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On the Easel
Following a recent field trip to Wester Ross in Scotland I was fortunate to be in the right place and at the right time to capture some superb landscape photos and make some very useful sketches and colour notes. I have combined these together along with photographs of red deer from previous research visits to culminate in the composition shown to the left. The scene is on the approach to the Bealach Na Ba, the infamous Pass of the Cattle with the snow capped Cnoc Nam Broc in the background. To get the painting under way I have transferred the image to the canvas using thin acrylic paint. This provides a very rough framework for me to work over in oils. As the deer are not too complex in this painting I have opted for a more direct painting approach. Where subjects are more complex I generally create a series of rough outline drawings on paper where I can easily correct my mistakes. I then use the drawing as a transfer. Although this is a more labour intensive method of production it has a distinct advantage in that it familiarises me with the subject prior to the application of paint. I have established the basic form of the two distant stags in oils and shall return to add detail to these at a later stage. For now though, my focus over the coming weeks will be to establish the foreground hinds and paint through the entire canvas using oils in readiness for the finer more detailed layers which will follow once the painting is dry. Hope you like the composition and the progress made so far.