Monday 20 October 2014

A Head Full of Hills

Just back in Musselburgh from Lochcarron with lots of images of the hills in my head. I did a pile of sketching and a bit of work. Now I have to make decisions - what should I focus on next?

I tried working on this image of trees beside a lochan. I really thought there was potential for a moody pic with lots of abstract textures. It started off like this.
Then I added more colour.
 I think this photo makes the pic look better that it really is.  I wasn't very happy with this result, so I started again.
I think I've used a rather confused palette, and I'm not confident about the composition, so I still wasn't happy and set it aside.
I moved on to Beinn Alligin.  I drew a motif out first in charcoal, based on an earlier charcoal sketch I had done at the roadside at Annat. I love this view of Alligin with the seaweed shore in the foreground!
Then I moved onto paper that I had previously prepared with gesso and ultramarine and some pva, and I drew it out again.

Then I added gouache and acrylic, and more pencil marks.
Actually, I quite like the palette I had used on this, but I thought it needed a bit of orange and green for some reason. Clearly I was not thinking clearly!
On reflection, I realised that the extra colour did not help the painting and at this point I thought the hill looked a little too high - as if I'd distorted the perspective. So I painted in more sky.
But then I noticed that the angle of the hill was now looked as if it had been tamed! And I realised that there were too many different colours. So back to the Prussian Blue in order to recapture the drama.
I think this is closer to the result I was after - moody and dramatic. Sadly the colour is not as pure and exciting as the earlier version (but maybe more realistic?) and I'm still not sure about the foreground marks, but I feel as if this painting has had enough attention. So I've set it aside for the moment.

I did try a couple of other images.
Here's a stab at Beinn Eighe viewed from the path to Slioch. I used acrylic, gouache, pencil and conte.

And here's a stab at Slioch - a view looking up from the path, again based on a charcoal sketch I did on our walk.
I like the little bit of colour on the hill.

But it was back in the studio today, thinking about what to take forward. More anon...