Two versions of the same scene

April 22, 2024 | 4 Comments

I was looking through my sketches of the Isle of Lewis the other day and came across two versions of the coastline at the Port Of Ness. One is small (occupying the top part of an A4 page) and the other takes up a double-page spread in an A4 sketchbook. I thought it would be fun to put them side by side and in particular to add some white space around the smaller sketch so I could look at it more easily.
The first sketch was done in 2016 and I had a limited time frame due to being with family. (At least my wee niece was fully occupied at the time!)

It had been a bit of a crazy morning of trying to sketch while hanging out with family and I think the few lines of watercolour pencil indicate that I wasn’t sure at the time if I’d be able to paint. But obviously, I was able to get my paints out and the watercolour washes added to the few loose lines were painted very quickly and simply.

The second version was done in 2018 from the same cafe (Cafe Sonas) and I was on my own…

So I was able to take my time and work larger. During this particular trip, I was doing a lot of paint-only sketches and so, as often with paint-only work, there are a few more layers to my watercolour washes in order to define the edges.

As it’s quite hard to adequately share long panoramic images on my blog, I’ve created this image to show the two sketches (only part of the 2018 version) at the same scale.

Hmm… These days I would definitely soften the bottom of the sky wash but as a general rule, I love hard edges. I’m also more interested in creating texture than aiming for realistic renderings.

Ah! I miss visiting the Isle of Lewis (and my family there)!


  • Jamie C says:

    Such gorgeous texture, color and watercolor magic in these! It’s so fascinating to compare the same scene done two years apart! The similarities in your style, despite the difference in approach, shines through.

  • Lois Courtright says:

    You write:
    “I’m also more interested in creating texture than aiming for realistic renderings.“

    Ah hah! That is why your sketches are so distinctive and captivating!!

    Thank you Liz for the inspiration!!!


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