Sunday, 9 February 2014

Strathcarron Hills In My Sights

For the last couple of weeks I've been focusing on my sketches of the Strathcarron Hills and working on  a painting using this as a motif. It's a bit of a departure for me cos there's no sea in this view - it's all landscape. And it's quite a complex landscape of hills above hills involving different textures of landscape. I suppose I'm trying to do something a bit different.
Here's the original sketch that I did sitting above Achintee, looking over the Strath. I quite enjoyed doing this and I had time to complete it as the weather was not too cold for once.  I like this sketch!
 I started with a composition which was smaller than the sketch. Used a graphite stick and some pencil.
I thought this was quite a good composition so then got going first with some gouache then using acrylic of watercolour consistency. Yellow ochre was the main colour.
Strathcarron Hills (small) - unfinished?
Now...I quite like this. I like the restraint of colour and lots of white showing through. But on the other hand it did look a bit unfinished. So I carried on in acrylic and pencil. Added Prussian Blue and Ultramarine.
Strathcarron Hills (small) - Finished?
I then got to this point with it. I quite like this - I think it looks quite polished. But it has lost a certain something, maybe a certain mystery? Anyway, I thought I'd try anther version, this time with a wider perspective, with a composition closer to the sketch. It started off like this.
Gosh - it's a bit messy, isn't it? Then I added the acrylic again - using pretty much the same palette.
Strathcarron Hills (large) - unfinished?
This is a great mess, but nowhere near finished so I fiddled around with acrylic paint and pencil till I got to this point.
On reflection, I thought this looked a bit drab and uninteresting. Maybe a bit sedate for my liking. What was the point of this painting? So after a few days I returned to it and tried to add a bit more colour interest to the lower slopes, bringing out the landform and knocking back the high hills a bit. Also did a bit of extra work on the trees.
Strathcarron Hills (large) - finished?
I'm stopping there and I'll leave these alone for a bit.  What do you think? Are these two paintings finished? Or have I gone too far with these?


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