Adding colour

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The experiment with water soluble pencils continues, but a little differently, as I have decided to add colour. Having the tonal drawing beneath gives a useful structure for the colour to go on top. I decided to leave some parts in graphite for contrast, and highlight the main parts of the flowers/berries with colour. The colour is simple, almost monochrome in each case, with no real attempt to create botanical reality, it is there more to enhance the shape and form, and maybe take the images away from their plant origins into another kind of object.

I used Faber Castell watercolour pencils (Albrecht Durer), so that I could continue to draw, but adding water gives more of a painterly feel, and some unexpected results.

The above image was inspired by a double begonia flower, below the inspiration came from spindle berries, crocuses and sweet peas.

All are 23 cm x 25 cm. Some of the drawings without colour can be seen here.

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Scotland – from Stirling to Blair Atholl

 

 

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After a month in Stirling we took to the road, heading west. Above is Stirling Castle, overlooking a field of Highland cattle. Our first stop was Oban, including a day trip to the Isle of Mull (don’t sing it, it never goes away …) then to Skye via a small ferry. After a loop around Skye we continued north, hugging the coast all the way. This meant travelling on single lane roads over mountains and along the coast, avoiding sheep and Highland cattle wandering the roads oblivious to any danger. Then across the top, down the east coast and back into England. We were blessed with the weather, mild and sunny nearly the whole way.

There were many highlights – breathtaking and unexpected scenery, a variety of castles in all states of repair, from ruined to still inhabited, a guitar festival in Ullapool, seeing stags and does late one night, and hearing the stags roaring in the night … we stayed in regular B and Bs, Airbnbs and even a castle, which happened to be in the right place on our 35th wedding anniversary. The photos below were taken on my phone, so please excuse any quality issues, and are just a selection of a great many!

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Inveraray
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Standing stones at Lochgilphead
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Easdale – this small town was on a slate mine. All the houses were built of stacked slate.
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The only bridge over the Atlantic Ocean!
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Oban
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Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull – note the rather creepy horse-hoof candlesticks.
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Evening across the harbour at Oban
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Glenshiel
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Unusual cloud on Skye
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Dunvegan Castle in the north of Skye
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Skye – waterfall and organ pipe rock forms in the background
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Inverewe garden – although a long way north, the warm Gulf Stream winds mean that this garden can support a wide range of plants, including Australian tree ferns.
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The Highland cattle were completely unfazed by traffic close by.
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Graveyard with a view at Ullapool
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Achiltibuie

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Talmine, on the north coast of Scotland
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The Stacks at Dunnet Head. There were seals resting on the rock ledges at the base of the Stacks. This is the most northerly point on the mainland, not John O’Groats as we are led to believe.
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Ackergill Castle where we stayed for our 35th wedding anniversary – it just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
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The dining room in Ackergill Castle
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Dunrobin Castle – the holiday home of the Dukes of Sutherland. In the garden was a summer house full of trophies from hunting trips, including heads of an elephant, a giraffe, buffaloes, tiny deer, tails of elephants, rhinos, not to mention the stuffed birds and human trophies from Neolithic graves. Deeply shocking.
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The walled garden at Blair Atholl Castle