Following on from my adventures around Stornoway, today I want to share my two bigger day trips to the beaches in Uig (Lewis) and down to Harris. This is the map in my sketchbook showing the routes that I took this trip.
I absolutely love the landscapes of this part of the world. When you are driving through it, there are so many times when I wish I could stop and sketch. But it’s very difficult to do so due to the narrow roads (mostly single track with passing places) and no verges. So I didn’t end up sketching as much as I had hoped. If the road is really quiet, I would stop momentarily in a passing place and take a quick photo, but it’s definitely not okay to park in one of these passing places to do a sketch.
There are only a few dedicated parking (lookout) spots and most of these were way too windy to sketch – sometimes just opening the car door was a challenge!
As a result most of my sketches were done from cafe stops! It seems to be that I plan my day trips around what cafes are available and what time they open.
Day Trip to Uig
A day of sun, wind and clouds – heading towards the beaches at Uig which I have only visited once before.
I pulled off the road and very quickly did this sketch. A car came and I had to move and therefore my sap green went a bit crazy. It’s a good record of the difficulties of sketching from the car in Scotland.
I had lunch at a wonderful small cafe – The Edge Cafe. There was one woman cooking and a long communal table. It was a bit too cosy to sketch my yummy fish pie, but I did manage my cuppa after the meal.
I could have done more on this outing but I was low on petrol and couldn’t relax until I filled up!
Day trip to Harris
Harris is the bottom part of the island and has lots of hills and gorgeous beaches (Lewis by comparison is mainly flat). Although I love places like Skye, Mull and the west coast, I have to say that Harris is my favourite part of Scotland. The locals complain about the increasing tourists, but for me it is still quiet.
Note: the typical landscape in this part of the world (of undulating rocky land with the occasional white house) looks beautiful but it’s hard to sketch. There are no strong values and the light changes constantly. I’m still feeling my way with scenes like this!
I wanted to go on a shortcut across to Leverburgh, but the road looked rough with few passing places so I decided to stick to the ‘main road’ (the top photo shows what the main road is like) and head to Rodel.
Sketching St Clements on a sunny day. My sketch last time (overcast/wet day) was so different.
Note: if you did my SketchingNow Watercolour course I refer to the earlier version in one of the gallery sections
On the Sunday I was on the island, I travelled down to Leverburgh to attend church with my great friends Rev and Mrs Smith. As I was driving past again, I decided to stop and take a photo as it was the first time I had seen the hill at the end of the road.
Note: this photo shows my car for the week – a Mint Green Fiat 500 – what a great car!
… because I wanted to stop at the “Harris Hills” spot, film a short video and do another version. This is the view I used for the exercise in SketchingNow Watercolour (which, by the way, is returning in September!)
So that is a wrap for my time in Lewis. I had such a wonderful time on the island and especially with my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew.
And I sketched on the plane (of course) but this time the entire crew – flight attendant and guys in the cockpit – signed my sketch.
Guess what, this day marked the half way mark of my epic trip.Thanks for coming only with me.