I've just come back from a trip down to the Cairngorms. The weather was pretty wet but I managed to get a couple of days of hill-walking. It was great to be up among some of the highest mountains in Scotland and I got some good sketches and photographs.
I didn't take my watercolour box with me this time as I intended to try using watercolour pencils. I haven't had much success with them previously, but when you are sketching on a mountain in gale-force winds, it's much easier to hold a few pencils instead of a paint-box and water pot. They are so much more convenient that I think it's worth persevering with them. I used a small selection of Derwent watercolour pencils, three Karisma Graphite Aquarelle pencils and a Pentel waterbrush. This last item is very useful for sketching as you don't have to carry a separate water pot and keep dipping the brush in it.
The first walk I did was into the Lairig Ghru, one of the two great passes through the Cairngorms and an ancient route for travellers. The route took me below the Northern Corries of Cairngorm to the Chalamain Gap, a remnant of the last Ice-age.
Once I had scrambled over the boulders that filled the Gap I descended into the Lairig Ghru.
Mountains towered on either side and steep scree-covered slopes closed in on the path. I could have found lots of subjects to sketch, but I had to limit myself a bit as I wanted to reach the top of the pass.
Eventually I reached the top and had some sandwiches while I sketched the view down the other side.
I returned by the same route and sketched some of the views I hadn't done on the way up. The weather had been good and the day was only spoiled by the midges which descended on me whenever I stopped. Regular applications of insect-repellent were required!