A Big View for a Big Painting

The Cuillins from Elgol
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.


  1. Hi Keith!... A lovely large-scaled painting subject for sure... and you have done yourself proud with this one!

    Nothing beats a larger format to bring out the very best in a painter. You need space... to create space and when you paint that big space... you can use arm rather than wrist movement!

    I'll look forward to seeing your commission! This is sure a beautiful and encouraging lead in to that commission! Good luck with it Keith!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  2. Good morning Bruce,

    I agree about larger sizes giving you more freedom. I paint smaller for commercial reasons, but it is hard sometimes to get a dramatic subject into a small space.

    All the best,

  3. Hi Keith, Just found your blog and really good to see these watercolours. Working on a large scale with watercolour is quite a challenge especially if you've been working smaller, it's the most unforgiving medium, mine always work best when I approach the whole thing with confidence, if I'm a bit anxious it shows in the work and it becomes tight, you probably know what I mean? So my best watercolours are the loose and more expressive ones. Looking forward to seeing the commission. all best

  4. That is a bonny view point you have chosen for this scene. I often find that range of mountains from Egol look very flat, yet you have made one of the peaks a focal point. Good colours as usual and nice to hear you have a commission on a large scale. All the best.

  5. Hi Nigel, welcome to my blog. You have some beautiful paintings on your sites and I'm going to spend some time looking through them.

    You're right about needing to be relaxed and confident. That's why I thought I'd better get some practice. I often find that I like my sketches best, where I haven't been worrying about a polished finish.

  6. Thanks Caroline, I think the prominent peak is Sgurr Alisdair. I made good use of all the low cloud to make it stand out from the others.

  7. I wonder how long ago you did this one Keith. It could be the subject matter but my first reaction to this was that it isn't your normal palette. I'm really looking forward to seeing the larger version. Nice work.

  8. No it was just last week, John, and it was my usual palette. In fact it was mostly Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. I used a little Permanent Rose, in places, and Winsor Green with Burnt Sienna for the grassy hillside.

  9. Keith, wonderful and majestic looking !! I never have much luck with large paintings, but it's always been a goal ..
    Thanks you for your comment on my blog ,, yes I have a list of blogs that I follow..all on MY Blog. This a.m. I had no problem so hope it's gone somewhere else!! It's the ' attack of the blog gremlins' BJ

  10. Hi Barbra Joan, I'm glad the gremlins have gone somewhere else. I hope they're not coming my way! :D


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