In Shetland I was learning to paint clouds. Here’s one of the pictures I like best, also the simplest.
Sometimes the clouds are lighter than the rest of the sky:
Sometimes very dark:
Sometimes rather complicated:
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.
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.
This was a sketchbook from the Vintage Paper Company, based, appropriately enough, in Orkney. The paper is described on their website:
“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.
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:
The 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.
Here’s anther picture of the roads:
I also drew birds:
On a day it was raining outside, I drew my boots:
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.
I had a wonderful time.