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Camping on Guernsey

We have arrived on the lovely island of Guernsey for a week camping holiday and hopefully plenty of sketching for me.
The ferry though was late in and this then put us on the wrong foot for our first evening. As we dashed around the island trying to find our campsite, without a map – my fault!
We later found out that navigating around the roads is hard enough with a map, without one it was almost impossible.
We ended up asking a very nice chap in a garage, who pointed us in the right direction – 100 yards down the road we were on!
The tent was then put up as quickly as we could. It was a windy evening and we were struggling with our large tent, not helped with my wife’s bad back! Fortunately, a chap from the neighbouring tent came and gave me a hand, but we were still trying to sort things out as darkness descended upon us. It taking a little while to sort out the lighting! Car headlights can be quite useful though…
That first evening could have gone better!

Fort Hommet

Today it has been rather windy, with rain blowing through. We had a leisurely start to the morning listening to the rain on the tent. This being the day that Fort Hommet’s Casement Gun was open, we went to have a look. It was very interesting to see the size of the gun and how the soldiers would have lived around it. Then had a ‘very’ windy and wet look around the rest of Fort Hommet. The small boy was not so keen on this bit of the day. But as the rain started to stop and the sun came out, we drove over to the more sheltered eastern side of the island parking at Pembroke Bay.

Featured sketch above:

L’Ancresse Bay

Watercolour ~ A4
The sketch above is from Pembroke Bay looking towards L’Ancresse Bay with it’s Martello Tower. I started sketching with a pencil before laying down some watercolour washes. I didn’t have time to complete it on location, so finished it off later in the tent.

Watercolour and Black ink sketch with a sinking evening sun.

Le Grand Havre

Watercolour and black ink ~ A5
After cooking in the tent, we headed out to Le Grand Havre beach. While ‘R’ played on the beach I did this quick sketch, with watercolour washes, then adding the black ink with a brush.

Sketching Materials

For watercolour sketching, I am using a ‘Daler Rowney, Langton 9 x 12” Hot Pressed watercolour pad‘. I’m using round brushes, a large Pro Art no.20 and two smaller brushes, sable no.6 & a no.1. Plus my travel set of Winsor & Newton, watercolours. I am also carrying a smaller A5 Daler Rowney, Red & Yellow cartridge pad, for smaller sketches. Pens and pencils used are a waterproof fineliner pen, black brush pen, willow charcoal and a 6B pencil.

Pen sketch of Havelet Bay-Castle Cornet

Havelet Bay

Pen ~ A5
I’m sitting on top of the walls at ‘Clarence Battery’ sketching the view across ‘Havelet Bay’ to ‘Castle Cornet’ and the departing Condor Ferry. Whilst ‘R’ enjoys running around, playing and generally having fun with some local boys who are here too.
The drawing was produced with a Fineliner sketching pen, with the foreground added with a Brush Pen

More rain today. We seem to have had quite a lot and we are starting to run out of ‘wet day’ things to do.
Hopefully, the weather will improve soon.
Charcoal sketch inside La Varde Tomb

La Varde Tomb

Charcoal ~ A4
Walking up from Pembroke Bay and we have nipped across the Golf Course to La Varde Tomb.
This is the largest Passage Grave on the island of Guernsey. We crouched to get in, then it opened out into a large chamber, with a sort of alcove on your left. Quite dark at the back of the chamber with water dripping down from above, but looking back the sun was streaming in through an opening in the ceiling.
The above is a charcoal sketch from the back of the chamber looking towards the entrance.

The site was discovered by soldiers in 1811. Who were stationed on this hill and were digging to make a rampart around their camp. During the summers of 1837-38, the site was thoroughly explored by the Lukis family. The tomb is 45 feet in length by 15 feet in width, and nearly 8 feet at its highest point. It is aligned for the Spring Equinox sun to enter the tomb.
Drift sand had filled the tomb, preserving the remains inside. These included burials on the floor in at least two phases. The phases were separated by a layer of limpet shells and pebbles. There were finds of human bones, urns of coarse red and black clay, amulets, beads, bone pins and boar tusks. The bones were heaped together and surrounded by a ring of flat pebbles. The urns may have contained food or drink.
Watercolour sketch of Moulin Huet Bay

Moulin Huet Bay

Watercolour ~ A4
A lovely sunny day today, we have driven down to Jerbourg Point. From here we are walking as far as we can get along the beautiful clifftop path with the ‘little fella’ – who might well start to moan at some point. Though he’s pretty good at walking if you keep his attention up.
As it turns out he does very well and we descend down from the cliffs to Moulin Huet Bay, for our lunch, a paddle and for me a sketch – what could be better.
Renoir’ visited this beach whilst he was here for a little painting too – not that I put myself in such illustrious company. (I’m sure he could have done those figures better than I have!)

Watercolour painting of Petit Bot Bay

Petit Bot Bay

Watercolour ~ A4
Hurrah! – another sunny day. We have driven down the beautiful valley to Petit Bot Bay and have managed to park near the front. Lots of people are about, particularly sea kayakers getting ready to head out.
This sketch is looking back into the wooded valley with another Martello Tower defending the beach. I am sat on a rock covered with barnacles, which is making my bum go numb!


We have had a great, if somewhat damp at times, camping holiday here on Guernsey. There are lovely beaches to explore and plenty of places to visit. Friendly people and lots of views to try and capture in your sketchbook.

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