Saturday, 13 August 2011

More sketches in wild places

I had more opportunities for sketching later this week when the weather improved. We had a great walk up Ben Damph on Thursday. It was pretty windy, and gusting so much when we first reached the ridge that I almost didn't go on up the ridge. However, Peter persuaded me that not going on was a bit wimpish, and it was true to say that the wind dropped as we got higher. Then on the summit, surprisingly, it was so calm that I was able to do a quick sketch in charcoal.
Sketch looking over to Sgurr Ruadh and Carn Mhor Dearg from Ben Damph copyritght Aileen Grant
It was a great view and this sketch does not really do it justice. That's a lochan on the right and there's another lochan in the bealach on the left where I've sketched before (looking the other way) after walking in from Coulags. I think now that I'm getting a feel for the hills, ridges, bealachs and glens in the area.  And the great swathe of hill country in the far distance - that's not sky at the top of the sketch, but more hills over in Glens Affric, Starthfarrar and Cannich etc. It's a great wild area.
Peter took a photo on the top - the view won't be the same - I always feel a sketch (even a flawed sketch) captures a more real picture than a photo. (Discuss - haha).

But anyway Thursday was a walking day and I had to wait till Friday to get some real sketching time. I went back to one of my favourite spots on Kishorn Bay (after a lovely chat with Jenny in her amazing shop - Patterns of Light opposite the seafood bar at Kishorn). I had time to do a sketch in colour - nothing brilliant but enough to get a feel for the colour and the scale. The hills in Skye looked so much closer than I remembered from April.

Kishorn Bay colour sketch copyright Aileen Grant
This doesn't really do it justice - there was a great tension between the yellow pole and the teal coloured sea, and the yellow of the pole was similar to the colour of the seaweed in the foreground. Pastels are a bit frustrating (I can never capture the colour accurately with them), but I think I've got something of the feel of the scene - a lovely spot on a sultry day with the rain moving in.
After this, I did a couple of charcoal sketches, including Applecross which was looking particularly black in the light conditions. I love this view and sketch it again and again....
Another Applecross View copyright Aileen Grant
So I maybe have some material to work from now - time will tell. Hopefully it will at least let me keep Kishorn Bay in my head even although I'm back in Musselburgh now. And there's also the Lochcarron view in my mind too.
Lochcarron Tree copyright Aileen Grant
I was inspired by Schiele's treatment of trees and landscapes to work at this pencil sketch and try to capture this rather spindly cherry tree accurately. That tree - in front of Hawthorndene - sets off the view over Loch Carron and to me encapsulates the character of  Lochcarron Main Street.... Sigh.... We'll go back soon, I hope....

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