Isle of Skye Review 2016

Painting on the Isle of Skye – Scotland – 23rd – 30th July 2016

We hosted our first painting holiday on the Isle of Skye this year. Based on the South Western peninsular at a beautiful harbour of Elgol. Our accommodation two lovely houses set back from the busy harbour with incredible views of the Cullin mountain range.

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Guests that flew to Inverness and were collected, others drove or took the train and bus. The nearest town was 15 miles away at Broadford, a bit of a hike if you forgot anything. The road to Elgol was windy and it skirted around lochs and through beautiful valleys. Everyone arrived safely at the accommodation and settled in to their spacious rooms. The property had large kitchen and dining room plenty of space for Janet to create delicious meals. We even celebrated being in Scotland by serving up Haggis. The lounge was large and spacious a pleasant space in which to congregate and relax. It afforded large picture windows that enabled guests to paint the  dramatic views on rainy days.
There were seven painters of mixed ability painting in Watercolour, Acrylic and Oil. We spent the first two days at the property sketching and painting the harbour, also the cliffs and the mountains. The highland cattle and cows came and visited the beach each day. There were also plenty boats and fishing vessels to draw and paint, as Elgol was a very popular spot to take boat trips to other islands. We also went further afield to the northern part of the island to visit Dunvegan Castle. Although the castle itself isn’t that beautiful, the setting is very good, a beautiful harbour with intensely colorful seaweed and kelp. The gardens around the castle were beautifully kept, a great choice of plants and trees with a dramatic waterfall and stream flowing though the centre. Some sketching here and good photography became a useful starting point for painting back at the house.

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We also visited the capital of Skye, Portree. A lively and colourful town with plenty of areas of interest. The pretty curved harbour full of yachts, edged with colourful shops, bars and hotels afforded the time to sketch and a tutorial on scale of mark and aerial perspective. As we traveled around the island always looking for interesting painting locations we admired a remote waterfall and chose to hike off to paint it one morning. Not realising it was a little further than we thought we arrive late morning with enough of a break in the weather to sit and paint this dramatic view. This was a perfect location for a tutorial on capturing the 180 degree landscape. The main aim to capture the waterfall surrounded by the rolling hills. It was a beautiful spot, guests drew large in Charcoal or sketched in Pen and wash.

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Some of the group chose to go on the boat trip, on a rib, to the Isle of Canna. It was great fun, all kitted up in protective sea faring clothes and a life jacket the speedy trip was exhilarating. The captain of the boat was jolly, very knowledgeable and informative, he took around several island told us about the inhabitants, history and owners. We saw puffins and seals, cormorants and many other wild birds. We ended up at the Isle of Canna, brilliant sunshine, we stripped off our protective clothing had a short walk to the cafe/pub and sat drinking with an idyllic view right in front of us. On the way back we saw a ship wreck, stunning colours, and a fabulous subject to paint. We also caught sight of the red deer on Rhum, posing beautifully in the long grass, ignoring the tourists happy snapping.
All the breakfast and evening meals are provided when at the house, lunch is bought by guests themselves when on location, one evening we go out to a restaurant and sample the local Fayre we went to a fabulous fish restaurant where we all enjoyed our meal. The weather was mixed, not much rain, hardly a midgee in sight, it was mostly sunny, we also took a gazebo to shelter from the sun and the wind. Plenty of photography help and speedy sketching all became good references for work produced back at base.

A selection of the work produced by the guests on the course.

Click on a thumbnail to see the full image.