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Showing posts from January, 2013

A Stitched-up Landscape

"Showers Over The Castle of Mey" - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm


Sometimes it's impossible to create a good landscape painting from one position or point in time, so a bit of creativity is needed. On this occasion I was travelling to The Castle of Mey when I noticed some dramatic rain clouds. I thought that they would make a dramatic composition behind the Castle, but I knew that they would soon disappear. The solution was to make a sketch of the rain clouds and then combine them with another sketch of the Castle to make a painting later. It's important with this method to be careful that light and shadows and perspective etc are consistent. A collection of interesting sky studies can be a useful resource for adding to subjects in this way.

Fishing Huts

"Fishing Hut at Loch Beg" - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm


Another feature of the rivers and lochs here, as well as the boathouses I mentioned recently, are small fishing huts. I presume these are used to shelter from the rough weather that we often get here. They would also bring a bit of relief from the biting midges!

This one is on an upper reach of the River Thurso, where it opens out to form Loch Beg.



Shell Beach

Shell Beach, John o' Groats - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm



A short walk from the tourist hotspot of John o' Groats there is a beautiful, quiet beach. It is made up of broken shells instead of sand, giving it a gleaming white colour and making it look almost like a tropical atoll, especially on a sunny day when the sea is deep blue.

This beach is one of the best places to look for the small shells of the Northern Cowrie, which are known locally as 'Groatie Buckies'. Unbroken shells were used in the Stone Age as ornaments and they have even been used as a form of currency.