The sun is now setting over the Isle of Harris each night (it'll travel back over the Uists after mid August) so the colour in this picture is the sunset seeping through the clouds and along the undulating mountain ranges of the islands. Stunning colours to try and capture - never ceases to fascinate me.
Loving the clouds over North Uist this evening - and I've had a go at portraying them with my paintbrush. Still trying to draw with the brush instead of doing an under-drawing in charcoal. I actually intended to do a drawing first but forgot and only remembered when a good deal of the surface was covered in paint. Doh! Too excited at mixing the thick goopy oils. Found a way of keeping the palette fresh too. In my great-auntie Amy's collection (see yesterday's post) there is a beautiful wooden palette, which at the moment I feel a little intimidated by, it looks like it's for people who are really properly doing the painting. I'll use it eventually, but for now I have a plastic box with a lid that keeps the air out overnight. Usefully learned on a course I attended at the St Ives School of Painting (the Dynamic Oils course, which I'd do again if I could, utterly fabulous) and I'd been on the look out for such a box for ages when I spotted the one I have and stowed it, one day meaning to utilise the skills I'd spent days learning. So, now I'm getting chance to remember the inspiration, hold my brush properly (not like a pencil) and have a go. It's going to be a busy summer methinks!
The Uist and Harris islands have been mostly hidden in the mist and cloud this week and in the spirit of getting on with things, I decided to tackle a couple of my summer aims: a watercolour course (I found a fab book in the library) and also working up one of my pastel sunsets into an oil painting that someone (v lovelily) has asked me to do.
So, to get me used to handling a paintbrush and mixing liquids again (I use my hands to apply the pastels and mix them on the paper in my usual drawings, so it's quite a different experience) I tackled a colour chart in watercolour first. I found it really restful to do and it was lovely to get reacquainted with a vintage watercolour set that I inherited from my great-auntie Amy when I was ten year old. There's something nurturing about using something like that for the purpose it was intended. The paint-pans are square, unlike the ones you buy now which are rectangular, so I'll be needing to make them last, but they've managed it this long so I think I'm ok for a bit.
Then this evening I dug out the oils and just started a small sketch of the view from the window. No charcoal under-drawing, no pencil marks, just straight in. The photo seems to have inverted the texture, but either way I've a long way to go. Great to be properly art-ing thought, I spend so long on the laptop trying to update everything, it's lovely to be practical :)
Decided to take advantage of the fabulous weather (and the fact that I can now hobble about on the ankle with aplomb!) and pottered down the west side of Skye after I shut Lynne's Art Shed for the evening. It was lovely to sketch again and the scenery (often cloud covered) revealed itself in all it's glory. The Cullins were majestic (top left) and the MacLeod's Tables (bottom) were so clear - it was a delight to draw them. To be fair, they're always a delight, it's just nice to see them cloud/rain-free.
The top right scene (Ardtreck and Bracadale Points) is a new one for me. I've been meaning to draw this for ages. Usually I whiz past on the way either here or off the island and don't really give myself chance to stop for more than a moment. I love the glimpse of the lighthouse on the end and aim to pop back again over the next few weeks - it's only twelve miles away, which is virtually next door in highland distance...
Managed to mount the large original landscapes yesterday - they're now available in the landscape section of the online shop.
Have lovely weekends everyone :)
Sometimes the mist looks like its rising from the sea - that's how it seemed last night anyway! Fab pinks and purples across the sky.
Feel like my clouds are taking a whole new technical progression this week as the skies are presenting different weights and formations.
The clouds on Skye are, as always ever-changing and yesterday was no exception when the mist cleared so I could see the outer Hebrides again. Took a different compositional tack later on with the Isle of Harris drawing (the one on the right) as I wanted to get more of Harris in the picture than I usually do. I'm still finding that getting around is tough with the painful ankle so am needing to make the most of where I am rather than heading out to find where I want to me - probably not a bad idea anyway as the midges are in full hunger swarms! Not sure if the picture works or not - let me know what you think (see below for previous drawings of the same angle (all available from the online shop - they appear shortened here but are portrait if you click on them - I just turned the paper round yesterday). Looking forward to hearing your thoughts :)
A lot of people asking me how the landscapes come into being and how I draw them, so last night I took some pictures as I drew.
So, first I set things up (the glass has water in it - in case anyone wondered!) and then select the pastels I think I might use to start me off and lay them out:
Firstly I apply the base coat (a bit like make-up, a bit of a primer) as the paper I use is Pastelmat and it makes it easier to mix the colours if I have something to meld with. I blend this in and then start to apply strokes of colour with the main shapes and hues of the landscape (yes I know it looks rough, it's how I start things off!):
I blend everything in with my fingers and here we have the under-drawing:
Then I start to work really quickly as the colours of the sky and sea change swiftly as the sun sets - many layers of colour ensue, much like the first daubs, just layering and blending until it's finished. One of the layers can be seen to the left below and then the finished work is on the right (notice how many more pastels I have as I end up using lots of shades that I didn't see to start with. The scrutinisation of what's in front of me is a key part of the make-up of the picture).
And here's the final image (v grateful for a late-night boat to be sailing past at around 10.35pm last night!):
And there we have it - the picture will be available on the website shop (http://www.lynneforrester.com/shop) towards the end of the week. If however, you have a burning desire to get your mitts on it before then, just give me a shout and you're welcome to buy it direct (cheeky I know but I have mention it!).
Have lovely rest of the weeks everyone :)
Happy Saturday to you from a sunshiny Skye!