Clachtoll Beach

White Sand and Turquoise Sea

Our trip to Ullapool earlier in June was such a blessing. Before the trip, we had prayed for good weather so that we could visit and paint some of the incredible beaches with white sands and turquoise sea. As you can see from the photograph of Clachtoll Beach, our prayers were answered, the weather was amazing.

We asked Stuart from the hotel which beaches he recommended which were not too far away. He suggested Clachtoll and Achmelvich Bay, about an hours drive from Ullapool.

The further you drive north, the scenery becomes more spectacular and the roads become quieter. Part of the route is the NC 500, a trip we hope to do sometime soon. There came a point where we had to turn down a single track road for several miles. However there were plenty of passing places and lots of lovely views. We felt quite isolated from civilisation, but then we dropped down a hill and there was Clachtoll campsite. The beach was just  a few yards away from the car park.

Clachtoll Beach
Watercolour of Clachtoll Beach

Watercolour Block

I wasted no time in finding a view to paint from. It was a handy vantage point looking down on the white sands below. I positioned myself for a 12″ x 9″ watercolour painted on an Arches watercolour block. Painting scenes like this is one of the few times I use a colour in my larger palette called Winsor Green. I sometimes use it with Cadmium Lemon and Lamp Black if I’m painting foliage or grass. Otherwise it can remain unused for months at a time. The water looked very inviting, so as soon as I’d finished the painting and taken a few reference photographs, I went for a swim. The water was cold and there were jellyfish, but it was well worth the effort.

Sitting in the warm sunshine, it didn’t take long to dry off. I whipped out my sketchbook and did another watercolour looking towards the vantage point I’d painted from earlier. This time I was looking into the light which I indicated with highlights around a few clouds at the top of the right page.

We then made our way to the next beach at Achmelvich Bay, just a short drive away. I’ll be writing more about the painting I did there in my next blog post.

Clachtoll Sketchbook
Clachtoll Sketchbook Watercolour

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