"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And The Heart Grows Fonder.


By James Swanson and Traveler Jim & Maggie

24"x18" Oil on Panel

Watch the Journey of this Painting .

Curiosity killed the cat, but it did help make a nice painting. A few paintings ago I mentioned that I was looking for the village that's in the books of M.C. Beaton to paint. The Village was Loch Dubh, but there was no village to paint there at all, just rocks and Creag .

M.C. Beaton's " Death of a Witch

The Traveler at that time David told me about the Village of Plockton, and it is where the TV series was shot.

Village of Plockton, Scotland

Well, being the curious mind that I am I had to take a look see, and this is where I met our next Travelers Jim and Maggie.

Map of Plockton

We first visited Plockton years before it was immortalised by Robert Carlyle and the rest of the cast of Hamish Macbeth. One of the white houses in the left centre of our picture was used as the police station in the series.

Hamish Macbeth TV series

When we go touring in the Highlands we often take English friends with us to introduce them to the often stunningly beautiful scenery (yes, I'm biased, but if you saw it I think you would agree). As some of our compatriots say, Scotland is "God's own country".

Maggie's photo I chose to paint from

Traveler Painting “Plockton I came across Jim and Maggie when I was researching the village of Plockton. Maggie’s photo reminded me of an impressionist’s painting. Always a good sign for me that it could be a nice painting.

The Sketch: The first sketch I did from the photo was a horizontal composition and I knew it would work that way.

But after I stepped away from it I could only see it as a vertical in my mind. I had to go with what’s in my head, so it’s a vertical composition.

The painted sketch on paint toned prepared panel. You can see the Z design of the painting. The Z or S design are really good composition solutions for landscapes. These designs move the viewers eyes all around the painting.

Here I'm putting in the darkest darks of the painting.

Here it is at the blocked in stage. Just a few clouds to put in.

Now that it's blocked in it's time to defining the areas more.

Painters Tip: Painting reflections in water. Reflections can be as clear as a mirror or broken up in ripples, but either way the reflection should be darker in the water than the land image. They also should have softer edges.

Working on the wall trying to soften it so the eye can get past it and back into the painting.

Here I've decided to add to the wall in the foreground. It just wasn't strong enough and needed to be bigger in front to make the village and mountain sit back farther in the painting. The sailboats have also been added. The color also has being cleaned up.

Done. Color and a few design changes is all it took.

Deatails of the painting

Finished and Framed


By James Swanson and Taveler Jim & Maggie

24"x18" Oil on Panel

A great Thanks goes out to Travelers Jim and Maggie for letting me journey along with them in Scotland.It was nice to paint some water again, and Maggie is right about photographing and painting in Scotland, the quality of the light is excellent. You can tell they have by their web site that they have their heart in Scotland, and that they are right, Scotland is " God's own Country".

It's that time again the load up my painting gear and slip slide away. Off I go to meet up with our next Traveler, if you are interested in join this painting adventure just give me a holler here or at www.theartistandthetraveler.org. Ta ta for now.

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Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.