Sunday, 9 September 2012

Revived by Lochcarron

Just had a good week in Lochcarron.  Sadly the weather was not as good as it's been all summer up there, and we had to battle through the rain for a walk up above Attadale.  But the sun came out enough to allow me opportunities for some worthwhile sketching.

Down on the shore at Slumbay, I did this pastel sketch. I spent a while trying to capture the light on the hills, and also working on the foreground - that jumble of shoreline plants.
Sketch looking west from Slumbay
I find that working in pastel makes me think about the colour more (not surprisingly) and usually makes it easier to tackle a painting back in the studio.  The light was changing a lot - dark clouds and showers coming over - giving that colour drama between the navy blue sea and the bright yellow seaweed.  That's what I was trying to capture in this sketch.
Sketch looking north from Slumbay
Again with this I was focusing on the foreground - so much colour from the plants growing through the pebbly shore.  I think the seaweed is less successful in this sketch - I need to think more carefully about the marks. I did one other sketch from Slumbay, this time in charcoal.  This might work better as two separate pictures - a diptych perhas?
Sketch looking east from Slumbay
Another favourite spot is North Strome - quiet again now that the road between Strathcarron and Kyle is open and there is no need for the ferry any more.  I did this charcoal sketch - it was a bit windy to stop too long.
Sketch looking west from North Strome
I was sitting on a rock and wanted to ensure the rock appeared in the sketch too.  Plockton is in the distance, and even further away are the hills of Skye.  It's a great view.  Wild and inviting.

We had a day on Applecross too, and the sun came out.  Went down to Camusteil where it was so warm.  Tried to capture that lazy sleepy feeling.
Camusteil Jetty
Again that lovely bright seaweed at this time of year. The other great colour in abundance was from the rowan trees.  There's an amazing crop of rowan berries this year - that means there's a hard winter coming, I think. Difficult to draw, rowan trees, especially when the midges are biting, but I had a go round at Fearnbeg.  Pastel again.
Fearnbeg Inlet
Shame about the midges as Fearnbeg is a lovely spot.  It's got good atmosphere too.

Really glad to get these and other sketches done - hopefully it will kickstart a bit of activity for me back in the studio.  But sadly that means that I'm back in Musselburgh where I shall pine for the hills and the wild countryside.

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