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 often while sketching. This is done very quickly, and just helps me have a sort of “blue-print” to work with. This is a great time to use quick, energetic lines. Either they will be covered by the final artwork or add an interesting element to it.
2. After mapping out basic shapes, I’ll start adding pencil line work to further describe the subject. At this point, I spend more time making sure my lines accurately reflect what I see.
3. Finally, the fun part! I use watercolors to add color to my sketches. How, you may ask, does one paint with watercolors in the field? Find out in the next tip! Check out tommorow’s post for the finished sketch and more marine mammals!
See you at the Beach!
Annette Filice
(Science Illustration Intern)


  1. Laura Cunningham says

    I like how you show the progression of the sketch, cool idea!

  2. Annette Filice says

    Thanks Laura!

  3. These sketches really make me want to start drawing again. I’m definitely trying the blue pencil technique soon. Thanks for the tips!