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Later in the afternoon as we were enjoying our day trip to Lake Winnipesaukee, I found my gaze drifting to the town of Wolfeboro, just across the water from Brewster beach. Fun Fact: Wolfeboro boasts being the oldest summer resort in the U.S.

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Feeling a surge of inspiration, I took out my kit and started sketching. I did my best to keep the sketch loose and quick:

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I really like the composition—the big tree in the foreground on the right and the right-hand shoreline angling to the left, drawing the eye to the focal point of the painting, which is the town and the mountains in the background.

Earlier in the day when we ate lunch, the ducks got really aggressive. I had to threaten them with a foam noodle to get them to back off. Vicious duck on the prowl for vittles shown below:

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Now, as I sketched, the ducks settled down and took a nap.

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What emerged is this:

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I really like how the clouds and water turned out. I added some violet mixed with burnt umber to give the clouds shadows. And I chose to leave some white space in the water. It feels more spacious to me. That was hard for me to do, as the tendency is to want to fill all space with paint. I also added some splatters, trying not to go overboard with them (which is tempting when you start flipping the brush, let me just say).

This was a great way to end our day on Brewster beach. The afternoon sun, the napping ducks, Sonia and Alix soaking in the sun. Painting this scene grounded me in that precious moment and helped me to take in all that it had to offer. And that’s one of the main reasons I love to sketch and paint.

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