I thought I’d share with you a little seascape sketch that I did the other day.
It’s filmed in real-time, so you can actually see how long I take and how my decision process works when drawing.
You’ll see moments when I pause and reconsider what pens to start with and what pens I end up finishing with. You also see me having a cup of tea throughout the sketch because sometimes, just having a brew will give you that little bit of contemplation time to decide what to focus on next.
If you haven’t got 10 minutes to watch it all, I’ve also made a shorter 60 seconds edited version on YouTube shorts (and a 90-second one on Instagram)
Watch along in real-time as I sketch the shoreline of Porthminster beach, St Ives, Cornwall
60-second version below:
Sketching Pens, from Left to Right: Pentel Aquash Pen, Lamy Safari Fountain Pen, Liquitex paint marker, Pentel brush pen, Muji 0.5mm gel pen.
Close-up of the different sketching pen nibs
The sketching pens that I use:
- MUJI 0.5mm gel tip pen
- Pentel brush pen
- Liquitex grey acrylic marker
- Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
- Pentel Aquash water pen. (This is an empty pen that’s just got water)
The real trick to this technique, and the thing that’s the most enjoyable to do, is to lay down areas of permanent ink with the first pen and then add in other areas with non-permanent ink. Then, when I wash over that area with a water brush pen, you get a beautiful soft wash effect.
The Sketchpad is by Handbook, their trav.e.logue series; it’s relatively small but perfect for backpacks, and the flask is from the Thermos Ultimate series, which is exceptionally good at keeping your tea or coffee hot. I find the 900ml version keeps the tea hotter for longer, but the smaller size is nice for shorter trips. We’re talking 24 hours hot.
I’ve also added the sketch location using What3Words. If you haven’t come across what3words before, it’s an amazing free app you can use to locate any 3m x 3m square in the world. Each square across the globe has been assigned a unique combination of three words.
It can be handy if you’re showing your work in an obscure location or delivery drivers keep on missing your address, as they do quite often in Cornwall; recently, we used it when we broke down on the A30! Also great for outdoor sculpture trails or street art installations. If you’re ever visiting St Ives in the future, you can track down the exact sketch spot.
I hope you enjoy it, and if you want to learn any more about urban sketching or landscape sketching, you can follow the links to learn more about the courses.
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