Skip to main content

Dawn Light

"Sheep in the Light of Dawn" - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm

I had to be out earlier than usual recently, before dawn. I wasn't expecting to be doing any artwork but I always have my sketchbook with me, just in case. It was a cold grey morning and rather uninteresting, but then the sun rose above the clouds and lit up the landscape. A group of sheep were caught in the light, making a subject which I couldn't resist sketching, despite the freezing temperature. A few pencil lines and colour notes were all that I needed to make a painting back in the warmth of my studio.


  1. Hi there Keith!... A great "capture".. that wooly mound of warmth! Another fine plein air gem Keith!

    Have sketchbook... will travel... and subjects arise and present themselves out of no where!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

    1. Thanks Bruce, a sketchbook is one of the most important tools in the box isn't it.

      All the best,

  2. Wonderful sky and foreground light Keith. What paper did you use?

    1. Thanks Ray. The paper was Fabriano Artistico 300 gsm, Cold Pressed, Extra White.

  3. What a beautiful rural scene Keith. You've captured the sky and feeling of distance so well. Marvellous.

  4. The Dawn light in this is amazing Keith and I'm always in awe that you can produce something like this from nothing more than a quick sketch and some colour notes.

    1. Thanks John. It's surprising how much we can remember from sketching a subject, if we are prepared to trust our memories. Before photography artists had to work in this way, but I think we have lost something by relying more on photographs.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

North Coast 500

In 2015 the North Highland Initiative started a project to boost tourism in the northern counties of Scotland. The idea was to publicise a 500 mile route through Inverness-shire, Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland and my home county of Caithness, and promote it as a superb road trip. I don't know how successful they expected it to be, but it has quickly become very popular and has been called one of the top five coastal routes in the World. In fact its popularity is becoming a problem for the local residents: some of the roads are single-track, with bays at intervals to allow two vehicles to pass each other, but there is an etiquette for their use that strangers are not always aware of. The result is that local people going about their business find themselves held up by slow-moving tourist vehicles, so if you use the route please pull over and allow other vehicles to pass. The amount of traffic will probably also cause damage to the roads, which were not intended for heavy use. Desp…

Old Broubster Village

Throughout the Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, tenant farmers were evicted from their homes, or 'crofts', during the notorious Highland Clearances. Landowners, in a drive for efficiency and more profitable land use, wanted to replace the old system of small-holdings with large sheep ranches. The crofters were forced out of their scattered homes, often in a brutal manner, and re-housed in new communities. The land that they were given was often of poor quality and they had to work hard to maintain even a subsistence level of life. During this period many people took up the offer of a new life overseas, emigrating to Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where their descendants still have strong links with Scotland.

In 1839 tenants from the estates of Broubster and Shurrery, in Caithness, were resettled in a new village. Land was provided for them, but they probably had to build their own houses. The dwellings were in the form of long-houses, which consisted of a …

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