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 :)