drawing on the beach

Koosje Koene’s Drawing Tips: Drawing on the Beach


Summer time means beach time. At least for a lot of people it does. And what better place to draw people than on the beach? It’s almost like naked model drawing, only the people wear swim suits and they move around. But not even that much, and often they do it slowly too. It’s a really nice place to capture posture and gestures.

Plus, you get to enjoy the seaside. With your feet buried in the soft sand, you feel the warm breeze on your skin, you can smell the sea. You might even take a dive to cool off between your line work and adding color. Why not?

Essentials to bring when drawing on the beach:

  • Sunscreen
  • Water to stay hydrated
  • A hat or cap
  • A towel (to sit on and/or to wipe sand from your feet, hands and drawing gear)
  • Some change to buy an ice cream – or… fried fish!

On the beach, there’s no shade, unless you bring or rent a parasol, which isn’t always available Apart from sunscreen, I also bring a light long-sleeved shirt, in case I will spend more than one or two hours in the sun.

My essential art tools on the beach:

A small backpack with…

  • All the things above
  • Sketchbook
  • Clip(s) to secure your pages against the wind
  • Pen(s)
  • Watercolor box
  • Waterbrush
  • Wrist sweatband to wipe excessive paint off brush
  • Optional: small folding stool

You really don’t want to bring much more than that. You can’t lay out your art materials that easily in the sand. Sure, you can put them on your towel but the risk that they disappear in the sand is high, and you don’t want your pencil case scooping up any sand either.

Keep your pen case in your backpack, so it’s protected from any sand blowing in. Take out a pen or any tool of your choice, put your sketchbook on your lap and get going.

Study people’s postures. Try capturing their postures in quick line, or use watercolor to describe their general shape.

You can include the horizon, some clouds or the blue sky, and the sea or ocean – which has a different color in every part of the world, and also changes shades depending on the time of day. There’s always something to draw!

2 mins

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