Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

The beginning of any piece of artwork usually starts with a basic backbone: the paints and the paper. At home, I’m reckless: tubes of paint are strewn about, all different kinds of paper stacked on my drawing table at arm’s length. These luxuries don’t translate to field sketching, and unfortunately the dreaded choice of materials […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

Beach Blossoms Life on the dunes never used to be of much interest to me. After all, what is there to explore, just sand, right?  Little did I know, a mosaic of beautiful flowering plants grows in the sand. Against all odds, they root themselves in areas where other plants would never survive. These flowering […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

Midweek Update Sketching Essentials When I go on a hike knowing I’d like to do some sketching, the last thing I want is to lug around a heavy pack. I’ve done that before, and it was not fun! Now, I have a group of convenient items that make my field-sketching adventures much more enjoyable. One […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

Height Club Imagine two million acres of untouched ancient redwood forest, creating a three-hundred-foot-high wall along Northern California’s jagged coastline. If you lived here five hundred years ago, this wonderland would remain waiting to be explored. Today only a fraction of this magnificent forest exists; yet the sight of even one tree with a trunk […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

Midweek Update Instant Shadows! This technique is an incredibly simple way to create bold scenes with dramatic shading. I often use a pen with ink that bleeds when it gets wet. Many black felt-tip pens qualify, each having subtle differences in bleeding effects. They are fun to experiment with! First I draw basic outlines of […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

You’ve got Whale! From ancient Greek mythology to classic American literature, whales and dolphins have captivated cultures all over the world for thousands of years. Exceptionally intelligent and very social, these majestic creatures evoke a fascination in humans that is certainly understandable. Considering that many whales and dolphins are threatened species, now is the time […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

Midweek Update As promised, tips for painting in the field. One of the most convenient and fun tools I use is a fillable watercolor brush. The top half of the brush twists off, allowing you to fill the bottom half with water. The flexible plastic bulb of the bottom half supplies water to the brush tip […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

I find it difficult to contain my envy while watching packs of loudmouthed sea lions living it up in the California sun. They feast on fresh seafood all day, between frequent naps on the beach. It’s easy to feel jealous at first; however, these perks come well deserved. Facing bone-chilling ocean temperatures, limited food supplies, […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

Here is a sneak peek for tomorrow’s sketch, and some techniques I like to use in the field: 1. First I like to sketch basic shapes with a very light blue pencil. I find the light blue to be less distracting than dark pencil lines, and it allows freedom to correct mistakes, which I make […]

Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

Seabirds in the Sunshine California shorebirds have an outstanding range of personalities, from tiny and timid to big and bold. Some chase the tide in packs, searching for tiny crustaceans to eat, while others dive dramatically for a meal they have to fight for. Whether you’re admiring plovers or pelicans, coastal birds are endlessly entertaining […]