If you think that building a bucket-shaped sandcastle adorned with sea shells is an artistic feat, you should take a look at the works of actual sand artists.
Sand brushing, sculpting, painting and bottling all fall under the umbrella term of sand art – the practice of modeling sand into an artistic form. Just like your own backyard sand castle endeavors, these works of art only require the simple materials of water and sand. But in contrast to what many of us make on the beach, these sculptures are intricate designs that take into account sand texture and the exact amount of water necessary to create sustainable and stunning sculptures.
While some sand art “purists” use only their hands, shovels and buckets serve as the main construction tools used in the creation of sand castles and sand sculptures. Artists can bring the primary mixing ingredient, saltwater, to the building site with a bucket or other container. In some occasions, artists use other materials like wood pieces to reinforce their structures.
Especially popular in coastal beach areas, sand sculpting as an art form has gained a wide audience in recent years. There are hundreds of annual competitions held throughout the world all the way from northern Canada to the coast of Florida.