Driving down the coast I came to the little town of Yachats. As I so often do I took some side roads to see what there is to see. I was delighted to discover their town park on the water’s edge. There were wonderful rocky outcroppings stretching into the sea and this day, fairly good sized waves crashing over the rocks creating a pulsing spectacle of energy. Watching how the waves would surge, cover and drain from the rocks was enthralling. I wanted to draw it.
But honestly, this is the kind of subject that I usually shy away from. Moving water? With an ink pen? Recognizing that I’ll never learn unless I try it, I pulled out a small piece of watercolor paper, a pencil and a pen. I knew I could draw the rocks so I started on them. As I drew the rock formations I considered how I would tackle the water. Watercolor seemed the best solution to capture that wild movement. The rocks took quite a long time and I wish I would have taken a photo before the color went on, but perhaps you can imagine rocks surrounded by white paper. I used a little maskoid to preserve some white areas. Once I added the color I wanted it to look like splashes going every which way. My finishing touch was some white gouache sprinkled on with a toothbrush.
I’m not unhappy with this first attempt. Watercolor is perfect for the fluidity of the waves and I’m glad I did not try to use ink in the water. A first attempt can be daunting, but I’m so glad I jumped into this. The next one was easier. Here’s another drawing from a quieter beach.
It’s so easy to stick with things that you know you can do well. I’m so glad I tried this. Now I have some ideas brewing for larger versions. And, when I come across more scenes of crashing waves on my journey, I’ll have the confidence to give them a try.