Sketches on a beach:  capturing the idea

"A drawing is simply a line going for a walk." ~ Paul Klee, was a Swiss artist who taught in Germany until his art was seen as indecent by the Nazis. He returned to Switzerland where he died in 1940.

quick pen sketches on the beach

These line sketches were completed under a scorching sun while enjoying the beach last week near Puerto Morelos, Mexico.

I discovered that...

.....I should remove my sunglasses when I am painting as the colours are inaccurate when seen through smoked or tinted lenses.  My flower should have been pink rather than orange.

painting on the beach

remnants of beach wedding

Sketching on the beach:  a conversation starter

.....I should expect that a curious bystander might comment on my drawing, in this case,  a Colombian woman who stood next to me as I became increasingly flustered and messed up two drawings while she kept exclaiming in Spanish how lovely they were.

If I understood her, I believe she was an artist who paints with oils.

I am not used to having a spectator, but in some online courses I have taken, particularly at Sketchbook Skool, the teachers have insisted that we go out in public and draw. I have resisted doing that in my own city but I was itching to draw, and there was so much material nearby that I just had to satisfy my creative urge at least a few times during the week.

.....It's not very pleasant drawing when a crazy lady is feeding seagulls by the plate full.  At first she was flinging the fries in the air but then she decided to leave her entire plate on a nearby chair. The birds swooped down among the beach chairs and were fighting for the fries while people were ducking and running for cover.

I did not draw that incident...

quick sketches on the beach

.....people move very quickly and it is difficult to capture them exactly. I will have to sketch on the go  more often.This might be an excellent exercise to loosen up.

After I had finished sketching people on the beach, I discovered a downloaded tutorial on my iPad from some time ago.

People in Motion: helpful tips for quick people sketches

For those of you who might like to try line drawings, you might watch this excellent free PDF file download including a video demonstration by Montrealer, Marc Taro Holmes.

"Drawing People in Motion" is available at  an excellent website for quick line drawing tips.

Here is the beach on a beautiful day when we enjoyed a refreshing breeze.  You can see Cancun in the distance. Our resort, the Royalton Riviera Cancun was only twenty minutes by bus from the Cancun airport.

Puerto Morelos - Royalton Riviera Cancun beach

...and here is the beach when it was very windy and the waves brought in mounds of seaweed.

seaweed on beach

I also discovered that...

.....seaweed is beautiful to draw but awful to swim in.

I heard people in the water yelling as they must have thought some fish might be wrapping itself around their legs when in fact, it was probably a piece of seaweed.

For some reason, seaweed is a problem on the Mexican beaches this year. Not every day mind you, so we were still able to enjoy swimming in the ocean.  Hotel staff tried to clean it up but on some occasions, it was just too much for them to remove with sunbathers and swimmers on the beach.

sketch of seaweed

.....even on holidays, art is very relaxing, very therapeutic as long as it is not taken too seriously.

Sketching materials

I had brought one of my Moleskine sketchbooks, travel watercolours, Neocolors II,  water brushes, and a couple of black Pitt pens with me in my suitcase. I forgot a pencil and this forced me to accept the lines that I inked in and that I thought were wrong and work with them. Some sketches became doodles. The Neocolors started melting in the sun and I had to put them away before I ended up with mush.

It is not an easy for me to accept "mistakes" although many would argue there are no mistakes in art, only learning opportunities.

I also decided that I would not rework or adjust the colours of the sketches when I got home.

I am just leaving them exactly as they are....wonderful memories of a much needed holiday...sketches on a beach.

purple flower painted on the beach

painted shells on the beach


6 Responses

  • Déjà de retour à ton blog, Louise, sitôt après ton arrivée du Mexique !! Je t’ai suivie tout le long de ton séjour là-bas, car tu as partagé avec nous cette semaine paradisiaque et maintenant, tu nous offres la suite. Très intéressant, comme toujours !! Abondance de fleurs, de jolis paysages et d’activités humaines à observer et à dessiner, pour encore une fois illustrer tes souvenirs. Formidable !!

  • Where I grew up there was always seaweed on the beach, massive big clumps of kelp with the ‘grapes’ which I loved to squish, they are quite tough so it wasn’t an easy task. There was also seaweed which looked like red and green lettuce, very pretty colours. Will try and find you some photos.
    Loved your sketches too by the way, as you say, great me,prices and in some way better than photos.

    • I find that when I draw something, the details stay with me for a long time as opposed to simply taking the photos. I look forward to seeing your art. Thanks for leaving a comment. I know how busy you must be.

    • Thanks Diana for leaving a message. I haven’t forgotten you. Just so busy as everyone and more so this year. I will be in touch soon.

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