Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Making a start

Trying to make something of my Harris sketches whilst the images are still in my head. Perhaps it helps that I'm still up north (in Lochcarron) - feeling I'm still in the right part of the country. Although I'm missing the studio I am managing to work up here.

I started by going through all my sketches and photos, making notes and drawing little thumbnails.



 The view I had sketched most often was the view towards the North Harris Hills from Luskentyre. This was the pastel sketch I had done on our last evening of the holiday.
I had spent a bit of time on it and was not happy at the time, but looking at it again I thought it not bad for colour and composition. So I had a go at it in acrylics and gouache, trying to get that contrast in sea colours between the turquoise and the deep blue-black..

 Then I tried a more ambitious composition; the view towards Lewis from behind Huisnuish.
Here is the sketch I did on the spot

I thought it needed a portrait approach and I started off like this.
Then I worked more into it with the acrylic, added some conte crayon and it ended up like this. I was focusing on the choppy sea in the foreground and that lovely bright beach in the middle-distance.

I wasn't sure that this worked as a composition. Thought it might work better with some land in the foreground, and I thought I could identify some abstract values in the shape of the hills and the foreground rock. So my next version ended up like this.

 I still was not happy with it; maybe it's too overworked? Maybe I should go back to a square format? Anyway, decided to abandon this composition and started on a view of the two beaches, looking north from Seilebost.  Again I started in pencil, gouache and a thin acrylic wash. It had been a blustery day when I took the photo and I wanted to try and convey that.
Actually, I quite liked this effect, and I paused, determined not to spoil it. Then I carried on carefully in acrylic and conte, and it ended up like this.
I think this is finished and I also think this is the best so far. It has a lightness about it that I am always seeking - it's the sort of effect I'd like to achieve again. Whether I'll still like it in a few days time remains to be seen.

Plenty more to be done!













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