Friday, 24 June 2011

Seaside Sketchbook

'The One That Got Away' ~ Watercolour on Paper


I thought I'd take five minutes to share some of the sketches from my holiday with you (and work done at home inspired by my travels), as promised in my last post.  

I tend to carry a small hard backed sketch book with me in my bag most of the time (either a small moleskine or A6 Daler Rowney), along with a pencil and fine line waterproof black pen (a Staedler number 01), so that I can catch interesting moments that might make for good paintings later on.

Do you remember the photograph I took of the harbour wall in Falmouth in my Holiday Post?  Here it is:

I drew the above sketch whilst waiting for a little boat to take us back to St Mawes, just before it started to rain!
Drawing in a sketch book has the same ability to transport me back to a place in time as does a favourite tune.  I can recall sounds, atmosphere, scents, how I was feeling, and the weather just by looking through my sketches.  

These little boats were drawn from our car, parked up above the beach at Portreath.  It had lashed it down with  monsoonal style rain all morning and we had taken our wee girl to 'Build a Bear' as the beach was out of the question.  After this, we drove the odd mile or so to the coast and after we had finished our picnic, all huddled in a steamy damp car (no, not the nicest of scenarios!), the rest of our little party, wrapped up in waterproofs,  took her down on the sand to look for shells.  The rain had turned to drizzle with a blustery wind by this point, and I remember making the most of ten minutes solitude to capture a couple of little boats in my book, that I could see out the window to my right.

Looking at this sketch now, I also remember armies of dark grey clouds marching heavily across the horizon, and the sea was leaden and dark, with a bright aquamarine band on the shoreline.  Raindrops spattered across the car windscreen, and gulls shreiked and harassed the occasional huddled figures of tourists, who seemed intent on making the best of it despite the soggy conditions.

When I came home, I used the sketch above to do a sunnier painting:

I like turning something 'real' into something more illustrative!
The top painting is unfinished, I decided to begin the second one below instead and embellished it with stamped letters.

The paints I used for these pictures are my New and Compleeeedly Delicious White Night set (shown above in spanking new condition before I got stuck in!).
The paints are Russian, and have been produced by a company in St Petersburg since 1934.  They use very fine pigments and even honey in their colours.  The colours themselves are extremely fine, fantastic to blend and mix and are proving to be a very valuable investment.

I have been using them again this morning, to create something slightly different...

'Party' ~ Watercolour on Paper

I hope you have a fabulous weekend, thanks for dropping by - i'll be back soon to talk about crocheted blankets on a budget, and an Almost Finished shawl!

Love J x


  1. Fascinating to see your work process Julia. The colours of those paints are just fab. (Just wish I could paint!)

  2. what a visual treat to see how you work - thanks for sharing.
    Honey in paint you say? sounds so unlikely doesn't it!
    must get over to the being creative project and a) see what's going on and b) contribute!
    fee x
    weekend - hooray!

  3. Lovely sketches Julia, very jolly looking. I thought I had those paints but mine turned out to be Lukas 1862 from Atlantis Art Materials, lovely and smooth to use.

  4. I absolutely love to look at sketchbooks! I really enjoyed peeping into yours Julia. :) A6 is very small isn't it? I tend to use an A5 but even though it's not that heavy on its own,it tends to weigh my bag down. Maybe I should invest in an A6 hmmm...
    I like White Knight paints too. My most favourite ones of all though are the Schminke watercolours, so delicious I try not to eat them (joking!)xx

  5. Beautiful work Julia! and I love that they all hold wonderful memories for you!.. Looking forward to seeing your crochet work too! Have a great weekend! ~tina

  6. Thanks for sharing - absolutely love the boats and the party scene :-)

  7. I really enjoy seeing other peoples sketch books.
    It's such and 'arty' thing, isnt it?

    I try to remember to take mine with me now, and I might even get to add in a watercolour set and a jar of water. Who knows..

    Those watercolour paints! They look so luscious in that photo.
    Better than cakes in shop window.

    Yummy, yummy, yummy


  8. This post just makes me wish I could draw! My sister got those genes..not me.

  9. Julia, I love all the seaside photos, but perhaps even more the glimpses into your sketchbook, and hints about the Russian watercolors containing honey.

    As usual, I am starved for time, and cannot say much more. Still...hoping for time to get my own sketchbook out, and fill some jam jars with water, and get the paint and brushes in view.

    Thank you for the inspiration. xo

  10. Beautiful all just beautiful! I love those paints too, gorgeous, have a great weekend xox

  11. What beautiful watercolours you made from your sketches. I agree the paints look edible...yummy stuff. It's wonderful how the world around us inspires us, your dear little boat is super.
    Have a sunny weekend, it's just peeping through here finally in Surrey,
    Jane x

  12. I love your boats! Fliss xxx

  13. I was lucky that my friend brought me some watercolour paints from Russia few years ago. I'm glad to see that it is possible to buy them in the UK now, though at the current rate of no use they'll last me a long time. I'm always amazed at what wonderful colours one, even a total novice, can produce with them.

    Love your little sketches and paintings

  14. How lovely, you,re so clever! love the little fishing boy xx

  15. I love the sketchbook photos, it's great to see the "beginnings" and the thought process that art stems from !! Thanks for sharing! :))))


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