Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, Maine – a charcoal drawing

“Weary sailors search the horizon for a glimpse of light, the beacon that will take them home.  It’s been a long, cold and rough journey at sea as they long to set foot on land again ~ families wait anxiously for these sailors to return.   They take comfort in knowing the lighthouse will guide them to their hearts destination ~ ”  by Mary

Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, Maine – a charcoal (and graphite) drawing (8×10) was drawn on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper using both hard, soft and loose charcoal.  A lot of tools were used to obtain the different textures seen here from a cotton ball for the sky, to a tortilium and sponge applicator for the vegetation.  Both kneaded and Mono-Tombow erasers were used to work the textures and highlights in the vegetation.  Graphite was used for the foreground grass (to soften the look of the grass, both a tortilium and sable brush were used).  It was a joy to draw this very special that I used to call home.

Two Lights is the name that was given two light house structures, that stand by each other, in Two Lights State Park of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  The structures over look Casco Bay and the Atlantic ocean.   The lighthouses were built in 1828 and both remained in operation until 1924 – one was sold off and is now being used as a private residence (how cool is that?) and the other lighthouse continues in operation.   In 1929 a famous American artist, Edward Hopper, painted this lighthouse Lighthouse at Two Lights that hangs at The Met Fifth Avenue, Gallery 900.  It is interesting to see how much vegetation has grown around the lighthouse currently from when Hoppers painted it in 1929.  He painted the scene from a different angle than I did my drawing, both give interesting perspectives of this idyllic place.

Hope you enjoy a little history behind this famous Maine Lighthouse ~ a quick side note.  If you are ever traveling through Maine and are looking for a delicious lobster roll, the Two Lights Lobster Shack fully delivers!  It is located right next to the lighthouses.

Please don’t take my images – my art is copyrighted.

Please don’t copy or use the image without receiving my permission first – see disclosure on the right panel.

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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74 Responses to Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, Maine – a charcoal drawing

  1. This is beautiful, Mary! I love lighthouses. I once climbed what felt like a million steps to go into the lighthouse in Pt. Reyes, California. It is a beautiful place. It’s one of my favorite places by the ocean!

  2. Lovely, Mary. Being in Maine, I’m sharing on Twitter, FB & Pinterest. Have a beautiful day! 🙂

  3. Paul Beech says:

    A gorgeously atmospheric drawing, Mary: the lighthouse an alien presence rearing above what appears to be a crashing wave of vegetation, suggestive of the real breakers on the seaward side rolling in from Casco Bay. Inevitably I’m reminded of our local lighthouse at Talacre on the Point of Ayr, overlooking Liverpool Bay, built in 1776, one of our earliest lighthouses in Wales, disused since 1883 and reputedly haunted by the ghost of a former keeper…

    Perhaps, three thousand miles away, your Two Lights lighthouse in Maine has a resident ghost or two as well?

    My very best,


    • Mary says:

      Hi Paul, thanks so much for your response to the drawing – love your use of descriptives for this scene. You and Maureen would love the Maine coast, and yes I’ll bet there is a ghost story or two with this fascinating lighthouse. The lighthouse at Talacre on the Point of Ayr sounds intriguing and hmmm perhaps scary to visit – I’ll have to look it up to enjoy the old structure. Take care and thank you for taking time to visit.

  4. Pingback: Repost: “Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, Maine— a charcoal drawing— ” from “Oil Pastels by Mary” – The Daily Briefing of Scarlet Bloomingdale

  5. Okay, Mary: this one is my new favourite — though you’re bound to surrpass this again and give me a new fave.

    • Mary says:

      You are so kind Cynthia – thank you for your thoughtful response and compliment with this drawing. It’s a great little area along the coast in Maine and this lighthouse is one of the gems you’ll find there. I’ve been missing reading everyone’s posts lately, hopefully I’ll be back into more of a routine – we’ve had a lot going on here. Looking forward to catching up and seeing what you’ve been doing – bet the garden is gorgeous!!

  6. Whoa! I compared your sketch to Hopper’s painting and the vegetation growth is insane!!

    However, the lighthouse remains the same beautiful structure it was back then. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ruth, thanks very much – isn’t Hopper’s painting gorgeous!! Those old lighthouses are amazing structures, always wonder how they ever stand up to Mother Nature’s fury as they do.

  7. realswiftie says:

    Hi, you can call me Scarlet.
    I really like your work and I feel like that the artworks like yours is great for people to know and understand more about Maine than just in the traveling magazine, so is it okay if I repost this article of yours?
    Thank you!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for your kind words, it is much appreciated. Please feel free to repost – Maine is a place that everyone should visit at least once – it’s a special place.

  8. Pingback: Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, Maine – a charcoal drawing — Oil Pastels by Mary | Amazing Fine Art

  9. Beautiful artwork depicting a less well known lighthouse in the Portland area. One of my favorites, though.

    • Mary says:

      Such a beautiful thing to say Evelyne and is really appreciated! Thank you – great to see you again and taking the time to comment. Have a wonderful weekend.

      • You too, Mary. I still see all of your posts but I don’t like to click Like unless I comment, so sometimes I’m too busy.

        • Mary says:

          I understand Evelyne – it’s been very busy here too and I’ve not had much time to do my blogging and comment. That’s why I tend to click like so people know I’m still around. But hopefully can catch-up at some point and get into a normal routine of commenting.

  10. I love the colours in the Hopper’s painting and I love very much the B&W tones in your drawing, super! Your words, your art your description of the Maine coast are so tempting…

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Robert. I agree with Hoppers painting, the colors were subtle and complimented the atmosphere he was after. I’m glad you enjoyed the drawing, it was great fun developing.

  11. Madhu says:

    So very beautiful Mary! Love the treatment of the sky and the shades and textures of the vegetation.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Madhu, thanks very much for your response to this drawing. Many different types of elements in the scene that responded really well to both dry mediums used in this piece.

  12. restlessjo says:

    Wonderful! In that setting it reminds me very much of one I know in the Algarve. 🙂 🙂 I always thought I’d be right at home in a lighthouse, Mary. Wishing you a happy week!

    • Mary says:

      Awesome Jo! Thanks very much and I’ll bet you’d have a wonderful time having your home be a lighthouse – just imagine the “wild” stories you’d have to tell. Better yet, the gorgeous photographs that would come from your lens. Hope you are having a beautiful weekend.

  13. The art and the quote are wonderful! The love you have for this special place is reflected in the drawing. Very very nice, Amiga!

  14. Alok Singhal says:

    This is one of my favorite now. I love lighthouses and have seen a couple in Maine too!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Alok for being so generous. You’ve got to visit this one, it’s a very cool spot on the coast, with some gorgeous views too.

  15. cmartzloff says:

    Beautiful! Loved the back story and it must be very cool to live in a lighthouse!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks very much Catherine. If you can believe the US Government auctioned off a bunch of lighthouses a couple of years ago – I agree with you about how cool it would be to live in a lighthouse!

  16. aFrankAngle says:

    You captured the feel of a coastal lighthouse … thanks for transporting me there.

    • Mary says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the trip Frank. Lighthouses are also fascinating structures to see, especially when waves crash wildly adding drama. Thanks so much Frank – good to see you again. Hope your golf season is going well ~

      • aFrankAngle says:

        Golf is off to a slower than normal start … but at least I’m aware of it and working on changing the results. Thanks for asking.

        • Mary says:

          I happy to read that you are out on the course and working your game! I haven’t been around much as we are tending to elderly issues, but hopefully later this week I’ll be able to get through much of my Reader and see what you’ve been up to. Have a great rest of the week ~

  17. Looks like a vintage photograph …

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Cynthia for your compliment – means a lot and is appreciated!! I agree with you the end result does have a bit of vintage about it – thanks for mentioning.

  18. Amy says:

    Beautifully drawing for this special lighthouse, Mary. I like this perspective very much.
    Thank you for the historical information. 🙂

  19. Another lovely rendering

  20. Good morning Mary – Another superb image of a place I recognise very well….You have captured beautifully the organic quality of the natural brush against the strength of the lighthouse…Life savers of the seas. Happy creating ….Janet 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Good Morning Janet – thanks so much, you are always so generous with your thoughts. It’s a special place up in Maine, this is one of those lighthouses that doesn’t get as much promotion as the Portland Headlight, but owns its share of history and beauty. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  21. ladyfi says:

    A lovely sketch!

  22. roseelaineblog says:

    A beautiful drawing Mary, I marvel at how charcoal can produce such wonderful results 🙂

  23. dorannrule says:

    The stories that lighthouse could tell! I love all the history and will definitely remember the lobster roll and where to find it. Thanks for sharing your beautiful drawing.

    • Mary says:

      Isn’t that the truth Dorann – thanks so much!! A lot of history up in that area and beautiful scenery – the lobster rolls are delicious!! Time for you and Bill to pack up the car and head North!

  24. neihtn2012 says:

    Your wonderful post makes me want to go to Maine this year, some thing I’ve been thinking about recently. If I go, I’ll try to photograph the two lighthouses. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Hien, thank you very much! A great compliment if the drawing moves you to consider traveling to the great State of Maine – the two lighthouses in Cape Elizabeth are actually on a road called, Two Lights Road. You guys would love the beautiful views and sites along the coast! Hope you include this area during your summer travels, can only imagine the beautiful photographs you’ll take.

  25. Mary, Mary, Mary. You hit me hard with this one. 🙂 Beautiful, and you really should sell these gorgeous pieces of art. You are a very talented woman and have truly captured the beauty of Maine plus the food tip was good too. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Judy – I’m glad you enjoyed the drawing! I do appreciate all your support and encouraging comments, they mean a lot to me. Time for you guys to take a short trip to Maine – happy travels!

  26. House of Heart says:

    So lovely Mary! My new blog is at House of Heart.

  27. Being a lover of lighthouses, I’m salivating over this, Mary. You did a wonderful job! This is definitely going into my top-ten favorites!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jill – thanks so much it’s a wonderful place. This particular lighthouse doesn’t get nearly the same fanfare as Portland Headlight, but is just as much a beautiful structure. Glad you enjoyed the scene ~

  28. This is beautiful, Mary. A wonderful piece. I just love lighthouses, too.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much Janell for your kind words. It’s a great place to visit in Maine, kind of hidden but worth the effort to find Two Lights Road leading to the ocean and the lighthouses.

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