Tag Archives: Swansea Beach

Blowing The Cobwebs Away

28 Dec

beach Dec 28 2017


The weather was glorious today, chilly but very sunny, so Husb and I went for a walk on the beach to start to work off the excesses of the last few days and blow the cobwebs away. Of course I had a scribble into my tiny little cloth covered Paper Blanks sketchbook and a biro (ballpoint) pen. It was a very quick sketch but that’s okay, the important thing for me is to draw every day even if it’s only for a minute or two. It’s like a singer practising their scales.


beach 28 Dec

A walk on Swansea Beach

I Ate A Snail

9 Dec


Today I ate a snail for the first time. I won’t bother again. It tasted like earth in garlic butter with the texture of one of those rubbery sponges you put make-up on, if you wear make-up. Husb and I went to a posh French restaurant for his birthday meal. His birthday was in August but it took a long time to get a reservation. Apart from the snail, it was lovely but now I’m stuffed and I don’t want to do any drawing. What a lazy mare. Here’s one I did earlier this year, in the rain on Swansea Beach. Now off to bed, like a beached whale in a duvet.

A Sky Full Of Opals

29 Aug

opal 1

Husb and I strolled along Swansea Beach this evening and I took some photos of the extraordinary sky – it looked like it was full of fire opals shimmering above us. The weather has been appalling throughout the so-called Summer, so maybe this is the harbinger of something better for the Autumn. “The sky at night, shepherd’s delight….” – fingers crossed 🙂

We walked along the Promenade, looking out to Mumbles, with its breast shaped islands and returned past the Brangwyn Hall which houses the famous Empire Panels, magnificent oil paintings, and Swansea’s Guildhall, an Art Deco building inspired by an Egyptian Temple.

Drizzly Dog

10 May

3 people and dog

Sometimes I work from photographs because I find it’s useful to be able to do a more detailed analysis of the image than I’d normally be able to do when I’m drawing directly from life. It gives me the chance to concentrate on things like perspective, proportion, foreshortening, reflections and composition. When I’m working with someone in a formal situation, a life model or someone sitting for a portrait study, there’s plenty of time to get things right, but drawing en plein air is way too fast to scribble down anything other than the most basic details.

Now and again, I pop down to the local beach to take some photos for drawing practice. This was a typical Swansea winter day, grey, drizzly with lots of dog walkers. I used a graphite stick into my A5 hardbacked sketchbook.


14 Apr


I did this sketch from a digital photo I took a couple of weeks ago on Swansea Beach. The weather has changed radically since then, today’s walk was in brilliant sunshine, not like the wind and drizzle these poor tourists were putting up with.

It’s a useful exercise to draw from photos occasionally, to analyse the finer details and concentrate on composition and proportion, which isn’t usually possible with speed sketching. I used a set of graphite sticks in different grades into my A5 hardback sketchbook, across both pages.

Skinny Shadows

17 Mar


Still on my self-imposed exile from the digital drawing machine, I carried on drawing from some photos I took on Swansea Beach recently. Although speed sketching is very useful, focussing the attention only on what’s absolutely vital, I want to do some more detailed action drawings and these can’t be done with a model or in a fleeting moment.  Drawing from photos helps with composition, foreshortening and scale. I love the long, skinny shadows from the runners caused by a very low wintry afternoon sun. I used two grades of graphite sticks, grey and black, into my A5 hardbacked  sketchbook.


Dis-Comfort Zone

14 Mar


I’m trying to get away from digital drawing on my Samsung Galaxy Note for a while because I think it’s become my new comfort zone, taking over from my Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens. I soaked a piece of natural sponge in some dilute Indian ink and scrubbed it over quite a few of the pages of my little Khadi handmade paper sketchbook; it’s heavily textured and the ink pooled in different places across the pages, giving me some interesting patterns and tones to work over. I took it down for a walk on the edge of the beach earlier this evening with some carbon sticks and chalk and quickly sketched between some trees, working with the shapes and textures already on the page. It’s very quick and impressionistic, as far from my comfort zone as it’s possible to be. My dis-comfort zone. It will be good for me.


10 Mar


I’m doing some drawings from digital photos I took on Swansea Beach recently, to practice drawing detail and movement. Trouble is, when I downloaded the photos onto the computer and made them large enough to draw from, they have a lot of distortion. It’s not a problem, it just looks a bit fuzzy and there are some weird bits that I wouldn’t get if I was drawing from life. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’d be quick enough to draw these people walking, especially with the dog. I drew with a graphite stick into my A5 hardcover sketchbook, make unknown, it was a present.


Eadweard’s Horses

5 Mar

wpid-wp-1425583660083.jpegI rarely work from photographs but I took a series of photos on the beach yesterday and I’m going to use them for sketching for a few days. Drawing directly from life is energising, forces me to focus only on what’s absolutely important in the subject and is good practice but doesn’t give me the opportunity to analyse detail and movement.

For centuries, the way that artists drew and painted running horses was wrong because they moved too fast for artists to see them accurately. Then the pioneering photographer, Eadweard Muybridge did a sequence of photos of a running horse and finally artists were able to see how they ran and changed the way they painted horses.

So these photos are for research into how people and animals move and also to develop a shorthand of marks to represent the sea, which is something I have enormous difficulties with. Hopefully as the days go by, my drawings and mark-making will improve. I’m using graphite sticks into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

The Orange Reflection

16 Jan

supermoon 1

There was a strange reflection that caught my eye recently while Husb and I were walking on the beach. The full moon was bright silvery white but its reflection on the calm high tide was orange. I used my little Khadi sketchbook, handmade paper with a very rough texture. I had pre-coloured it with an Indian ink wash and I drew onto it with Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels. The very rough texture of the paper gives a strong speckled effect.

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