Sketching Cape Mavropetra

Cape Mavropetra, a hidden beach thirteen minutes from Oia, shows a small portion of the history of the Santorini. A small, but important history about the last eruption;  Phase 3 and the first part of Phase 4 of the volcanic eruption.  During Phase 3 of the eruption, the material was deposited in a style known as en masse deposition. In this particular phase the materials are unsorted. After this phase volcanic weather shaped the earth in an uneven landscape as scour channels formed between Phase 3 and Phase 4. Phase 4 is also categorized by the lithic fragments that come in all the materials seen all over the island from the previous phases. If you would like more information of either of these phases Pocket Full of Rocks and A Beautiful Place With a Frightening Reality are other blogs you can check out.


Now with the history of the site out of the way lets get down to sketching Cape Mavropetra! To begin you will need a meter stick, a ruler, a Brunton Compass, a pencil, and a field notebook. If you would like to re-sketch and paint the area as well you will need other materials. In my case I will be using a Watercolor notebook by Canson and a Koi Water Color Pocket Field Sketch Box that comes with a brush. For the painting portion please know that any type of watercolor paints work and the canvas on which you paint is up to you too; these are my preferred methods.


With all you materials gathered we will begin. Flip to a clean two page spread and flip your book lengthwise. We will come back to this is a bit.


Bring out your meter stick and measure out the area you want to have in you sketch. In my sketch I will have and area that is nine meters long. Also, use the meter stick to determine your eye height. In this section I hope to include Phase 3 and Phase 4, and a scour channel. With your Brunton Compass you will now take the height of the outcrop. Don’t be afraid, let me explain. Open up your compass and bring out the leg and bend the tip to ninety degrees. Next, look through the small hole and bend the mirror until you and see though the glass with the line running through it and when you can see the level that you can move. Then, line the black line of the glass/window to the top of the outcrop. During this process you might have to adjust the mirror. Make sure to move the level until the air bubble is in the middle of the two lines. Once that is done you can bring down the compass and look at the degree of the angle you measured; for me it was 57 degrees. We will plug in the degree you measured in the formula tan(degree) x (distance away from outcrop) + eye height and find the height of the whole outcrop. For example: tan(57°) x (2m) + 1.615m = 4.69m.

Hold it like this near your face. Use your other hand to move the level around.

In your notebook you will now make a scale keeping the length and height of the outcrop in mind. Considering that the size of my outcrop is 9m x 4.69m I made the scale 1cm = 0.5m for both the length and height.


After drawing in the scale of your outcrop measure the height on both sides of the outcrop separating Phase 3 and Phase 4 using your meter stick. Write them down. Then measuer the interesting features and write them down in your notebook. With these numbers you can now begging drawing in the contacts.


With the contacts now finished you can now begin drawing in the details in the beds. It does not have to be perfect since this is only a sketch. Add in items that stand out from the rest first then add on to it. Take pictures if you feel like you will not finish in the time given to you just in case. You have now completed your first outcrop sketch. I am proud of you! You did it and it looks amazing!


If you want to paint the sketch you will now have to do it on your separate canvas. Keep in mind that this sketch also needs to be to scale so measure out the area you will have to paint in. For me the scale is 2.5cm = 1m. Sketch the details lightly in pencil since watercolor can be lighter than the graphite; unless you want the lines to show in which case be careful of stray marks you do not want to include. Paint the picture to your liking and let it dry. Once finished write in the scale, the name of the location, and put in your watermark (signature). Be proud of you work. I’m proud of you! Have fun doing future sketches and give it your all!






4 thoughts on “Sketching Cape Mavropetra

  1. Zegri,

    This is a great post for future students to read on how to do an outcrop sketch from the math to using the compass and ruler. I especially liked the painting at the end. One note is that you used “Cape Mavroplaka” when it should be Cape Mavropetra.

  2. Hi there! I enjoyed reading your post. You did a nice job of clearly providing instructions for your audience; in particular, incorporating graphics was an excellent choice. Showing, opposed to just telling your audience what to do is super helpful. Normally when conveying steps in a process, you would want to enumerate the steps, so something to consider in future blogs (or other documents) you may write. Your tone is inviting and engaging, but watch for repetition and overdoing praise (ex: “I am proud of you”). Also look out for some typos (misspellings, punctuation errors); catching these will help your ethos (credibility). I hope you enjoyed your experience!

  3. I failed to mention that explaining the phases would be helpful, as would a thesis statement introducing the purpose/direction of your blog.

  4. Hi Zegri – I don’t have much to add in addition to Professor Kuhlman’s comments. I agree that an introductory statement would be helpful as well as an explanation of the phases. With those two things, this blog would be really complete!

    Your choice of photographs was really well done, as well as your painting which I always enjoy.

    Have a safe trip home and thanks for coming on this adventure! Lisa

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