Further south from Smoo Cave, which I wrote about recently, there is another limestone cave system near Inchnadamph. The Bone Caves are a group of four caves, which were probably formed at the end of the last Ice Age by melting ice. Excavations have revealed the bones of various animals, including Lynx; Brown Bear; Arctic Fox; Reindeer; and even a Polar Bear. Human skeletons were also found, dating from earlier than 2,000 BC.
Bockingford Rough paper, 300 gsm
Rembrandt Artists' Watercolours -
I made a brief drawing with a 2B pencil to give me some guidelines to work to. Then I dampened the paper all over and applied weak washes, letting them run together without worrying too much about keeping to the pencil lines.
The colours used were French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna for the grey; Burnt Sienna with a little French Ultramarine for the brown; and Raw Umber and Pthalo Green for the greens.
I made the mistake of adding more paint when the paper had dried too much, resulting in some run-backs in a few places. I wasn't worried about it though, because I knew I could use them to my advantage later.
When the first washes had dried, I used darker versions of mostly the same mixtures to define the forms more. I softened the edges in places with a damp brush. I also added a couple of figures at this stage.
I finished by painting the cave entrances, and a few darker areas to further define form and texture.
"The Bone Caves at Inchnadamph" - watercolour - 16 x 26 cm