Saturday, 28 September 2013

Sundown over Gotmar

Acrylics on paper, 43x59cm.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Cumulus Cumulating

Apartment verandah faces west and a great place to have ones aperitif (local pate on chunks of freshly baked baguet, big fat olives, and a cheeky little rioja blanco) looking up over Gotmar Hill with great billowing cumulus clouds banking up, perhaps bringing some overnight rain?:

Mixed media in sketchpad, A4.

I couldn't find my Carmine Red Neocolour or I would have included that one too!

Please note: I am having so much difficulty posting anything using Blogger this is the very last. I'm off to seek more fertile ground, perhaps in Wordpress?

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Cala San Vicente, Not!

Looming magnificently at the entrance to the cala are these ragged and rugged mountainous rock formations rising straight up from the purple sea. So first out of the pencil case is a lilac-purple felt pen and some scribbles across two landscape pages:

Mixed media in A5x2 sketchbook.

Should have left it at that but these two bikers turned up and so were added to the mix.

Obviously the sun was beating too strong on my napper and I forgot exactly where I was. This was actually Cala Molins!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Cala Molins

A day on the beach lying on a lounger under a straw umbrella with a mulitude of Life models and all for free!:

Mixed media in A5 sketchbook.

Except the loungers and umbrella were rented for 12 euros. Allowable expenses?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Goat on Gotmar Hill

It took me two days into the holiday to prise my favourite clutch pencil (the one I pinched from my brother 40 years ago and still has his initials on it) from my bulging pencil case and immortalised this billy goat standing high on a rock on Gotmar Hill as the cloud structures finally broke in the sky and him bleating down to his swooning hareem below:

2B pencil in A4 sketchpad.

A lovely white rioja helped enormously!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Borders Landscapes

Last weekend I visited the Scottish Borders town of Biggar and managed to get out to do some sketching. This time, however, I also took with me some acrylics paint:

Borders Landscape Study #1. mixed media in sketchbook, A4.

Borders Landscape Study #2. mixed media in sketchbook, A4.

Borders Landscape Study #3. mixed media in sketchbook, 2x19x25cm.

Borders Landscape Study #4. mixed media in sketchbook, A4.
Borders Landscape Study #5. mixed media in sketchbook, A4.
Borders Landscape Study #6. mixed media in sketchbook, 2x19x25cm.

Borders Landscape Study #7. mixed media in sketchbook, A4.

There were a few others that didn't quite work out but the important thing was I learned a lot about working with acrylics in the field such as: you need to carry a lot more water for brush cleaning therefore you can't stray too far from the car. Fortunately there was often small streams close-by and that tickles me to think that local water was directly used in the making of these studies.
Secondly: it's a good idea to limit your palette and not carry too many tubes of paint. They are heavy therefore, again, don't stray too far from the car.
For all they say that acrylics dry fast they don't really dry fast enough especially out in the open. The benefit of this, however, is you get to sit and ponder Lifes' cruelties and beauties - crows mobbing a buzzard, a long-legged hare loping across a field, a dead fox, rooks returning to their rookery for the evening, inquisitive lambs interested in what I was doing in their field, a fish rising. At least I didn't come home with any tics on me.

The one big issue which applies whichever medium you use is trying to find a suitable place to park your car. It is ok, I think, to park in front of a farmers gate but only if you stay there ready to move if needs be. Otherwise there aren't too many legitimate parking lay-bys or roads wide enough, and verges solid enough to take a car.

Another thing I learned (to my great embarassment and discomfort) was not ever again to lean back so hard on my wee aluminium fold-away seat with the fabric back support - it ripped and I fell back with my legs up in the air. My darling wife has sewn it back together again - with pink thread!

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Final three sketches from my sojourn on Arran in April:

"Tigh-na-creag, Kildonan", mixed media in sketchbook, 2x19x25cm.

"Pladda and Ailsa Craig from Kildonan", mixed media in sketchbook, 2x19x25cm.

"Pine Switchback", mixed media in sketchbook, 2x19x25cm.

It may have been extremely cold that week but with clear blue skies every day and new subjects (and some old ones) making themselves known to me I came home very satisfied indeed.

Until the next time.