Sun-Filled Days of Summer

In between the storms rolling through you have to make the most of every sunny day. This week has been no exception. So, the dogs and I spent the afternoon at the beach on Lake Taupo, while the storm brewed further south. The wind was excellent at whipping up some waves that were pretty impressive for  a lake. Lots of kids were trying out their body-surfing skills, and Nylah (our water dog) was not being deterred by the size of the waves either. She knows how to leap into them and ride her way back in.

This sketch is very simple and quick. I do like the distance achieved through the colours, but it probably isn’t my favourite.


I thought I had worn her out. Fat chance! Her and the pup romped up and down and all over. Yet a  whole beach to play on and why do they choose to dig directly at my feet? I ended up very precariously balanced on my stool with sketch pad and waterpots balancing on my knee, as my feet kept getting moved further and further apart as these two kept digging a bigger and bigger hole. They shook water all over my sketchpad, then sand followed. We might have a bit of training to do for next time 🙂 They really do know how to enjoy themselves though, and I was grateful for the  light-hearted afternoon enjoying the sunshine.

Although they are very accommodating dogs, they did not oblige me with staying in the same position long enough for me to sketch them. Playing was much more inviting! So, this is where taking a few snapshots on the ever-present phone works great. Drawing came later when we were home and they were sleeping at my feet.


Another blessing that comes from this more settled part of summer is that the farmers around Taupo are in the full swing of hay-making, and as each paddock is cleared my sinus get freer from the dreaded grass allergies that give me a bit of grief. Very grateful for these round bales.

I enjoyed the simplicity of painting these haybales. Then using a non-waterproof pen for the grass in the foreground made an easy way to blend, show movement and depth and all with a few quick scribbles.


Sun-filled days just scream “Ice-cream!”, and so Daughter #2 and I went for a wander that saw us pass the dairy (corner store) and treat ourselves to some creamy  Summer pleasures. The strength of the summer sun and shadows go hand in hand and so when I noticed our shadows I knew instantly that it would be today’s grateful drawing. Simple yet effective at communicating the idea.


Roses, too, love the sunshine. A friend came round and had picked me one of her Monet roses. A very striking yellow rose with bright pink splashes through out. Or is it a bright pink rose with stripes of yellow? She said “it was by an artist and for an artist.” How could I not be grateful for this beauty sitting on my kitchen table. And, yes, it had a beautiful perfume as well.

I did this in washes of yellow and pink and then highlighted the pink even further using watercolour pencils. Roses are always fiddly when done in watercolour because each wash on each petal must dry before the next is applied. But, hey, it was a Monet, so it deserved the effort.


Yesterday, I noted that the weather report is predicting more settled weather for the later part of summer. Definitely in for that and I am sure the dogs are too. So there may be more sunny grateful sketches coming…Bring it on!



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