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Showing posts from November, 2011

Strathy Point

Strathy Point Watercolour 25 x 35 cm

Strathy Point lies on a rocky promontory and gives good views of the northern seaboard of Caithness and Sutherland. On a clear day it's possible to see all the way from Dunnet Head, in the east, to Cape Wrath, in the west. This is also a good place for spotting the whales which are often seen off the coast (I never seem to be there at the right time!).

This painting is one of several of mine which will be exhibited at Caithness Horizons throughout December.

Autumn Moorland

Peatlands at Stemster Watercolour 25 x 36 cm

Sunny autumn days are so wonderful for painting moorland landscapes. The clear light brings out the colours so much better than the bleaching sunshine of summer. Also, with the sun low in the sky, the features of the landscape throw longer shadows, which create a greater range of tonal values. Unlike the summer, there are no biting insects as well!

A Big View for a Big Painting

The Cuillins from Elgol Watercolour 36 x 51 cm

I have a commission to do which is going to be a half-sheet painting (14 x 20 inches). I haven't painted at this size recently, so I thought I should get some practice. I searched through my sketchbooks for a suitably dramatic subject and chose this famous view of the mountains of Skye. It's a view that's been painted by many artists of the past and it still attracts painters today. It's one of those timeless places where nothing seems to change very much.

Hen Harrier

Hen Harrier Watercolour 18 x 26 cm
Hen Harriers have suffered a lot from persecution in Britain. Their diet of small moorland birds, hasn't endeared them to gamekeepers concerned with maintaining large populations of grouse. We are lucky here in Caithness that this is one of the areas where they still breed, probably helped by the large RSPB Reserve at Forsinard Flows, and another at Broubster Leans. They are a magnificent sight, skimming over the moors looking for prey. The females are a dull brown colour, but the males are pale grey and can look almost white in bright sunlight. This was painted from a sketch I made earlier in the summer.