A crystal-clear Highland stream
This is a subject I've been meaning to take on for a little while. Water is one of my favourite subjects, but this is tricky! Where this painting is set is where a beautifully clear burn is just about to empty into Loch An Eilean. The water is flowing at a moderate speed and I wanted to convey the sense of movement, clarity and sunlight reflections all in one go - a tall order! I've deliberately kept the style loose and carefree, adding detail only when it was needed to show the water's bright and beautiful clarity. What a beautiful spot! My painting buddy, Zena the Labrador, enjoyed the day out too! All my works which are available for sale are at www.robwighamwatercolours.com. Cheers for now! Rob.
The En Plein Air theme continues! The beauty of painting, though, is that you don't need to show what you see if you want to change it! This is 'Where River Meets Loch', 7 x 5 3/8", watercolour, painted on a nice day in April, with no snow! However, the last time I'd been to this spot had been a snowy day, so snow it was! I wanted specifically to create drama and warmth despite the snow. So the dramatic, threatening sky provides a mainly cool and towering feel which is then set against a serene subject with babbling river and calm loch. The warmth breaking through the clouds is echoed by the warm reds of the foreground, set against the snow. The idea was to create a tension between the two competing elements, which are brought together into one compelling scene. It's up to you to decide if I've succeeded! Sadly I'm now heading back home to the studio as our little break is over - for now...
Back to En Plein Air!
Finally we got the chance to get away camping in the highlands with the paints! I've posted this painting of 'Loch Morlich', a beautiful loch nestling at the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains - Cairngorm itself is visible on the left of the painting. It's really fun painting 'en plein air', without the comforts and conveniences of the studio. This time, for the first time I used a watercolour easel, rather than just holding the board as I work. I think I'm a convert! Yesterday was a lovely sunny day, if a bit chilly, and I was fascinated by the contrast between the still, reflective water of the loch and the ripples on the water emptying from the river behind me. I enjoy the loose, carefree style which I tend to use for en plein air work, and in this case I think it's captured the vivacity of the reflections in the water better than a more considered approach would have. I also love this limited palette of colours, which I think are so evocative of the Caledonian Forest which surrounds this lovely place. Right, rucksack back on and off we go again!
Evening in Prague!
Introducing 'Evening on St Charles' Bridge, Prague'. Prague is one of my favourite cities - if you've never been there, you should think about it! The architecture is beautiful and the atmosphere wonderful. This is a view along the St Charles Bridge in the evening. The rain has gone and everything seems to shine and sparkle in the ethereal light. I have made full use of colour here to convey my emotional response to this beautiful place, while at the same time treating it in a loose style to capture the spontaneity of a fleeting moment in a place I love. The strong darks of the bridge contrast vividly with the colours of the sky and the reflections from the wet surface, and lead us across the bridge towards the illuminated city, whose details are lost in the shimmering glow. I am proud of this painting, which is a welcome addition to my 'Inspirations' Gallery.
A Brief Encounter
I'll never forget the time I was walking in the woods in the dark on my own, many years ago, and I met a group of deer coming the other way. It was like coming upon a group of people in the dark, and I don't know who was more scared by the experience - the deer or me! This was a different experience. Up here in Moray I see deer very often in the woods around our house, but it's rare to see a stag. This chap may just have been out for a stroll too, enjoying the dappled sunshine. We both froze as we met and, for a brief moment, stared at each other. Then he was off. I felt guilty. Deer are allowed to use the paths too!
The problem with an encounter like this is that there's no chance to sketch - it's over in a second. I did have my camera with me, though, and got some good pictures and did some brief planning sketches. I then used some reference photos and sketches I'd made a few years ago for the stag.
Although the stag forms the focal point of the picture, for me the painting is about the atmosphere. I wanted to painting to feel like one of those beautiful days when the sunlight is dappled and everything seems to glint and catch the sun at the same time. I have tried to convey this with a golden background glow, together with golden highlights everywhere among the trees and in the foliage. The colours of the plants and trees are never ostentatious but glow subtly in the low sun. And off course the stag eyes me briefly with fright and suspicion as we run into each other - you can sense his feelings of unease from his uncertain stance, his leg bent as if in mid-stride.
This painting is the start of a trend for me now - working bigger. I enjoy working on more compact pieces but I've done bigger in the past and am enjoying the freedom it gives me. This painting makes quite an impact - it's attractive in any light but when illuminated it positively glows! I'm very pleased with it and I hope you like it too!
A professional artist living and working in the beautiful north of Scotland. My work is realistic and quite traditional, though strongly interpretational in nature. My inspiration is the beauty of Nature, and the wonderful colours and moods she shows everywhere.