The Pilot “ultra fine point permanent type” pen is a beast. It is the antidote for invisible ink, a black stick of dynamite ready to explode into a growing deep, dark pool if you spend to much time in one place. You must work fast with this pen, it is more unforgiving than watercolor, and when it reads “permanent” in bold gold letters along it’s length, its not a suggestion but a statement of fact. The expressive dark lines of this pen almost bleed through the pages of my Moleskine Journal, the key drawings are visible from both sides of the page.
I can not think of a better choice of weapon to capture this bold, unpredictable beach, where San Francisco ends in sand dunes, slowly being eaten away by the unyielding tides of the Pacific. The beach that has yielded the lives of unsuspecting swimmers, the rip currents at Ocean Beach are legendary.
But on a day like today, Ocean Beach is simply beautiful. The sun is out, for once, in the Outer Sunset, leaving the fog-shrouded streets an almost distant memory of a San Francisco summer. It’s a day in the Tsunami Zone when folks are having a driveway cookout, a time when you can see your neighbors.
After I worked quickly to capture the Big Blue as the sun crept towards the horizon, I worked on the tightrope without a net as I kept my pencil and eraser in my tool bag. I also covered the key ink sketch with a brash,wet on wet, wash. I let colors clash into color and added at bold Permanent Blue Violet (van Gogh) for the shadowed stretch of beach in the foreground. I add in my left boot for scale. A record of a Sunday afternoon walk to Ocean Beach.