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To Beer

Saturday found me in the beautiful village of Beer. Running a Sketching Workshop for OVAS, the Otter Vale Art Society. A Group I know well and it’s just like meeting up with friends to do some sketching. It’s a hot summers day by the sea and we’ll be finishing in ‘The Dolphin’ at 3.30 to review the days work. What could be better!

On the beach, at Beer, there​ are plenty of boats drawn up, fishing gear, beach huts and people enjoying themselves. So there is plenty to have a go at – pencil in hand.

We started with a quick warm-up exercise of drawing a rooftop/horizon line. Not taking the pen/pencil off the paper. As Turner did, if he didn’t have long​ to sketch something. We had two or three goes at this before heading down to the beach for a longer sketch – 1 hour. With myself tacking around to see everyone (I could find!) and hopefully give some helpful advice. In between, I managed to quickly sit down for some very quick scribbly sketching using a biro.

Featured sketch above:

The Hall & Beer Head

Watercolour ~ A4
This sketch is from slightly higher on the eastern side of the cove, looking west. I’m having to work quickly, so that I can get back to the group.

Sketches & Materials Used

I’m using an A4 Arboreta 160gsm off-white drawing cartridge pad, as well as a Daler Rowney, Red & Yellow cartridge pad. For the featured watercolour sketch above I used Winsor & Newton, tubes of paint on a pallette.
All of the pen sketches were drawn with a black fineliner.

A line following the rooftops, without taking the pen from the paper.

Thinking about the perspective on a boat.

A quick sketch of one of the boats drawn up on the beach. This was sketched before the others arrived, to relax and loosen me up.

A loose sketchers of people working on their boats and others off on a fishing trip.

More Drawing

We regrouped at ‘Charlie’s Yard’ for some more drawing exercises. This time some figure drawing, using myself as a model. Starting with a sketch of 10 minutes, before shortening the time to 5 and then 2 minutes. Good practice for those sketches with folk in and you can’t nail their feet to the floor!
Just before lunch, we tried drawing the ‘negative space’ around some railings, pot plants and their shadows. That’s drawing the outline of the space, rather than the thing itself. Which seemed to get everyone’s brains going.

‘Negative Space’ sketch.

After Lunch

The group settled down to a longer sketch using colour. Mostly watercolour, but also some Inktense Watercolour Pencils and pastels.
Again, I tried to move around everyone, before dashing off a quick A4 watercolour sketch of Beer Head from the coast path.


In ‘The Dolphin’ we were able to see & hear everyone’s excellent sketches, stories and thoughts. I hope it was an enjoyable day and that it encourages everyone to slip a sketchbook into their bags when heading out for the day.

To see Otter Vales post and see the gangs sketches click here: ‘Otter Vale Art Society

Also check out my sketching tips post.

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