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Balevullin Beach, High Tide, Tiree

In May 2017 we planned a painting trip to a Scottish Island called Tiree. We stayed in a holiday cottage there called An Caladh which means "rest place by the sea" for three nights and hoped that its name would live up to expectations. It did!

The nearby beach of Balevuillin is a favourite haunt for surfers and I could see why as the waves rushed in.

I found a suitable vantage point and tackled two watercolours of the beach, one in my sketchbook, the other on a 12″ x 9″ Arches Block.


Crail, Coming Home

For over 20 years I’ve enjoyed painting in Scotland. Recently I decided to revisit some of the fishing villages that I’ve painted in the past along the East Neuk of Fife. The weather has been dreadful over the winter months which hindered my plans right up until early February when I was finally able to travel with the promise of sunny weather.

I managed to visit three of the fishing villages which I have painted before and have published as limited edition prints, Pittenweem, Anstruther and Crail.

Even though it was sunny, it was still very cold but I was still able to do a sketchbook watercolour at each one of the harbours. The one of Crail seen here was painted from a high vantage point looking into the low winter sun.

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Edinburgh in Winter

A lively original watercolour capturing shoppers braving the elements in Edinburgh, Scotland as they go about their business on Princes Street.

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Watch a short video showing close ups of the original watercolour painting.


Grassmarket, Edinburgh

I first painted this scene back in 1993, a painting that was reproduced as a limited edition print that quickly sold out.

This new lively watercolour of the Grassmarket in Edinburgh is loaded with contrasts. Bright warm sunlight catching the ancient stonework is creating dark cold shadows on the road, architecture and the foreground. figures.

Edinburgh Castle, although quite small in comparrison to the othere elements in the painting, nevertheless still looks imposing and impressive.


Haar on the Forth, Edinburgh, Scotland

Over the years I have painted many bridges. Probably the most dramatic is the Forth Rail Bridge that spans the Firth of Forth. This spectacular view from North Queensferry looking south depicts the bridge rising majestically out of the haar like a Brontosaurus appearing out of some prehistoric swamp.

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Iona Abbey, Scotland

A dramatic original watercolour of the historic island of Iona depicting the abbey silhouetted against a sky full of contrasting clouds.

I spent several days on the island of Mull sketching in watercolour on location. My time spent on Mull included a trip to the smaller island of Iona where I managed only one sketch because of the rain.

Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, Just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest Christian religious centres in Western Europe.


Pittenweem, Scotland

I was fortunate to travel up to the East Neuk of Fife earlier in the year to do some sketchbook watercolours of three of the very picturesque fishing villages dotted along the coastline.

For this particular watercolour painting of Pittenweem, I wanted to retain the loose sketchbook qualities of the “en plein air” study so I used a hand made Indian rag paper with deckled edges and a rough surface. I've deliberatly kept the brush marks lively and fresh without loosing too much detail.

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Princes Street, Winter Light

This scene of Princes Street, Edinburgh is taken from Calton Hill which boasts commanding views over the city. Often it is the inclusion of figures which can bring a cityscape to life, but in this instance it’s the traffic, in particular the buses nudging their way into the queues of cars, that bring a sense movement to the watercolour.

Even though the time of year is winter and the sun has almost set, there’s a strong feeling of warmth and light coming through because of the base washes of Cadmium Lemon and Rose Madder. This is contrasted by the cold shadows created by a quite bold application of Paynes Grey for the road and rooftops. Further interest has been achieved by the highlights on the cars and buses on Princes Street which have been very simply rendered.

Lifting out some of the colour has brought a feeling of mist and smokiness, giving the architecture an ethereal quality which has enhanced the depth and ariel perspective to Auld Reekie.

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Scarinish Harbour, Tiree

This watercolour painting depicts Scarinish Harbour, Tiree, one of the Inner Hebrides which we visited in 2017.

Within an hour or so of landing in a Sea Otter flown in from Glasgow Airport I painted a quick watercolour of the harbour in one of my hand made, leather bound sketchbooks. 

The little red boat is apparently the most painted vessel on the island.