Washout

One year our shore vacation was a total washout. It was sunny the day we arrived, and the day we left. In between was some of the worst weather we’ve ever experienced. High winds, torrential rains; one night the ocean breached the dunes and sent a few waves into the streets. After that the bay flooded the other side of the island. There was only one thing left to do. We put on our rain gear and hit the beach anyway.

Drawing

This is from a portrait workshop that I attend on occasion. I use this opportunity to try to hone my drawing skills, and also as a way to study value in preparation for color work. By grouping highlights, mid tones and shadows with each other, a composition becomes more cohesive, and thus easier to paint.

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Beach Bocce

Here’s a tranquil scene from a past shore vacation. Bocce on the beach, a competitive sport played in a relaxed setting with no time limits.

This was painted from a photo I took of a very pleasant evening; the sun was setting behind us; in front, a cool ocean breeze drifted across the waves; and beverage refills were an arms’ length away.

Watercolors and gouache on Arches paper.

Quick Sketch

It took a bit longer than “quick” for me to draw a portrait of one of our stalwart figure models (more like 40 minutes), but once I drew it in pencil, it was easy to create a watercolor sketch from it. This is painted fast and loose in order to keep the spontaneous look and feel of water media.

Context

Years ago, a former figure drawing professor of mine commented that he never saw me draw a background on any of my figure drawings. Well, here is a figure plus background. I call her “Renaissance Girl”. This lovely model is also an artist, has traveled to Italy and has an interest in Renaissance art. Thus the Botticelli-esque background.