Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sunshine Getaway, Day 1

I can't complain about the winter we've had so far this year, but still, I'm not one to pass up a chance to head south for some warm weather and fun in the sun. Fred and I wanted to get away for a few days to celebrate our 35th anniversary and found a good deal in Pensacola Beach, Florida. We stayed in a nice hotel right on the beach and woke up every morning to clear blue skies, sparkling white sand, and water so clear it looked like we were in the Caribbean.

Watercolor, pen & ink, 6" x 9"

I packed a few sketching supplies, just what would fit in a Ziploc bag in my purse:
6" x 9" Strathmore watercolor sketchbook
Winsor & Newton travel watercolor set
Mechanical pencil
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Pen
Kneaded eraser
Click eraser
6" ruler

Travel sketching supplies

I amazed myself with how much sketching I did in a few short days, without even trying all that hard. I didn't want Fred to be bored waiting around for me, so I worked fairly quickly, getting the pencil or pen sketches done on site, and adding color later that evening in the hotel room. It was so much fun! Fred says he didn't mind the waiting at all. Sitting in the warm sunshine with absolutely nothing to do isn't a bad way to spend a few minutes... or an hour... or two.

Walking on the beach one afternoon, I drew a few of the hotels closest to ours (the one in the center with the tiki hut.) I added the cute little biplane to fill the empty area over one of the lower profile hotels. Now I can't imagine the picture without it - it adds some life to it. Funny how being forced to solve a problem makes for a better picture.

It had been stormy the day we arrived, but by evening the weather had cleared, and we were treated to the most gorgeous sunset! The waves were crashing, a brisk wind was blowing, and the sky was lit up with shades of pink, orange, and purple - we were euphoric! To be transported in a matter of hours from dreary, grey, cold weather at home, to this spectacular scene - wow!

Watercolor, pen & ink, 6" x 9"

I love how the paint granulates and settles into the texture of the watercolor paper - doesn't it look cool?

The storm had washed up some seaweed, which made for interesting beach combing. We saw Portuguese man-o-war, starfish, and lots of shells. The seagulls loved picking through it all.

This beach ball water tower just puts you in the mood for fun ...

Our room was nice and beachy, with lots of chartreuse and aqua colors, and I thought it would be fun to draw a floor plan of it. (I just realized that I forgot to draw the coffee table in front of the couch, where I did my painting in the evenings! Totally spaced it.) Well, anyway, I think this sketch is a lot of fun. I got the floor plan idea from Liz Steel, over at her blog. If you enjoy sketching blogs, hop on over to hers for a visit - you're in for a real treat!

Watercolor, pen & ink, 6" x 9"

Watch for more sketches coming in a day or two....


  1. Sounds like a nice time was had by all. Love that sunset - such gorgeous colors! And I really like the floor poplin idea.

  2. First - Congratulations on your Anniversary. That is definitely something to celebrate.
    I really enjoyed seeing your images of Pensacola Beach. Your pages have lots of energy in them and it looks like you enjoyed your little getaway.
    These pages were fun to see as I got to visit there a year and a half ago when my son was there in flight school.

  3. We loved Pensacola Beach! The national seashore areas are so pristine and beautiful. I didn't know there were areas like that left along the gulf coast. I wish I could afford to stay there for a month or two every winter. Funny thing is, I always said I didn't like Florida!


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