I’ve only just passed the halfway point of my trip (was Italy at the beginning or was it another trip?) and starting to get a little travel weary. So sometime in the next week I have to recharge my batteries as I head south for the big sketching event of the year – the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester.
I am now solo travelling and although I have a bit of driving to do, I’m finding the time alone energising. I just LOVE driving through the Scottish landscapes – have I mentioned that before?
So what do I have to fill you in with? The last day and a bit on Lewis, ferry and bus to Inverness, pick up a car and then drive to the Isle of Skye. And in between I had a few social visits and a quick outing to the Black Isle.
I have been enjoying the challenges of sketching the Scottish landscapes and a few things I have been experimenting with are:
- simplifying the shapes while describing the rock formations or plants in the landscaping
- preserving whites for the wee houses and rethinking my usual practice of little white gaps for landscapes so that the houses stand out better
- working in a more traditional way with watery first washes – yes, very radical for me!
- trying to get the right colours – especially the green – and using potters pink a lot
- mixing up techniques
- working smaller and creating more journal style spreads (remember this was one of my goals)
Ok, time for the sketches and photos.
Monday and Tuesday on Lewis.
Wednesday: Lewis to Inverness and outing to Black Isle
I’ve had it three times this week and have decided that although Macleod and Macleod is great, I prefer Charlie Barley.
I love the harbours in these seaside or loch-side villages but an approaching storm and a visit to my ‘scottish granny’ prevented me from be able to sketch it. Next visit I seriously want a week at a good fishing village!
Thursday: To the Isle of Skye
I had a bit of a messy day and wasn’t able to achieve my plan but no matter. Instead of Eilean Donan Castle I sketched at Kyle – showing the Skye bridge and first view of the Cuillins. I am a bit obsessed with the Cuillins as my snapchat followers will know – breaking out into song “the far Cuillins are puttin’ love in me!” Oh dear!
A few sketches of the Old Man of Storr, Staffin and another view of the Cuillins. Drawing this incredible range of hills a few times has meant that I am getting to know the individual peaks – that is very special.
I can’t resist sharing this photo taken while I was stopped in a passing place. In the highlands there are a lot of roads that are only one lane wide with frequent spots so cars can pass. It gets a little crazy in peak season on Skye.
Friday: Wet day on Skye
I spent the morning talking art, inner critic, journalling and music with Anna and Joe whose B&B (Cuillin View B&B) I am staying. Anna is a facebook friend and Sketchbook Skooler.
BTW1 the view from here is GREAT!
BTW2 this photo was taken yesterday as today the cloud was low!
It wasn’t a day for hills, I headed to Sleat in the south of the island (hardly any tourists – yay!) to re-visit the grave of my 4 x great grandfather that we discovered 13 years ago. It was a lot fun finding it again – easy to locate but still a delightful discovery.
I then went to the place where he lived – Duncan was a wealthy merchant at Isle Ornsay – and sketched the hotel there. Ah! that was fun!
And finally I sketched the nearby locality at of Camus Cross. This might be the last sketch from the Highlands this trip. I have had a ball in my favourite part of the world.
Wow! this is a long post and I have done a lot this week. Despite family time, social visits and lots of driving I have achieved more than I expected. I’m really in the groove now.
I know some of you would like to see these sketches larger, but you will have to wait a bit longer for that. I hope that you are enjoying what I am able to provide when I get a free night! It is pretty hard to find the time to get these updates done but I am really loving being up to date and being able to share with you all my adventures now rather than the mammoth backlog when I return home.
Thanks for coming along with me!
To read other reports from the trip click here