Friday, June 8, 2007

Trying out watercolor pencils

I have recently begun carrying a small sketchbook and watercolor paper book along with some watercolor pencils when we travel. I really know nothing about the pencils, except that they are handy to use, easy to manipulate, and you do not need a water supply while you are applying color. Here is a drawing that I did with the pencils on dry paper while sitting on my bench overlooking the creek in the mountains

Here is the same drawing after I added water with a brush. It softened the colors and blended the lines a bit. A photograph of the same view is below:

Here is a little sketch of some of the wildflowers near my bench, done "dry."

And this is the same sketch after using the brush with water. I also added some outlining with a fine-point black marker.

Just playing around...guess I should get on the Web and see if there are instructions out there for using this medium! Meanwhile, it never hurts to try to improve drawing skills. (Mine could use a lot of work.) Maybe my dad will feel like providing some lessons while we are at the beach next week.

We are so excited about our upcoming beach vacation! We have been going to the same beach in North Carolina for over twenty years, and have been renting the same cottage for at least fifteen years. Sunset Beach is the southern-most beach in North Carolina, on a barrier island that is reached by a one-lane swinging drawbridge. The cottage we rent is nothing to brag about, but the location is fantastic. It is on what we call "second row," meaning there is one other row of houses between it and the beach. However, it is located on the very southern end of the island, facing "Madd Inlet." There is water in the inlet at high tide, but at low tide it is a sandy marsh replete with seabirds and crabs. One year a dolphin was trapped in a small pool of water at low tide right next to our cottage. A concerned crowd gathered, wondering how to help him, but about six hours later he happily skipped out of there when the tide turned. From our deck we can see the ocean peeking over the dunes, the high-rise motels of South Carolina beaches in the distance, and boats on the Intercoastal Waterway. Lots of fine porch sitting, especially for morning coffee or evening Margaritas! And at sunset, the beach earns its name by offering unobstructed views of the western sky, often reflected in the waters below.
At night, after eating seafood at one of the fine restaurants in Sunset Beach, Calabash,or Little River, we usually just sit on the deck, listening to music, observing the constellations and planets, and talking to family and friends. This year my family will have three cottages. We all do our own thing, occasionally getting together to eat out or celebrate a birthday or Fathers' Day. We all sit in a long line at the beach, with the hardy ones playing horseshoes, boccie ball, or volleyball. Those more inclined to relax (me) have a beach chair and a good book and a cooler nearby.
At our cottage, the first night is always "Hat Party." The owners keep a supply of straw hats on a hook near the door, and we all choose a hat to wear on the deck to kick off the week of vacation. Too bad we never have any fun!
This year I hope to spend some time chasing my two grandbabies around and playing with them in the tidal pools that form at low tide. We are bringing the laptop, but may not have an Internet service available. So...if you do not hear from me for a week, tune in after June 17! Have a great week!

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