Travel – what is that? It certainly has been a long time since I have been able to travel, whether in Australia or overseas, so I decided to revisit my travel sketchbooks to make a drawing from some of the beach finds that I have gathered over the last few years. I used to collect them, but now I keep them long enough to make a drawing then return them to where I found them.
There are some beaches that are an absolute treasure trove of shells, barnacles, crab claws and pieces of coral, and many of these are in Western Australia, particularly in the northern parts. Several of the ones in this drawing were found on 80 Mile Beach, but others have come from South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.
I didn’t make a detailed plan for this drawing before I began, all I knew was that I wanted a large shell in the middle as a centrepiece, the others would follow around it. Working from my travel sketches I could match colours and contrast form quite easily. Of course there are still lots more I could have used …
Doing this drawing felt like a reversion in some ways, as recently my drawings have been much more experimental and abstract. This is the comfort food of drawing, very satisfying and not too demanding. I don’t want to move away entirely from working like this, it is honing certain observational and technical skills, but I think I get more from the more challenging work. Two sides of the brain!
This is all done in coloured pencil, Caran d’Ache Luminance on Corona hot pressed paper, 300 gsm and is 50 x 70 cm. Below are detail images.