Apr 20, 2017

Bringing Scotland's Edinburgh Castle to Life - Painting & Drawing Tips


Of course, you can't go to Scotland without going to the Castle!!  The Edinburgh Castle sitting up above the city on it volcanic rock, calling everyone.  It is certainly on our list.  So of course I needed to paint it.

Why now you ask? Why not wait til I am there?
Well first of all I will doing some drawing on site but probably much smaller or only parts of the castle.  Don't forget, I am not traveling with other sketchers.  (My sisters read my blog and are probably already wondering how long I will be stopping to draw.)  You may be traveling with sketchers, and have lots of time but most travelers are not.  So adjustments must be made.
A Must Have, the Edinburgh Castle in my Travel Journal 
Let's draw the castle . . .
For me the view of the castle overlooking the city is the most striking.  That was my focus.  And that is your first job. Pick the thing that interests you the most and start there.  I know for a full picture you often start with laying in the horizon and move around creating a great picture, paying full attention to composition and everything. But we are not in the studio, light's changing, trains are waiting and life is moving on. A sketchbook is about catching the moment, responding to an impulse. Jump in and draw.
Layout of the Castle - note the guide lines using my Watercolour pencil. 
 I use my Watercolour pencil (59 Golden Brown, Derwent Watercolour Pencil) to give me some lines of reference.  Just a roof line, cliff edge, and any special spot that may be hard to nail right away.  No detail.

Now grab your pen and draw . . .
"I can't do that, what if I make a mistake".  I know for some this will be a very hard leap, and so do it in stages.  Your goal is to move as quickly as possible to pen.  A free loose pen stroke, not tracing a line, has so much life to it.  Often we obsess on a line that is 'not right' but really, it can be a bush, a bit of shading or get lost in the paint.
Ink work nearly done.  Drawing could be considered done at this point. 
Keep the detail at your focal point . . .
Again, don't worry about all the windows, the focus for me is the cliff area.  If you do a quick visual check you will see your eye slides over the other parts of the castle and rush to the cliff view.  Suggest the rest and keep it simple.

Add some colour . . .
I love coloured pencils for color mixing.  They really invite you to mix a few colours!
Close up of the colouring with the pencils. Note the mixing of colours as I fill in an area.
The castle walls are drab gray but there are bits of golds, blues, rusts, browns and more.  Add some colour.  Here you can be quick, don't worry about being too tidy.
Colouring in the castle with the watercolour pencils.  At this point they act just like any coloured pencil. 
 Pressing hard puts more pigment on the page and gives a darker colour, pressing lightly gives soft colour.
Castle complete using the watercolour pencils dry.  It could be considered complete at this point. 
Now the Magic . . .
Bring your drawing to life.  Add your water and blend your colours.  I love the soft wash of the watercolour contrasting with the dark crisp lines of ink.  It gives me a thrill each time. (I use a water filled brush to blend my colours.  Quick and easy)

Close up: plain pencil colouring on the left and blended with water on the right

  Don't forget that  as things dry you can go back and add more colour if needed. You can see from my final picture I darken my shadow areas to really bring my castle to life.
The Castle is ready, complete with a caption!!
Where are you going this year?  Have you got your journal Revved up and Ready?  My last post had more ideas to get your adventure started.  See Revving up your Journal here.

Update on travel bag. . .
Special thanks to reader Tehani's advice to checked out the Dollar Store.  They have an amazing collection of strong mesh bags in several sizes. It works great; everything fits and I can see my pencils for quick selection. (See more on organizing your materials here)

Spring Shows are coming up fast . . .
 Sunday, April 23, 10-4pm,  Artswest Spring Art Show and Sale, . Sullivan Hall, 6306 152 St. Surrey.   Original Art, cards &  prints by local artists.  Raffle for an Original Piece of Your Choice and Light Refreshments.  Lots of opportunity to meet and talk with the artists. More info www.artswest.ca

 April 28-30, 10-4pm each day, Paints’n Bloom Show & Sale, , Mandeville Gardens, 4746 Marine Dr, Burnaby. Featuring Artists Wendy Mould, AFCA & Audrey Bakewell in Support of the Alzheimer’s Society of BC.  
Pre-Show features: Beginner Watercolour Class, Wed, Apr. 26. 3:30-5:30pm Creative Cards Class, Thurs. Apr 27, 1-3pm, $35each  All supplies incl. Register Now: Contact Me to register.

Great Opportunity to get some help with drawing: My  Drop-In and Draw Sessions  for May are Monday, May 8 & 15,  10-12pm.  Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.
       Bring your sketchbook and your project and come draw.  I will be happy to give you a few pointers as you work on your drawing.  $15 Pre-Registration Required. Contact Me.

 Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!

Special Offer: 3 Horse Cards = 1 Pack = Instant Download for only $12
 My 3 Horse Doodle Cards LET'S RIDE, LITTLE ONE AND FREE SPIRIT are 1 Digital Downloads Pack at my Etsy Shop.  Yes, you can print and personalize your own cards instantly. Your family and friends will love them. See the story of their creation here.

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 Have a great artful day,

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