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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ruffles

Sun, sea and...snow?

snow at the beach
Sea and snow original framed drawing

You don't need me to tell you that snow and the seaside is a less well known combination, in this country at least - which is why when we had some rare snow days in Whitby a couple of years back, I was straight out with my camera. I've only seen snow come in on the beach once before when I was living in Cornwall, so I was quite excited (read uncharacteristically joyful looking goth).

snowscape in progress

As with its companion piece, Whitby Abbey, this was quite a small drawing but still big enough to need a bit of clean cartridge paper to keep my hand off the watercolour paper beneath. Drawing with charcoal pencils creates a lot of dust and it would be very easy to smudge that across an otherwise pristine bit - when that happens there can be nothing for it but to start over. On larger pieces I use a wooden bridge that secures to the sides of the drawing board.

Close up drawing detail

On such a simple composition as this, choice of pencils is especially important. To get as much contrast as possible and replicate the effect of the reflections in the water, I used as soft a pencil as I could for the wooden pilings and a much harder one for the lines on the water. As you can see in the image above, the soft pencil gives a lovely rich, matt black where the harder pencil (which uses more binder) is much lighter. I enhanced that further by going back over the lines applying pressure, burnishing the marks so they bounce light back.

The completed seascape drawing.

Speaking of reflections, I realised there was a little on the glazing in the photographed of this piece framed so here it is again in the nude. It has now joined other local views in the landscapes section of my shop.

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