Sketchbook Notes: Scoble Point Moorings

From Easter and onwards through the Summer, in the late afternoon, a strong clear light strikes this part of the Salcombe estuary. The red and white hulls appear to radiate their colours more intensely until the sun drops below the skyline.

Even the mooring buoys know the day is done and the moon will bring another tide.

This is my initial sketch for Scoble Point Moorings.


Why bother with a sketch?

While a photograph can capture everything, that’s too much information. I need to frame the subject and to simplify what might have been a busy scene. Which craft will I include? Which should I leave out?

Sketching is therefore essential. It enables me to distill the principle points of interest and to identify the tonal areas of the composition and rebalance as necessary.

The sketchbook also serves as a diary, along with my iPad on which I take photos and, of course, my camera. I am grateful the software remembers when and where I take my photos.

So, with the various source materials in front of me and the sketchbook open, foremost in my mind is the tip: ‘look twice, draw once’. Sketching teaches you to watch! It teaches you to aim for brevity.


Notice that, in the final composition, I have rearranged the positioning of the various craft, but I took great care to plot the mooring buoys as shown on this photo of my original notes.

And, although my sketch was in watercolour, I decided to using oil paints for this subject – and what was a fascinating journey that was for me.


Where can you see this painting?

Scoble Point Moorings is on display at Salcombe Art Club in the Main Exhibition, along with four more of my paintings: Hope Cove, MerlinsSouth Pool Sunrise and Splosh of Frogmore.

The Exhibition is open every day from 11am until 5pm, until 24 September.

I will be at the Exhibition, stewarding, on these dates: 10 May (11am-5pm), 24 May (2-5pm), 14 June (2-5pm), 12 July (2-5pm), 9 August (2-5pm), and 20 September (11am-2pm).

If you are in Salcombe this summer, why not drop in?


The Sketchbook Notes series

This is one of the Sketchbook Notes, a series of posts explaining what inspired me to produce a particular painting.

If you own one of my paintings, or are just curious about an image, let me know; I’ll then write a blog post especially for you!