Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Wester Ross Again

Up in Lochcarron again, so not able to get into the studio.  Out gathering sketches instead.  Beautiful weather (until today), but the cold north wind meant it was a bit too cold to sit sketching for long.
Over in Applecross, we went south to the Coral Beaches - it's such a lovely walk, and the colours were just beautiful.  Lovely turquoise sea turning to ultramarine.  I love those long views out to Skye over the islands and found a spot out of the wind where I did this pastel sketch.
South Applecross View

Also decided to try some woodland sketches.  I've been meaning to do sketches in the woodland around Achnashellach for a while, so I finally got out there.  The trees which remain there are a bit mixed - some look very spindly - but there are some lovely old pines.  The bark was just beautiful and I decided to have a go at drawing this in pastel too.

Pine Bark Detail
The other details I was trying to capture were the moss, bleached grass and dead bracken - the forest floor.  Quite tricky to catch the essence of this, I found.  Actually, I realise that I don't draw details much, and I think I should be trying things like this more often.  I'm sure Jacqueline (Watt) told us that Matisse suggested that we needed to draw and understand the visible before we could really get into the realm of the invisible.
Anyway, again it was cold, so the other sketches I did were in pencil.  The first was a view east up Strathcarron with some spindly trees in the foreground.  A desire to sketch these trees was my main purpose in visiting this spot.
Looking Up the Strath
And then I did a view of some other pine trees, overlooking the loch.

Looking out of the Forest
Actually, I would have liked to use a larger sheet of paper for this sketch to include the loch and the ridge behind, and some sky.  But I only had my A4 sketchbook.  Looking at it now, maybe it has potential in terms of composition.  There was something about the interrelationship of the trees that appealed to me, and maybe I recognised some abstract values in this.  I'll need to think about this a bit more.

We're coming to the end of this visit now.  About to head back to Musselburgh and it will be a while before we can get up again, sadly.  Maybe I'll manage to grab a couple more sketches before we leave!
And then I have to prepare for Art'sComplex Open Studios on Sunday.....


  1. Beautiful movement in the water in that top picture! Lovely!