I created these sketches while on vacation with Ellen in Cancun in 2011. I used my standard travel watercolor kit, with the addition of some watercolor pencils for one of the sketches (the boat sketch). Painting with watercolor pencil was a new experience for me. The effect is different, and the experience felt a little more “loose,” in that I wasn’t trying to be too precise with the pencil, and when I added water I didn’t have a lot of control over what the color did.

I like the fine-point permanent Sharpie pens for the sketches because 1) they don’t bleed when I add paint, 2) they don’t show through on the other side of the watercolor paper, and 3) they’re nice and juicy. Also, when I erase the pencil under-sketches the pen lines don’t fade or smear.