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.Glencoe_01At Loch Ness, there was an option to go on a boat tour. I stayed behind to sketch, but again only managed two …
LochNess_01 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.LochNess_02 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.Glencoe_02

Landscape 01

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.

Landscape_01_Image copyMountain landscape 478216 from http://wallpaper-kid.com/mountain-landscape-backgrounds.htm

Landscape_01_BW copyI 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.
Landscape_01 copyFor 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.

Alp

Three sketch studies and the finished painting, created on commission. Though I like the looseness of the quick studies I really enjoyed spending time adding detail into the final picture.Rough_02 copy Rough_03 copyThe pink sketch I rejected for being too pink, though I used some of the light suggested by it in my final composition. I still like the blue one above, but it feels very cold and this painting was intended to hang in a living room!Rough_01 copy 2 Alps_03 copy 2

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