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.
I’d like to get into the habit of drawing daily so I’ve come up with a list of short exercises to do, one each day. Today’s was a landscape study.
Mountain landscape 478216 from http://wallpaper-kid.com/mountain-landscape-backgrounds.htm
I did a B&W study first to try and understand the tones in the photograph. In my sketch it’s difficult to distinguish between the mountains and the rocky formation in the foreground. In future I’ll allow myself to play with more values of grey. It also took me a while to realise that though the shadows on the mountains were dark they were lighter than the shadows in the foreground.
For this exercise I took the colours directly from the photograph. I plan to build up to the point where I choose my own palette, and work in real paint, pencils, pastels etc.
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.