I’m not gonna lie…. I loved this experience! It was a slow start to the day, we all seemed low on energy and I was first out of the hotel, Jo was using the gym and I wasn’t really sure what the remaining 8 of us were doing so I ventured off alone with my sketch kit. I crossed the causeway onto a very rocky island and walked up along the track that followed the shoreline. I had to navigate through trees, bushes and boulders to get to the sea but it was worth it, the morning was beautiful, the sun was out and the colours were indeed spectacular.
I sat down and unpacked my gear, yes, you got it: HB pencil (no pen today) Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook and Schmincke Horadam Watercolour tin. The brushes I used were a mixture of Rosemary Round Kolinsky sable, sizes 8 and 10 plus some highly recommended Escoda Reserva ‘Charles Reid’ inspired round kolinsky sable sketching brushes. I don’t say much about these but I should because they are totally fit for purpose, well made and designed and just feel amazing when in use. I carry too many of them but the thought of weeding them down isn’t one I can face.
I quickly sketched an outline, not a huge amount of detail was included because I wanted the colour to describe this scene more than the lines.
I added more layers and started to get a warm buzz because (even if it’s only me thinks this) I felt pleasure in what I was looking at. Yes mistakes were made but watching the paint working with me and doing its own thing was enormously satisfying. As I let the first wash dry I looked around to see several nude people enjoying the sun around me. It actually felt kinda nice, they seemed uninhibited (didn’t mind me being there) and relaxed. Invaluable as life drawing is, essential I think, it wouldn’t have been right to sketch them….possibly a bit weird so I laid down the next washes with more saturated colour. I was using a lot of ultramarine blue, Prussian blue, cadmium yellow, Naples yellow (can be a bit too opaque) yellow ochre and cadmium red light. I made an attempt at dry brushing to capture the sparkles of sunlight on the sea. A technique that will be very valuable once I’ve got it right.
I was very pleased with this experience and was tempted to try a skinny dip but instead bimbled off to find the family on the beach.