Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gaelic Romance

One of the things I love about the Scottish mountains is the Gaelic names. They are so much more romantic than their English equivalents. They also tend to be more descriptive and give a sense of what life might have been like in the past, in these remote regions, when they were much more populated than they are now.


Coire nan Arr
Watercolour in A4 sketchbook


This sketchbook study is from a recent trip to Wester Ross, where I found some wonderful subjects around Applecross. "Coire nan Arr" means "The Corrie of the Giants" and standing there, surrounded by towering cliffs, the name seems entirely appropriate. In the same area is the "Beallach na Ba", one of the highest mountain passes in Britain. The name, which in English means "The Pass of the Cattle", reminds us of a time when livestock were an important resource, and cattle-droving was a common occurence.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Towering clouds


Towering Clouds
Watercolour, 10 x14 inches, 25 x 35 cm


This is another 'Big Sky' painting. It is composed entirely of blue and brown colours.

The sky is mostly French Ultramarine, with a little Winsor Blue towards the bottom. The clouds are ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. I used Ultramarine with a little Raw Umber to make a cool grey for the sea.

The distant hills, cliffs and foreshore were all Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. These last two are my most used colours. Together they make a wide range of greys and browns and, when used at full strength, combine to give a colour close to black, but with a bit more vibrancy.