Skip to main content

The Castle of Mey

The Castle of Mey, North Side, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm

In contrast to my usual subjects of open landscapes and simple cottages, this was quite challenging. Just fitting the whole thing onto the paper was the first problem, and then I had to get all those turrets and battlements in the right place. I started by lightly indicating the main features to get everything in the right place, but even so there was a bit of rubbing out and redrawing involved!

The painting wasn't easy either, with all the shadows and reflected lights, but by working carefully in layers I think I achieved a sense of solidity and depth.

With this kind of subject there is a danger of concentrating too much on the detail and ending up with a very accurate but rather lifeless painting. I think I managed to keep enough looseness to give the Castle a sense of a moment in time, but the viewer will be able to judge that better than me.

The castle was built in the 16th Century and was originally a tower house, a type of fortified dwelling common in Scotland at the time. It was altered and added to in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. The Castle of Mey Trust now owns and manages the property as a visitor attraction. HRH Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, stays at the castle during his visit to Caithness every summer.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/VwpNzL2fUqv

www.keithtilley.co.uk

Comments

Bruce Sherman said…
Good morning Keith,

All of the challenges you faced were completely met to obtain the facile outcome
that you searched for.

Working in layers in all likelihood was the key to your success. Successful water coloring depends solely upon that being achieved.

Bravo!... Another first class project!
Warmest regards,
Bruce
We had a wonderful holiday in Sutherland last year and our visit to the castle of Mey was one of our favourite days out. I love the personal feel that this castle has, it is as if the Queen Mother had just popped out for a stroll along the seashore and we were simply visiting! You have captured the castle perfectly, it has the same lighting and colours that we saw on our day there!
Keith Tilley said…
Hello Caroline,
The castle does have a personal feel doesn't it, much more like a home than the bigger, grander edifices. Prince Charles comes to visit every summer, and apparently he likes the intimate, homely atmosphere.

Popular posts from this blog

MeyGen Tidal Energy Project

The sea between the island of Stroma and the Mainland has very strong tidal currents, where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea meet. This has made it an ideal site for the first commercial tidal power generation project in Scotland, and currently the largest in the World. The turbines are in the form of large propellers, similar to wind turbines. It's good to see a World-leading project based here in Scotland, and the Country is well on the way to having most of its energy from renewable sources.

I am concerned about the effect on marine life, particularly the whales and dolphins which are often seen in these waters, but I hope the environmental impact is being monitored and taken into account.

The ship in the painting was in the process of servicing one of the turbines.

Location - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@58.6786532,-3.1498628,12z

www.keithtilley.co.uk

Moine House

"Moine House, Tongue" Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm Rough paper 25 x 36 cm
West of Tongue, in Sutherland, there is a large peat bog called The Moine, which stretches all the way over to the next valley. At more-or-less the highest point there is a ruined building, called Moine House, which I have always found very striking. It is a wild and lonely spot and it has a background of dramatic mountains. I assumed that it was an old drovers' inn, but a plaque* on the wall tells the story of how it was erected as a refuge for travellers.

Ben Loyal from the Causeway

One of my favourite views: Ben Loyal from the causeway over the Kyle of Tongue. The word 'kyle' is used to describe a wide inlet of the sea. Ben Loyal, with its majestic profile, is sometimes called the 'Queen of Scottish Mountains'.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/KgRpDJAJQ4r
www.keithtilley.co.uk