Sunday, May 13, 2018

Dublin Sketchers go to the Seaside

Last Sunday, unlike today (I'm writing this on the 11th of May, and it's raining cats and dogs out there), was a beautiful, hot, sunny day. I had picked the Dun Laoghaire seafront and pier for our Dublin Sketchers outing. It's not often the sun shines so brightly in Dublin, so I felt it would have been a waste to stay in the city centre. There'll be plenty of time for that by August, when our summer is effectively over (in some cases, over before it's started).

I knew Dun Laoghaire would be busy - Dublin is basically divided between the people who stay home when the sun shines, and people who go to the seaside. My husband is the former. Me, it depends, but I like to be where the action is! 
I knew it would be pointless to try and find parking on the street, so I opted for the Pavilion car park, which was remarkably quiet when I arrived there just after 1pm.

First, I headed off to People's Park. They have a market there on Sundays and I thought it would be a good spot to practise sketching crowds. I found a shady spot under a tree and got started. Just as well I'd had lunch before leaving home. The queues for the food tents were huge. I'd reckon a good 20 minutes half an hour before you could place your order at most of them! And there were people everywhere, on the benches, on the grass, families with kids, hipsters with dogs, and people queuing queuing queuing! People moved, but enough of them stayed put long enough for me to try and catch their poses. I worked straight in watercolour, not even one pencil mark to start. I made the mistake of starting with the tents and the people queuing at the back, so my man in red standing at the front lost his head in a tent, and you can see the legs of the people at the back, which I couldn't see in reality. But, hey, lesson learned and all the rest! 

After a while, I decided to move to a quieter spot. Just below the seafront promenade, there are paths and steps leading to the sea. Hardly anybody there! I found a nice little corner and set up there. I love the colour of the sea in Ireland when the sun shines. In the West, there are spots that are Caribbean or even Maldivian turquoise. Not quite in Dublin, but still, shimmering and dancing! Well, I got so engrossed in the colours that my horizon isn't straight. But, really, I felt so happy there, it didn't matter to me! I was actually proud I had reserved the white for the sailboat anchored in the bay that nothing much mattered after that.

Once that was done, I still had a bit of time before meeting my fellow Dublin Sketchers, so I looked around and there was a lady sitting on a low wall to my left. She looked like she might be there for a while. When I left, she was engrossed in her phone, so I didn't show her my sketch.

And then at 4pm, we met for a drink in the Haddington House Hotel. Great location, just above the pier. And they have a beer garden. But it was mobbed, so we retreated to a quiet spot in the lobby, and after queuing forever, I managed to get a drink and sat down to chat with the others about the day!

PS: It took me nearly half an hour to get out of the car park at 5pm! Memo to self for the next time: park further away and walk!

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