For the last month and a half on my job in Edinburgh (I should be able to reveal what I was working on soon) I stayed in a flat near Arthur’s Seat. One evening I took advantage of the sunshine and spent a while drawing in the park. Here are a couple of my sketches!
It’s been over a year since I last updated my portfolio and showreel so (thanks to the prodding of others) I’m finally sorting through my work. In doing so I uncovered this painting of Glencoe. From what I remember I abandoned it in frustration, but I quite like it now! It’s loosely based on a photograph I took the last time I was there.
Yesterday I went on a Timberbush Tour of the Scottish Highlands, seeing places like Glencoe and Loch Ness. I’ve been to Loch Ness before, and through Glencoe lots of times, but this is the first time I’ve done a tour of my own country – and certainly the first time I’ve been up through the Highlands and back home in one day! I also enjoyed the stories and legends told by the guide, some of which were new to me.
I think that if you’re visiting Edinburgh and have only one day spare this is a fantastic way to see more of Scotland. But, if you’ve more time, it’s worth hiring a car and taking the journey a little more slowly. Glencoe is beautiful, and a wonderful place for a walk (even a short one) and a picnic. I didn’t like piling out of the coach and being herded back on again five minutes later. However I did manage to dash off two quick sketches! The first is below.At Loch Ness, there was an option to go on a boat tour. I stayed behind to sketch, but again only managed two …
By this point the scenery was descending into cloud and there was little left for me to draw. A few seconds later it started to rain, and then the thunder and lightning began. My second plan of having a walk in the forest thus destroyed as well, I went into the hotel cafe for a hot chocolate. This is the second Glencoe sketch – I was back on the coach at this stage, and managed to jot this down before it pulled away.
For a while I’ve been scribbling down ideas for this bird project. This weekend I began to do some more research into the location and character design. Here are some of my sketchbook pages! These were all sketched using Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens by Kuretake. I like how they give a good variation in line. They’re quite a recent purchase but I already prefer them to the Zig Art & Graphic Twin pens I used before, which have a foam tip instead of a brush.
Using some family holiday photographs for reference, I painted Mount Hood (vaguely based on it) for my father’s birthday present. I used gouache and a stencil made from paper which gave interesting gloopy results, especially each time it was reused. Here are the final results below, in the order they were made. A close up, below: a wet wash underneath created these wonderful splodges. This is the painting I chose to give to my dad. At this point, the stencil began to disintegrate.
Since I began playing around with digital gouache brushes I wanted to try out the real thing. I bought some paints today and smudged them about in one of my sketchbooks. I like how they’re a combination of acrylics and watercolours! And yet, unlike either, gouache keeps its richness even when a little watered down. When painted without any water at all, it dries completely differently from acrylic. I like it!
One of my frustrations with painting has been with my dislike of paint. I’ve always found watercolours too pale, acrylics too thick when dry and too pale when wet, and though I like oils they’re a real hassle. Here’s gouache, a real thick paint that I can easily clean from my palette!