In this article, I will share some of the benefits of drawing on the beach, offer tips for success, and explore the different types of drawings that can be done in this unique setting.
As a lifelong lover of art and the beach, I have always been drawn to the idea of combining these two passions.
There is something truly special about the experience of drawing on the beach, with the sound of the waves, the fresh sea air, and the endless inspiration of the natural world surrounding you.
Gesture drawing at the beach
One of the other great things about drawing on the beach is that there are endless opportunities for practicing gesture drawing.
Gesture drawing is a technique that involves quickly capturing the essential movement and pose of a subject, rather than rendering every detail.
This type of drawing is particularly useful for capturing the energy and motion of the human figure, and the beach is a perfect place to practice.
As I walk along the beach, I often see people playing in the water, lounging on towels, or strolling along the shore.
These activities provide endless opportunities for gesture drawing, as the figures are constantly moving and changing position.
I can set up my easel near the water's edge and quickly sketch the dynamic poses of the swimmers, or sit on a nearby dune and capture the relaxed gestures of the sunbathers.
In addition to the people on the beach, there are also many animals that can be great subjects for gesture drawing. Seagulls and other birds are constantly in motion, swooping and diving along the shoreline. Dogs playing in the water or chasing sticks can also provide challenging and dynamic poses to draw.
Overall, the beach is a great place to practice gesture drawing, as it offers a wide variety of subjects and the freedom to move around and experiment with different compositions.
Whether I am drawing people, animals, or the natural world around me, the beach provides endless inspiration and opportunities for gesture drawing.
It's better to get outside and draw from the real world
One of the biggest advantages of drawing on the beach, rather than in a studio or at home, is the direct experience of the natural world.
When I draw from a photo, I am limited to the two-dimensional image on the page, and I miss out on the sights, sounds, and sensations of the beach.
However, when I draw outside on the beach, I can fully immerse myself in the scene and capture its essence in a more authentic and engaging way.
Another advantage of drawing outside on the beach is the opportunity to experiment with different perspectives and compositions.
When I draw from a photo, I am stuck with the fixed viewpoint of the camera, and I can't move around to try different angles or vantage points.
However, when I draw on the beach, I can walk around the scene and experiment with different positions, angles, and distances to find the best composition for my drawing.
In addition to these advantages, drawing outside on the beach also allows me to capture the changing light and shadow, the movement of the waves and other elements, and the overall atmosphere of the scene.
These factors are difficult or impossible to capture in a photo, but they can add depth, dimension, and mood to my beach drawings.
Overall, while drawing from photos can be a useful exercise, I find that drawing outside on the beach provides a more authentic and engaging experience.
The direct experience of the natural world, the freedom to experiment with different perspectives, and the ability to capture the changing conditions of the beach all make drawing on the beach a more rewarding and satisfying activity.
Tips for drawing on the beach
When it comes to drawing on the beach, one of the best tips I can offer is to keep things simple.
Instead of packing a heavy bag full of art supplies, I like to bring just a few essentials that will allow me to focus on observational drawing.
For example, I often bring just a pen and a sketchbook to the beach.
This simple setup allows me to quickly capture the essential elements of the scene without getting bogled down in details.
The pen is also easy to clean if it gets sandy or wet, and the sketchbook is lightweight and portable.
In addition to keeping things simple, I also recommend choosing the right location for your beach drawing.
I like to find a spot that offers a good view of the ocean, but is also sheltered from the wind and the sun.
A spot near a dune or a rock outcropping can provide some natural shelter, or I can bring an umbrella or a beach chair for added comfort.
Another important tip for beach drawing is to stay safe and respect the environment.
I always make sure to check the tide and the weather before I start drawing, and I avoid drawing in areas where I might get caught by the waves or other hazards.
I also make sure to clean up after myself and leave no trace of my drawing session on the beach.
Different types of drawings to try at the beach
One of the great things about drawing on the beach is the wide variety of subjects that can be drawn.
From the vast expanse of the ocean to the intricate details of shells and rocks, there is no shortage of inspiration for beach drawings.
Some of the things I like to draw at the beach include:
Landscapes: The beach itself is a beautiful landscape, with the endless horizon of the ocean, the patterns of the sand, and the changing colors of the sky. I often set up and sketch the overall scene, or focus on a specific feature of the beach, such as a dune, a rock formation, or a patch of sea grass.
Seascapes: The ocean is another fascinating subject for beach drawings. I can capture the movement and energy of the waves, the reflections of the sky and the shoreline, or the play of light and shadow on the water's surface.
Still lifes: The beach is also a great place to set up a still life, with the shells, rocks, and other natural objects that can be found on the shore. I can arrange these objects on a blanket or a rock, and draw the unique shapes, textures, and colors that make each one special.
Figures: Finally, the beach is also a great place to draw the human figure. Whether I am drawing people playing in the water, lounging on the sand, or strolling along the shore, the beach provides endless opportunities for figure drawing.