Thursday 11 September 2014

Try, Try Again - Day 11

Today was a glorious spring day. There were some stunning lingering rain clouds from recent days of rain and storms but it remained dry. A friend and I made our way to this vantage point to do a bit of plein air sketching. I had been planning for years to work from life in this spot and today was the day. I faced north intending to do the above scene and my friend faced south armed with her oil pastels.
All was going swimmingly as I began from the left (actually, this photo hasn't captured the long spit of land to the left) and outlined the groyne and marina along the horizon line. Then I continued to the right following the outline of the water's edge. From there I began to work my way back up to the horizon from the right. I was horrified to see that they didn't meet up at all. It was unsalvageable. I felt disappointed as so far my ink sketches have all worked out despite my missteps.
I couldn't stomach trying to re-do that view so I joined my friend and faced the other direction. I had lost my confidence and thought I'd just do a very quick little sketch and decided to do it underneath  my original attempt as it seemed there was still so much blank paper. In the end I was quite pleased with the second one and regretted not just starting afresh as the first one impinged on the second more than I had anticipated. But now I am pleased I did them on the same page as it tells the story of how my first ever sea-side plein air sketching expedition panned out.
You will have to click on the image below and look closely to see the hash I made of the first attempt. Unfortunately, I didn't think to photograph it before I began working on my second view.
second view below
Below is one cropped photo and one badly masked out photo of how it would have looked without the first attempt sharing the limelight.

This was the view looking straight out to sea. Can you see the long smudge on the horizon? That is Rottnest Island.
Despite the false start, I really enjoyed doing both sketches and getting out in the elements with my friend. Also, I learnt a lesson when it comes to sketching a landscape - don't work on the horizon line from two different ends.


  1. Wendy - you certainly recovered this plein aire day. Gosh what a glorious spot to capture. Is this far from your home. I think I would be spending lots of time there for sure.

  2. Hi Joan, I am very lucky to live near the beach. The weather is divine at the moment - the most perfect spring weather imaginable! Hopefully there will be many more days like this one before the heat kicks in.

  3. Really like these charming plein air sketches!!!

    1. Thanks so much Diane, you are one of my top painters who inspire me greatly to get outside to paint! Your work is amazing!