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Posts tagged ‘Sunshine Coast’

Pastel Sketch of Moffat Beach

Moffat Beach from “Visit Sunshine Coast”

It is a beautiful hot sunny Spring day here on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland so hubby, son and I set out to Moffat Beach for a morning of sun, sea and – for me – sketching.

Rather than drown, I drew

I’m not the most buoyant in the water and while my son snorkelled and my husband scuba dived with his local dive team, I retreated to the safety of the sand after my customary five minutes of panic-breathing and treading water not much deeper than my height.  It was actually a lovely calm ocean today, sad for the surfers, but I was happy. It meant I got more than my ankles wet.

I’ve never been a strong swimmer and in Australian oceans I really don’t feel at home, unlike in the balmy Mediterranean or Aegean Seas of Europe.  However, rather than put on a brave face and pretend I’m better than I am, I am at least honest these days.  So when the scuba divers came back with tales of what they’d seen several metres below, I admitted how I’d only just managed to get my face submerged once.  Of course my teenage son added painful details immediately, and with a little too much glee for my liking, so honesty was really the best way to go, rather than trying to save face.

I came into my own though, when I whipped out my sketch book and proudly showed the water babies that my own strength was in capturing, rather than immersing in, the sea. The sketch got a few raised eyebrows, approving gestures and “You did that just now?”, so I think I regained some ground that had just been swallowed up in the watery depths of my swimming!

The sketch

Pastel sketch of Moffat Beach

Pastel sketch of Moffat Beach

I used pastel pencils that I bought recently from a local shop, and a small sketch pad that fitted nicely into my beach bag.

When we chose our spot, it was in the quieter end of the beach with one or two couples around, but not too close.  I had an unimpeded view of the headland and happily got into testing the new pencils.  I quite liked them, they were easy to use in the environment and didn’t need anything other than a few clean finger tips to smudge.

However, I’d got as far as sketching the sky and smaller tree when my world became crowded with one family of three generations perching on the rocks right behind me, and another couple who stuck their sun brolly into the sand right in the centre of my line of sight.

Photo of Moffat Beach with a sunbathing neighbour.

Photo of Moffat Beach with a sunbathing neighbour.

I felt like getting angry, then remembered I didn’t actually have sole rights to the beach, so chose to ignore it all and got on with sketching.

Occasionally I heard members of the family behind me saying, “that looks so realistic”, “I wonder if she teaches”, “she’s got the colours just right.”

The Leo in me quite liked the admiration, so I turned and smiled and we ended up having a nice chat.  Their feedback on the colours I was using was actually helpful, because the sun was so bright, it was hard to tell what was dark blue and what was dark green.  It was also encouraging when they asked if I did this for a living and did I teach it.

When it was time to leave so the divers could gain access to their towels etc (I held the car keys), the family told me to keep painting and using my talents.  I took that as encouraging advice from the Universe, wished them a wonderful day and trudged back over the sand to the diving team with my son.


For a sketch done in an hour or less, with a new medium and in glaringly bright light, I am happy with the little painting.  I sprayed it with some matt fixative so it won’t smudge and am considering taking my pad along tomorrow when we go to the beach again.

Beach Wall hanging is finished!

At last, after showing you the felted first stage of my latest wall hanging, I’ve worked on it and now (apart from putting a backing onto it), it is finished and I thought I’d share a bit of the process for anyone interested.

First of all, here’s the finished wall hanging:

Moffat Beach wall hanging finished

The colours are actually brighter in real life than in this photo, and I’m very pleased how it has turned out.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a “Can I do this?” moment, but after feeling very pleased with how my Mt. Coonowrin wall hanging turned out, I began this project with more than a little trepidation. Madame Doubt kept whispering “was the first wall hanging a one-off?”, “will I stuff up this next one?” in my ear and it took several weeks before I got up courage to begin, and lay the first tufts of blue sky.

Once it had been wet-felted though, I was happy that I have got a bit of a knack to doing this, and despite having to shave the bottom half of the project, could see in my mind’s eye how I would complete this work.

How I added detail

I needle felted a lot of detail, including fixing up shadows, adding silk noil to the sandy walkway, and grass details.  Toe make the She Oak trees look more realistic, I embroidered leaves on top of the felted leaf colour, which I think adds depth.

I didn’t like how the yarn had felted into the sea.  It had started off with a lot of blue in the variegated colours, but after wet felting, all I could see was maroon.  I spent time needle felting over these threads with various shades of blue wool and also turquoise silk tops.  Much better.

The waves were added by needle felting thin pieces of selvedge edges from tissue silk that I cut off before making scarves. By cutting off these denser edges, it ensures the wool rovings migrate right through the edge of the scarves.  Plus I get to use the selvedge edges for other projects, like the waves in this picture.  It is delicate enough to give that bubbly frothy white caps that form on the tops of waves as they approach the beach.

To finish, here’s a collage of pics, working up to the finished piece.

My next two are going to be smaller, longer thinner wall hangings – abstract in design but reflecting beach colours, and perhaps shells.

Anyway, here’s the gallery:

I would like to acknowledge Gusha Visual Media who have inspired my latest work with some of their photos of the Sunshine Coast. In particular, Moffat Beach, which is so beautiful, I wanted to try and capture the scene in felt.

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