Sketching and Painting Lake Lure

Helpful Tools for Sketching and Painting Loosely

Every year I go on a spiritual retreat with a friend of mine. Our purpose is to hear from God, pray for our families, relax, and catch up with one another. Our destination for this year’s retreat was Lake Lure. Even though I have lived in North Carolina for over 22 years, this is my first trip to beautiful Lake Lure. The weather was perfect, so one day we took advantage of a scenic boat ride around the lake. This sketch resulted from photos I took of the day.

I utilized a couple of apps on my IPad to plan and sketch my painting.  Here is the original photo I took on our boat ride.

Here is the same photo with a helpful grid overlay.

This grid helps you sketch more accurately. The app I used is called AccuView. This app is great. First, you choose what type and size of grid you would like to use. It is helpful to choose one that is the same proportion as your sketchbook. Then open the app, upload your photo, and then save it. Then when you go to view it, you will also have an option to print it or email it to yourself.

You can find it here.

If you are one of those artists who would like to “loosen” up your painting a little, the Waterlogue app is fantastic.

Here is the same photo “loosened” up using Waterlogue.

As you can see, this app is great if you want to eliminate detail and have a more looser or impressionistic painting. I mainly used it to interpret the main colors. You can find this app here.

Once I finished my sketch in pencil, I preserved some of the whites of the buildings and waves using Pebeo Drawing Gum (frisket).

After this dried, I painted in the sky and the base coat for the water. Next I added the mountains and then the tree line and tree reflection in the water. When completely dry, I removed the frisket, and then painted in my buildings. As you can see, I didn’t follow the photo exactly as I was using my “artistic license” when painting the buildings. I wanted to have a nice pop of burnt sienna for the roof lines to contrast with all of the green. I then added some deeper blue lines in the water here and there.

My intent was to keep this sketch realistic yet loose.

The last step was to add lettering to the left hand page which was painted similarly.  I almost find lettering the most difficult part of the page which tells me I need to to take more time to practice different lettering styles.Here is how the final, two-page spread looks in my journal.

Lake Lure Retreat

This particular journal is my travel journal.  It is so much fun to look back in this journal as it brings back so many wonderful memories.  I am almost finished with this particular journal–just a few more sketches to go!

If you give these apps a try, let me know what you think.

Happy Sketching!


8 Replies to “Sketching and Painting Lake Lure”

  1. Beautiful piece ! Your hand lettring is really beautiful too, I like this style. I have waterlogue application and it’s amazing, looking like real watercolor. Technicity is incredible ! It looks like everybody can post a waetrcolor on instagram and can say “I made it !!”. As a watercolorist, you show me I can use this app as a first idea for a watercolor. I ‘ve just tried it before writing this comment, on a flower of my garden I capture yesterday, and it could give a good idea of the way I could treat it. Thanks for this good tip.

    • I am so glad you like this tip. Why not use technology to help us see something a little differently? I wish you success in your flower painting! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Beautiful travel journal entry! Thank you for sharing the tech information. What a blessing to spend time with a friend and “retreat” for a while.

    • Thank you Laura. It was a blessing! Hope the tech info is helpful! Thanks for commenting.

  3. I just love this spread, Annie. Makes me want to visit Lake Lure for myself. Thank you, as always, for sharing your process. I learn so much from you. Does one need an iPad to use the apps or can they be used on a laptop too? They look like great tools.

    • Hi Susan. I think these apps are available for laptops as well. Lake Lure is so beautiful–a wonderful combinations of both water and mountains. It is one of my new favorite places. Thanks for the compliment and the comment.

  4. Annie, thank you so much for sharing your tips and your art. Truly wonderful.