Footprints in the sand….

Walking along the beach in the late afternoon winter sunshine (about 4pm, sunset around 5.20pm) such a lovely soft yellowish light on the sand creating contrasting violet-blue shadows in the depths of the foot print….

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Direct watercolour (no ink)….

Having a go at Marc Holme’s #30x30DirectWatercolor2018 challenge (and it is a challenge) – the idea is to paint something (anything) in watercolour only – no ink or pencil lines and post the painting each day for the month of June. Here’s a few efforts painted down at my favourite place – the local beach. The thing that’s tricky with painting directly with paint is that there’s no drawing “scaffolding” to guide where to place the paint – you have to have a pretty good idea of the finished painting in your head. It’s harder to fix up mistakes in watercolour than other paint mediums so planning ahead is a really important part of the process (which is a good thing to learn and practise).

City Beach Sketches

A couple of sketches from City Beach (Perth) today and yesterday. It’s been a bit of a strange seasonal change here…. summer has been relatively cool over the last few months but we’ve had a hot and dry start to autumn….the ocean was like glass at midday but the “Fremantle Doctor” arrived at exactly 3pm … I could see the sea breeze slowly approaching….little ripples out a sea, getting closer until suddenly the wind changed direction from East to West.

Cafe People

Sketching people in cafes is one of my favourite things to do….a good coffee, read the newspaper then find someone else doing the same and sketch them very quickly without them noticing. I draw directly in ink without pencil under-drawing for two reasons….Firstly because an under-drawing adds extra time (which I don’t have)….. Secondly because drawing directly with ink forces me to look really closely to the subject before putting ink on the page….with waterproof ink I’m totally committed to each line (I do make mistakes but they are either incorporated into the final picture or simply ignored – life is not perfect either). Before putting pen to paper I decide on the story I want to tell and develop a mental image of how I want the final sketch to look – the composition on the page – what will be included / how much / where to place things for maximum effect. I usually start drawing a person with the nearest eye and draw out from there, looking for connecting and intersecting lines – assessing the geometry of the face (drawing is a really about triangulation). The drawing on this probably took about 15 minutes, with about 20 minutes for watercolour – adding paint into already wet washes to get graded colour. As for the choice of subject (or victim!)…. anyone who has just sat down with a full cup (so I know they will be there for a little while). Interesting faces and expressions (some people get involved with the news articles and make lots of facial expressions when reading). The guy below had a lovely soft white beard and thinning hair on top that I wanted to try to capture…..