Sketching in Shetland, 2018

In Shetland I was learning to paint clouds. Here’s one of the pictures I like best, also the simplest.

Shetland 2018 drawing

Sometimes the clouds are lighter than the rest of the sky:

Shetland 2018 drawing

Sometimes very dark:

Shetland 2018 drawing

Sometimes rather complicated:

Shetland 2018 drawing

Below is a picture drawn in the rain. I was using a sketchbook which had very heavily sized pages. In light Shetland rain, the pages became damp, and were absorbent.

The water is brighter than the sky: a Shetland phenomenon.

Shetland 2018 drawing

See how this heavily sized paper lets me put layers of colour on.

Here’s another picture in the same sketchbook. See the colours in the sea.

Shetland 2018 drawing

This was a sketchbook from the Vintage Paper Company, based, appropriately enough, in Orkney. The paper is described on their website:IMG_5323

“The paper was made in the 1950s in Somerset, England. It’s a 180gsm, 90lb rough surfaced paper ideal for drawing, ink and of course, watercolour. Made from cotton rag and gelatine sized, it’s a dream to paint on. “

It took a bit of getting used to.

I found it didn’t take the paint very well, until it was damp. Here’s an early attempt. See how I struggled to get the paint to adhere to the paper.

Shetland 2018 drawing

This was painted in a strong wind from the edge of a hill. At first I thought this picture was a total failure. But later, it seemed to have captured something. perhaps you can see the rocks, the dry grass, the shifting sky and sea?

 

Later pictures were a bit better, especially if I kept things simple:Shetland 2018 drawing

IMG_5324The other sketchbook I used was a Khadi cotton paper, much more absorbent. Below is a picture of the roads of West Mainland. The roads are calligraphic strokes on the landscapes. Shetland 2018 drawing

Here’s anther picture of the roads:

Shetland 2018 drawing

I also drew birds:

On a day it was raining outside, I drew my boots:

Shetland 2018 drawing

Below is a picture of Burrastow Cottage, where I was staying. I swam in that bay. Despite the blue sky, the water was cold. I rate it somewhere between “refreshing” and “challenging”. That is, probably about 12 degrees Celsius.

Shetland 2018 drawing

I had a wonderful time.Shetland 2018 drawing

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