of it… have to save up first though. It will be worth it.
Cobalt blue PB28 and Burnt Sienna PBr7. I mixed the samples up accidentally, this one feels like 140lb CP. It’s about 5.5″ x 7.5″.
The reference was a Great Blue Heron, although the red came on too strong and it’s looking more like a Little Blue Heron. Oh well. No base sketch, I just went right in with a wet brush, for the challenge.
Originally posted on WetCanvas.com.