Here are a few sketches from over the summer. I’ve been sailing, (doing my Day Skipper course, with Scotsail based at Largs on the Firth of Clyde, who I really recommend). I forgot to take any Paynes Grey or blue watercolour paint, other than Cerulean (sky blue). Most of the landscapes I saw were either basically grey, or blue, so I had to do what I am always trying to teach i.e. focus mainly on tones of light and dark and not worry about ‘accurate’ colour, just use what I like. I also forgot all but one useable paintbrush and I didn’t have any watercolour paper. It has reminded me that to sketch you really don’t need much at all, and also, how rubbish I am at packing.
Burnt Islands, Kyles of Bute
Two watercolours from the Kyles of Bute. We’d sailed north from Largs to Port Bannatyne, (accompanied by porpoises much of the way), then up the east Kyle and anchored in Balnakailly Bay. I sketched these while we had a boat barbeque. We didn’t make fast progress because we were doing our Sailing Drills along the way, i.e. practising picking up moorings, practicing messing up moorings, practicing diving off the end of the boat and retrieving the tangled moorings from around the rudder, and so on. This was the only day of bad weather. Bad weather is so much more interesting to paint though, in my opinion. I enjoyed the challenge of perceiving/inventing nice colours out of the smirry dreich drizzle. (Scots is so much better than English for describing rain.)
Balnakailly Bay, Kyles of Bute
Stunning photo of one of our porpoise friends
Sketching in the Smirr
The rest of the trip was lovely weather so I concentrated on sailing and didn’t do any more drawing. I painted the following afterwards when we stayed in a cottage further north in Argyll, based on photos and memories. We saw a few noteworthy other boats while sailing. This ketch (two masted sailing boat) was just really pretty, near Portavadie at the bottom of Loch Fyne. We saw the Waverley Paddle Steamer on a day out ‘doon the water’ from Glasgow. And a nuclear submarine near Arran.
Ketch, near Loch Fyne. I had no ‘blue’ paint (cobalt or ultramarine) so had to mix purple and caerulean.
The Waverley Paddle Steamer
Smoke on Arran
Arran is a stunning island, the hills are really imposing.
Sailing Boats, Brodick. Our yacht, Kitmar, is on the right. Not that you can discern anything other than a white blob.
At Portavadie Marina. This is our sailing instructor Andy in front
The following sketches are from further north in Argyll after we finished sailing. I’m a skipper now, woo hoo!
West from Dunadd Fort
Sketch from the top of Dunadd Fort, looking west towards Taynish Forest and Loch Sween.
Wee house, Keillmore
Sound of Jura
Paps of Jura
Jura from near Kilmory