That sinking feeling

Do you know the sinking feeling of arriving at a sketching spot, reaching into your bag and realizing you are missing a key component of your kit? That happened to me today at Fort Myers beach. I had a sketchbook, paints and water but no pen or pencil. Luckily I had a small kit of brushes that were fine enough to draw with. So here’s what I did.

I started by drawing the scene with a small round brush. I used a warm colour (Quinacridone Gold) that would work with everything in the scene. When this line structure dries, it’s pale enough to paint over with other colours, so don’t worry if something in the scene has no yellow in it.

When that was mostly dry I added in the big shapes with a larger flat brush. No detail at this stage.

And finally, with the smaller round brush I added darks and details. By that time my family was back from their walk along the beach and it was time to pack up. There are probably a few things that would be different if I had done some pencil lines first (smaller trees moving into the distance, lower horizon line) but this was enough to capture the essence of the beach on December 31, 2017. Happy New Year!

50 Comments on “That sinking feeling”

  1. JOHN HARRIS says:

    You are an inspiration to us all.


  2. Alison says:

    This post highlights, once again, your drawing skills, even without a pencil. Lovely sketch. I really appreciTe the photos of the sketchbook in the sand, makes me feel a little bit warmer (just came in from snowshoeing in -20C). Have a very warm and jolly eve.


  3. loisajay says:

    Totally agree with John Harris–what an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beautiful recovery, Shari. And now, don’t you love drawing with a brush? I have come to enjoy it.
    I had to: i am setting up a new studio and discovered just yesterday that I had everything except a pencil! So as i have done before i fell to with yellow guide lines and it worked.

    i love the way you have shown us the sequence of your work with the three brushes-much appreciated.

    PS we have hit 0 degrees Fahrenheit here in Connecticut and it promises to stay this way through the week. You need to send us lots of sunny sketches. we need them!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. -N- says:

    Happy New Year on the beach, Shari!


  6. Carole Dysart says:

    She pulled out a great painting…….

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Angie Bumgarner says:

    Nice! Thanks for the play by play. I’m the worst about just diving in with no predrawing. Does it take long for the layers to dry?


  8. Gil Zarins says:

    Happy New Year Shari! Way to improvise under the circumstances, you seem to “relax” your way through the situation to produce another great sketch!


  9. Monsieur R. says:

    Bonne Année !
    Love & Sketching


  10. George Ostrowski says:

    Love it.
    A beautiful day on Ft. Myers Bch.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bernadette says:

    Thanks for the summary of working with a pencil…nice job! As always your details tell so much of your painting story that makes us appreciate your paintings even more. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bernadette says:

    Oops…I wrote to quickly…..” The summary of working WITHOUT a pencil.” Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dee Ludwg says:

    A watercolor through and through! I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Carolyn Fitz says:

    I appreciate and admire your artwork and great comments too❣️Many thanks to you❣️
    Ps… a few years back, in Yosemite, I headed out to a site…I forgot the to pack the paper …I used my viva paper towels instead, and was delighted 😀…made me glad I didn’t have the wc paper🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Soni says:

    I love it 🐬 especially the process / just add in small figures of your family coming up the beach chased by dolphins

    Happy New Year

    Thanks again for sharing your vacation with us

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Kerry T says:

    Amazing! Wish I had that skill!

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy New year and lots of creativity and energy for 2018! Thank you for sharing so much your passion and bonne continuation…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lenore says:

    A wonderful painted sketch! Thank you for another year of inspiration and beautiful painting. Happy and Healthy and Creative year ahead — see you there!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. anne farmer says:

    Necessity the mother of…etc. Great picture – invigorating on a grey damp UK day! Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Dineke says:

    Happy New Year and think you for sharing your skills and drawing experience with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Susan Furrie says:

    Really enjoyed seeing how you solved your problem. I found this very informative.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Betsy Akins says:

    Thank you for providing the details of how you accomplished this wonderful scene with ingenuity and determination. I learn so much from you. So glad you could enjoy the warm sun and water. Wishing you continued joy and blessings in the new year!


  23. Monique says:

    wow the darks and the details..POP..Have a great NY!


  24. Judy Sopher says:

    I can only repeat-thanks for sharing your steps and continuing to post while on vacation. This painting is lovely. The reddish-brown house really gives it that punch. What colors did you use? .

    As you know, I am not very smart with electrical things. and wonder what equipment you have with you to take the photos and send them to your blog.Camera or phone, I understand to take the photos. Beyond that, I don’t.


    • HI Judy. Thanks! I use my iPhone to take the photos and just insert them directly in my post. Sometimes I use an app like Snapseed on my phone to adjust colour, since I don’t have a full version of Photoshop here. As for the reddish brown, that is a combo of Burnt Sienna, Pyrrol Orange and Organic Vermilion.


  25. Lindy White says:

    Your talent allows you to paint without a drawing. I love this piece !
    Linda White

    Liked by 1 person

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