Back to Borth beach – Alice Draws The Line

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Back to Borth beach

An all time family favourite - Borth Beach on the Welsh coast, just north of Aberystwyth. It’s the closest beach to where we grew up in South Shropshire. It’s definitely not fancy, but that’s probably why we love it. We like to go a few times a year. It used to be once, usually on the August bank holiday, but now we are all grown up and able to drive ourselves we go whenever we fancy! 

On Friday it was my Mum’s birthday. She announced that all she wanted was for as many of the family to have a day at the sea together… and so that’s what we did. 

I took my sketchbooks, and set up camp and had a lovely time sat amongst everyone, drawing away - bliss. And the sun shone! AND we saw dolphins! I think I only saw one, but the others saw two! in very nearly 40 years that’s the first time I’ve seen a dolphin there. Very exciting. 

Anyway, back to the drawings. 

This is the one I did first - 

Borth beach by Alice Draws the Line Watercolour -which dried in the sun! And then mainly colour pencils on the top.

Borth Beach by Alice Draws the Line

I abandoned this half way through as a Dolphin was sighted… so I went to look at the shoreline and then came back to it… and added in a finned friend!🐬

The next picture I did was just turning a bit more to the right so that I took in the shoreline heading towards Ynyslas and the hills and land beyond.

Borth Beach sketch study by Alice Draws the Line

This was also done in watercolour to begin with - the sun helped it to dry, and then I added all sorts of other bits that I had with me.

Borth Beach study by Alice Draws the Line

These were both done in my square 20 x 20 cm Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook.

Borth beach by Alice Draws the Line

Finally, I got the A3 sketchbook out. I had the idea that I might create an abstract piece… but as I started I just kept putting more detail in and so it became another study of the beach, a similar view to the piece above. 

Borth beach looking to Ynyslas by Alice Draws the Line

Borth beach by Alice Draws the Line materials used

This is the picture balanced on my tin of pencils, pens and more! I dipped into this to find pastels, watercolour pencils, charcoal and a white gel pen, all of which went on the piece after the watercolour. 

Borth Beach by Alice Draws the Line extract with brush marks

This extract hopefully shows some of the brush marks I was working with. The sky was amazing - blue but with streaks of white wispy clouds. Hard to achieve with watercolour without white or masking fluid, and so I added just the blue for the sky and left out spaces for the white clouds. 

I was also working with a partially dry brush to try and create the white horses at the shoreline - I started to want to really play with this and develop it - but prolifically filling pages and stopping them blow away in the middle of a birthday picnic didn’t feel the right thing to do!

Borth beach - The final sketchbook page by Alice Draws the line

I have popped this in a frame in the studio now - altering the composition slightly as the frame is 36 x 28 cm and the original was 43 x 29 cm.

Borth beach framed picture by Alice Draws the Line

And lastly… a quick sketch of some of the children - a wonderful reason to finally try my florescent paint sticks!

Children playing on the beach by Alice Draws the Line