Sketching in the Caribbean

This is my first blog post ever (thank you so much for inviting me, crclapiz!), so please forgive me that not everything is perfectly expressed and professionally done.

Last week, I spent some days on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and although we had lots of tours planned, I went with the idea to sneak out every now and then to have a quick sketch.
All in all it was quite a peculiar experience.
Most of the interesting looking locations were visible only by boat, but a boat taxi can hardly be persuaded to stay on the spot in a flowing river until a sketcher has finished his "masterpiece"....
So, I had to cheat a bit. These two sketches I made back at the lodge from photos, I had been taken earlier.
It was the first time I really tried to sketch water and I realized how very difficult that is. Lot more practice needed!

My favourite location was, of course, the village of Tortuguero: colourful, lively little village, friendly people, good vibes, nice Reggae Music, the perfect spot to sketch. Unfortunately, I had only half an hour and I knew it. That resulted in a rushed, heavily distorted sketch, but at least it is transmitting some of the energy I felt.

The next day, I had planned to walk back to the village and give it another try, but helas, it was raining heavily all day long. I painted this heliconia instead and that was an interesting experience, too, because the colours just would not dry! Six hours later, when I finally went to bed, I still had to leave the sketchbook open in order not to smudge the sketch.

The next morning, watching the continuing downpour, I thought I might give my chalk a try and yes, that was a good idea. The chalk was a little wet, too, but that had the advantage that it proved to be much less messy than normally. And the colours turned out equally luminous. I will have to keep that in mind for the next time I travel to a place with high humidity.

Oh, and one piece of advice: do not ever take honey-based watercolours to such a place.
All my watercolours turned very, very soft with the humidity, but the honey-based hue literally went running and smudged my whole palette. Luckily, I have only one hue by M.Graham, so it was not that much of a desaster.


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