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A Flow Country Boathouse

"A Flow Country Boathouse" - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm

One of the most popular activities in Caithness and Sutherland is fishing. There are some well-known salmon rivers and numerous lochs full of trout. One of the remotest of these is Loch Caluim in the heart of the Flow Country. It was popular with the late Queen Mother when she was staying in Caithness.

The bigger lochs usually have one or two boathouses on their shorelines, but most of them don't seem to be used any more and are falling into disrepair. I suppose the estates no longer have the staff to maintain them. They are one of the few signs of human activity in these remote places.


  1. Good evening Keith!... Another wonderful ramble through the barren remoteness... and text to enrich the view!

    You capture that special quiet and feeling of solitude which sets these areas aside from roads more travelled... and violated! Enjoyed my visit!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  2. Hi Bruce, that's an interesting word, "barren". I think you and I see it differently to some other people. It's all in the eye of the beholder, as they say.

    All the best,

  3. This is so evocative - a wonderful work full of atmosphere. We enjoyed a superb holiday on the west coast of Scotland and this brings back so many great memories - thanks!

  4. Thanks Jerry, I'm glad it brings back the memories.

  5. Another simple clean and fresh watercolour full of atmosphere Keith. It looks so remote and peaceful there. Nice work.

  6. Thanks John, it's certainly a place to find peace and quiet.

  7. Looking forward of a sketch of the salmon fishers. ;-)
    But this is everything a Keith Tilley should have, ... love it!

  8. Thanks René, I'll have to look out for some willing models!

  9. i like how you have done the boat house! i draw things like this for my art in school do you have any tips for me?

    1. Hi Victoria, drawing is all about good observation. Study the subject carefully and relate the parts to each other. For instance, with the boathouse I noted that the length of the side was about 1.5 times the width of the end with the door. I usually start with the important part, which was the doorway in this case, and then work outwards from there.

      With complicated subjects it sometimes helps to draw the spaces between objects, which are known as 'negative spaces', instead of the objects themselves. That forces you to look at shapes without worrying about what it is that you are drawing.


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