Daniel’s Head

Daniel’s Head is a point of land on the south side of Cape Sable Island and is well known to birders as an ‘important bird area’. Indeed, the somewhat bleak-looking landscape encompasses a beach (breeding Piping Plovers!) and saltmarsh, divided by a road and sea ‘wall’ (a pile of boulders that does get breached, from time to time). At the end of the road is a fish plant and a small wharf with lobster boats.

I have been working at a series of pictures depicting the wharves of Cape Sable Island. so it was necessary to have a go at the one on Daniel’s Head. Unfortunately, its a rather industrial looking place, the buildings and wharf itself don’t lend themselves to whimsy! I could not seem to get a photo reference that inspired me. In the end, Mark came to the rescue with a view across from the wharf, looking towards the road and the sea wall. The fish plant would be on the far right of the picture. In the background is a metal structure, made of girders and given the name of ‘the metal forest’ by local birders, due to the number of interesting birds found sitting on it, over the years. I have to admit I am not at all sure what its true purpose might be. You can see the boulder-strewn sea wall in the distance.

I used the Derwent Inktense pencils again for the hulls of the boats and other intensely-coloured places in this picture, but then swapped to conventional watercolour pencils for the rest. I have been using the Supracolors pretty constantly recently, to the neglect of the other sets, so I decided to purposely use the Marco Renoir pencils on this picture. That way I could double-check that the Supracolor pencils were worth the money!

The difference was very noticeable. The Supracolors go on much more smoothly and almost ‘creamy’ as compared to the Renoirs, which felt scratchy. They also don’t wet as readily as the Supracolors, and release less pigment. It felt like harder work to get the colour on the paper, so I do think that the Supracolors were worth the money – it is true that ‘you get what you pay for’. However, the Renoirs did do a good job and, at less than $80 CAD for 72 pencils (on Amazon.ca), they probably can’t be beaten for value for money.

Daniels Head Wharf rs watermark

‘The Wharf at Daniel’s Head’, 8 x 10 inch, watercolour pencil (Derwent Inktense, Marco Renoir) on 140 lb cold press watercolour paper (Canson XL).


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Sandra Dennis

Now I'm in early retirement from my previous career as a pharmaceutical scientist, I've taken to creating art pieces. I specialise in wildlife art, especially birds.

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