Skip to main content

Caves, Geos and Stacks

Sea-cave at Strathy
26 x 18 cm

Sea-caves are common along the coasts of Caithness and Sutherland. They are the first stage in a dramatic form of coastal erosion. With a straight line of cliffs, the cave gradually gets deeper and eventually the roof falls in. This leaves a deep chasm, which is called a geo in this area. When the cave is on a promontory, the sea eventually breaks through at the back to leave an arch. This then gets eroded until it collapses, leaving a sea stack. All of these features can be seen around the coastline here.


  1. HI Keith!...Another gem... created from a very verticalflat background too!

    Wonderful how the warm rock and surf interplay creates interest... and the use... as Rob noticed of the gulls... to "etch" some action into the darkness in that cave!

    Thanks for the geology lesson as well... very informative!

    Good painting!
    Warmest reagrds,

  2. Thanks Rob, seagulls seem to make a big difference to these cliff paintings: they look empty without them. It's a bit like a street scene without people.

  3. Hi Bruce, I put the warm colours into the foreground, at the end, for just that reason. It looked a bit uninteresting without them.

    All the best,

  4. I just discovered your blog and make a nice trip with your watercolors. I will come back here. Thank you
    It is true that the seagulls give full dimension to the cliffs

  5. Hello Lydie. Thanks for looking in and commenting.

  6. Your painting depicting cliffs and restless seas beneath, the colours used give us a feel that Spring time is here and with it brings the warmer weather and softer light.

  7. Yes Spring is here Caroline, even if it doesn't always feel like it.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Moorland Fire

Moorland Fire Watercolour 25 x 36 cm
There is a definite feeling of approaching autumn now, with some cooler days and more unsettled weather. It hardly seems any time at all since the spring, when there was a long spell of dry weather and the moors were tinder-dry. There were a number of serious fires at the time and several nature reserves were badly damaged. I think they were mostly caused by accident or carelessness this time, but unfortunately there are people who seem to get satisfaction from starting fires deliberately.

The fire in this painting is of a different kind. Every year between, autumn and spring, shooting estates burn off small patches of moorland to leave a patchwork of heather. This encourages the breeding of grouse, with the old growth providing cover and the new shoots providing food. The operation has to be done very carefully, because fires can easily get out of control, and once the underlying peat starts to burn it can burn for days and is very difficult to p…

Christmas Wishes

A couple of my latest watercolours and -

Best Wishes to all for Christmas

"The Fuel Bowser", Watercolour, 24 x 18 cm

"View at Skelbo", Watercolour, 16 x 26 cm

Trying Out a Pochade Box

I had an old box for storing photographic transparencies that wasn't being used any more. It was just the right size to make a good pochade box, so I thought I would see what I could do with it. I fitted out the lid to hold two 8 x 10 inch panels, with the base holding the paints and brushes and a palette holding everything in place.

For its first trial I took it out to the same location as the previous post. This time it was raining, so it was an ideal opportunity to see how I would get on painting with the pochade inside my vehicle. It worked very well in the cramped conditions and was very easy to use.

When I had finished I just closed the lid and went home. Later, when I opened the box again, I found a blob of Pthalo Green right in the middle of the painting! I think the wood that I used for the palette was too flexible, so it had got pushed up into the lid. I was using acrylics, so normally it would have been easy to wash the green off. Unfortunately, I was trying out Atelie…