Windy Day, Sennen Cove, coloured pencil in moleskine sketchbook, Vivien Blackburn
This was a study in (to borrow Tina's phrase) wave mechanics.
Waves roll in and break at certain points due to rocks/depth of water etc so it's possible to watch subsequent waves in repeat patterns and begin to analyse -
- the movement, how they break - in a steady line across the bay? or breaking in several places with the lines of surf meeting up with a splash of spray?
- The spacing of the waves and perspective (waves further out smaller? this will depend on the steepness of the beach and the weather)
- direction of travel - this can be surprising as they can angle unexpectedly across the beach, crossing waves from another direction
- how rocks or sand affect the movement and spray
- the way that foam is formed and the patterns it makes
- the colours of the underside of the waves
- light and shadow of waves
- the darkness of water over rocks or deep water
- the translucency of water over pale sand
- changes in waves with the tide as it ebbs and flows
- how the horizon looks - are parts of it unclear with colours merging with the sky? or is it sharply delineated?
- Are the colours of the sky reflected in the waves (at sunset/dawn for instance where the tips of the waves can be orange)
- Surf along far cliffs and the wave movement creating it
- The shallow wavelets at the edge and the colours of the wet sand - catching the feel of VERY shallow translucent water
Unless you sketch and observe this, working from a photo will give you less than 1% of the information you really need to understand what is happening, such as the sheer power of waves or the subtle or dramatic colour changes that a camera doesn't see as well as the human eye.
(This sketch was done when the colours were pearly and pale so you will need to enlarge it to see it a little better).
previous posts on waves
Have you done any wave studies?