I am just back from a holiday in Shetland visiting family. This is my first time visiting the Island. What a beautiful place teaming with wildlife. The sketch above was done in situ at the top of a sand dune (see photo below). I am eager to get down to producing some paintings from my outdoor studies.
I like to switch to working in different medium’s. This keeps me on my toe’s and reminds me of the pros and cons of the materials I am using. I did this painting using watercolour paper prepared with a thick coating of gesso. I approached the painting by applying a wash of warm colour and lifting out the lights with a damp paper towel. I liked the texture the gesso gave to the paper.
At the weekend Andrew and I went to Inverary for a short break. We stayed in a lovely guest house called Newton Hall. It was a real treat to stay here, the owner made us feel really welcome. The views over Loch Fyne were spectacular. The photo above shows the view. I did a quick study using watercolour and neocolour crayons as the sun was setting. Then we went to the George Hotel for a wonderful meal.
When I got up I used my tombow pens for this monotone study of the misty morning light before we both headed for a full Scottish breakfast. The two birds flew past just at the right moment for me to consider them in the composition, very convenient of them.
I have just purchased a new watercolour square format sketch pad. As you can see it has a small square window on the front revealing a little bit of the painting. My first study in the book is of a collection of finds from the beach in St Andrews. I just love strolling around beach combing and listening to the waves.
I did this tonal study on mid toned pastel paper. I found the negative shapes really interesting in this study. I kept the shapes quite simple so as to strengthen the design.
Here is a study I did at the cottage in Southampton, Canada. This was the view from the patio. Lovely to look out over the lake and bask in the warm sun and to hear the Canadian geese overhead. There were birds like humming birds, woodpeckers and nuthatches moving about around us. This year I had an art show at the cottage. It was great to show my work in Canada. I have been travelling there to visit my brother and family over the past 30 years. I always find inspiration for my painting from my trips.
These are two studies of a new figurative painting I am working on. I normally do studies in a different media from what the final painting will be done in. I find this helps to keep the painting fresh and more enjoyable for me.
Here is a painting I did today of my favourite beach on Islay. It was windy when I was there however very sunny and colourful.
This is a plein air study I did on a walk at Jura House Gardens. The walk took you through bluebell woods to this view of the sea. There was a bench to enjoy the view and soak up the sun. I did this painting while sitting at the bench. The water was so clear and the colour so beautiful, very inviting. I didn’t go for a swim, however by the time we got down to the shore someone was swimming in the crystal clear water.
On Saturday we went to the Isle of May sailing from Anstruther. We were in search of puffins who were out fishing at sea! There was a few on the island however which were a joy to watch. Lots of other sea birds everywhere. You need to be careful to watch for the eiders nesting very close to the footpaths. I did this study on the island buffeted by the wind. The constant movement of my board helped create some of the movement in the painting.