This started as a practice sketch to familiarize myself with this iconic Maine lighthouse in preparation for some plein air sessions. But it sucked me in and turned into a full blown composition. It still needs small tweaks and refinements, but that will have to wait because I don’t have all of my drawing supplies on hand.
The actual lighthouse was the easiest part, whereas the rocky coastline, which dominates the landscape, was the tricky, tedious bit. Despite the slog involved in drawing so many rocks, it was very rewarding as the composition came into view. I worked left to right, which made for a fun time lapse which essentially drew the rocky coast towards the lighthouse… somewhat ironic, too.
There were some lessons learned as well. When drawing rocks, it was very helpful to focus and emphasize the vertical lines, which were the darkest elements. It was also good to draw many rocks as planes using a very angled drawing stroke, utilizing the side of the pencil instead of the tip. I’m sure that violates various drawing art conventions, but I’m pretty sure I don’t care… lemme check…. yep, confirmed, I don’t care.
I used more dark graphite than I usually do (2B, 4B and 8B, with some HB) but it seemed to work. As one can see from the reference photo there are cast shadows on the rocks and buildings, as well as darkened rocks from crashing waves and a receding tide, which makes for a lot of graphite.
Lastly, some advice. First, come see this lighthouse when you visit Portland, Maine. While you’re here, get the best lobster roll in the area from Bite Into Maine, which is open all week in the park. There are numerous picnic benches throughout the area, all with spectacular views. And if you have furry friends, bring them, as this is a dog friendly park.
Thanks for reading!
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