Welcome back to "Part 2" of my recent travels to California. This post is going to focus on the sketches I did while in Monterey and the adjoining community of Pacific Grove.
The image above is actually my second attempt to sketch a wonderful cypress tree that was down the street from the Inn where I stayed. It is done with pencil and watercolor washes. You can see the unpainted pencil drawing below.
The next two pics show my original painting of the same tree, done on my first morning there. Both days started out overcast and gray...a bit chilly, so I needed a jacket. Unfortunately, I later removed that jacket and forgot to have sunscreen on hand. I got a bad sunburn on my neck and arms from sketching all day. Lesson learned!
I decided to try using gouache paints on this trip...I have only used them a few times. But they would allow me to build up layers of lights and darks. In the end, I was not all that happy with the way the paint responds, and also how it changes color as it dries. I do, however, like using the brown sketch paper in this smaller book.
I drove down the coastal road a bit, and set up looking out at "Lovers Point", a rock formation in Monterey. Again, I tried the gouache paints...not so happy with the duller colors I ended up with. This process, however, has moved me a bit closer to wanting to get my oil paints out of storage. You can see the view of the actual location in the photo below.
The next sketch was done in virtually the same spot, only rotated around from where I was sitting. There were some seals sunning themselves on rocks in the middle of the scene.
I decided to go back to my tried and true technique of using line-work from an artist pen, and watercolor washes. You can see the unpainted drawing below. I did have a bit of a struggle painting the larger areas of water...so many beautiful colors with variations of lights and darks.
Here is a photo of the full scene that caught my eye. I was astonished at how white some of the rocks were...like pure snow. Then I realized that it was just stained from sea birds pooping on the rocks for centuries. Still pretty...a nice contrast!
The next two sketches are of Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove. I had brought along a little 6" long metal ruler to try some cleaner straight lines for the borders. I liked how these came out. The sketch on the right is a combination of sepia pen line, brown and white pencils, watercolor washes, and a little white Sharpie pen. Whatever works.
That's it for this post. Next time, I'll show you sketches from my drive down to Santa Barbara.