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“Limpets, Periwinkles and Bladder Wrack”

Limpets, Periwinkle and Bladder Wrack

Limpets, Periwinkle and Bladder Wrack

Well you can see by the date on my sketch page above, that I’m way behind on my posts! I had another very nice visit to the sea on this day, at Howick Haven in Northumberland England, one of our favorites. There are many rock pools to explore when the tide goes out and that’s just what I did before settling down on a rock perch to draw the above sketch. (Click on it to see it as a glossy note card with text removed) You can read my little note about how it’s damp and chilly, my hands got so stiff it was hard to draw. Then there were too many people walking around for my liking, when they see someone sitting alone on some rocks sketching they get curious and come out pretending to explore just to peek over your shoulder. Well I don’t mind really, many times I chat with nice folks this way. (Hey if you ever see someone out drawing in nature and you think it’s me, introduce yourself!!)

Limpets, Periwinkle and Bladder Wrack

Limpets, Periwinkle and Bladder Wrack full page

This is a picture of the whole sketch page to show you my list of what we saw there, I also listed my pencil colors. When you look closer at little things around you, you’ll be amazed at how much more you see. When you start to identify and learn about these things you will see them many more times. One of the new ‘discoveries’ of the day was a Green Chiton, wow it was so cool!  (see below)

Green Chiton in the water

Green Chiton in the water

This Chiton was a gorgeous green with black trimming. Gary found it when I coaxed him out to have a ‘play’ like me around the rock pools, looking for interesting things. It was settled under water in a shallow pool, looking similar to a Limpet that clings tightly to rocks. This was unique in that it was oval shaped, and segmented like a pill bug, it could curl it’s shell! I want to do a little color study of it when I have time.

Green Chiton curled up

Green Chiton curled up

This is what it looked like when touched, it curled slowly. Don’t worry, it was soon placed safely back into the tidal pool.

pencils + drawing of seaweed with limpet

pencils + drawing of seaweed with limpet

I wanted to show you my set up with the laptop because the weather was so damp and chilly it was impossible for me to finish my color sketch on the spot. I took lots of photos and then at home just referred to my laptop screen to finish details and colors. Those are all the watercolor pencils I used laid out on the side. I had the sketch book and pencils on a little board on top of the keyboard. I used a variety of watercolor pencil types, mostly Derwent with a few Prismcolor, both great brands to use. As I studied the colors in the Bladder Wrack, this sort of ugly seaweed became more interesting to me. I liked the subtle colors of olive and yellow, the form of the leaves as they lay curling on the rocks and the fascinating little ‘bladders’ of air sacs on them to help them float, with little bumps all over them. What perked up the painting was adding light blue washes here and there where the light was hitting the wet surfaces.

I ended up using the permanent black marker to really define the drawing forms, to ‘dig in’ to dark areas and make them stand out more. I also like the way ink can loosen up a drawing and keep it from looking stiff.

Below I’ve added lots of random photos from my short visit to the coast here in Northumberland England, please have a look and enjoy my day with me! (Some I’ve made note cards of, you’ll see them in my shop when you click on those photos; you can hover over them in the shop to see close up views!)

The Beach-Tides going Out

The Beach-Tides going Out

You see some of the pools here, the beach and high dunes where we park the car are in the distance. Not a very sunny day!

Limpets along a rock

Limpets along a rock

A nice photo showing the Limpets and Bladder Wrack (so named for the little ‘bladders’ on their leaves).

Wading bird

Dunlin wading in the water

My birdy expert friend Stuart over at “The Boulmer Birder” helped me out with this ID, it’s a Dunlin.

Wagtail

Immature Pied Wagtail

This Pied Wagtail had my scratching my head, I’m still new to the birds of England but thought this was a Wagtail but it had no bib. Thanks to Stuart for telling me it is a Wagtail but the immature ones lack the bib.

Cormorant + Friends

Cormorant + Friends

Some more popular shore birds, a Cormorant, Gulls and an Oystercatcher. I love the Oyster-catcher’s red beak and very black and white plumage when they fly.

Grey Heron and Oyster Catcher

Grey Heron and Oyster Catcher

Can’t forget the Grey Heron, sorry he’s a bit blurry, I had to zoom in a lot to get him. They are incredibly shy, hard to get near so the zoom comes in handy.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle

This is Dunstanburgh Castle, it’s just north of Craster along the coast. From Howick Haven you can see it in the distance, I zoomed again for this one.

My Boots at the Beach

My Boots at the Beach

Then there’s the ‘ol boot picture! Just to show I do kick back sometimes and take in the beautiful scenery. (I have a bunch of cool boot note cards for those people who like hiking, click on the picture to check ’em out in my shop, more coming all the time!)

I think its Pipit

Meadow Pipit singing up in the dunes

One more bird, we saw this one while we were walking up on the dunes and as the caption says, it’s a Meadow Pipit.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

The final beautiful picture I leave you with today is the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. I spotted him flying around in the grasses, also up on the dunes. Just love his furry little body and gorgeous colors! Click on the picture to see many photos I’ve taken of these beauties!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the walk with me at the coast. I hope you visit my shop to see the note cards I made, explore my many categories there to see other photographs and paintings. http://www.zazzle.com/marymcandrew*

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7 comments to “Limpets, Periwinkles and Bladder Wrack”

  • Sharon Gleason

    These are great Mary..I so love to see what you have been up to with your sketchbook! Enjoy the Isles

  • thanks Sharon, so glad your following my sketching adventures! I love it so much here I don’t want to leave.

  • Love the pictures Mary, sounds like you’re loving the area. How much longer are you around for – fancy a sketching trip one day? I’m about 40 mins north from Alnwick if that is anywhere near you?

  • Catriona, so sorry I didn’t get to reply until now! I forgot you were so close to the border, when we go out I don’t always know where we’re going to end up. The day we went to Scotland and hiked, I don’t think even Gary knew we’d go there! I hope we can go sketching together someday!

  • Hi Mary,
    I’m glad to see you enjoyed our beach, its a pity I missed you again! Your ‘sandpiper’ is a Dunlin and your ‘pipit’ is indeed a Meadow Pipit. Fantastic drawings of the pools…

    Regards Stewart.

  • Oh and I forgot, the wagtail is a juvenile Pied Wagtail hence the lack of black bib…

  • Hi Stewart!
    Thanks so much for the identifications! I know I can trust your input and appreciate it so much! I’ll edit my post when I have time to include the names. I promise the next time I visit Northumberland (sigh, next year)we will get together and hopefully go sketching or birdwatching. Things were so busy this year, I’ll email you when I can,
    (ps. I found a “Angled Shade” moth on our door, did some small sketches and took tons of photos, I thought of you)
    Mary

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