Donegal, drawing, Drawings, Holiday, On Location, Workshops

Sketching in Donegal in the Sun (part 2)

Another few images from July’s sketching workshop.

MUCKROSS

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Just before I took this photo (below) at Muckross beach, we watched, astounded and thrilled, as a school (pod?) of dolphins leapt above the waves in the direction of Muckross Head. Unfortunately I didn’t have a good enough lens with me to capture it but we found them again later as we headed round to Muckross Head tumbling and playing in the bay and I believe they may still be there.

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I love the close tonal values of this image

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IMG_6948Watercolour sketch Harry Foy

IMG_6955Charcoal sketches Kay Cullen

IMG_6927Pencil sketch Aileen Hull

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Water flows down from the mountains cutting a path through the sand and when the tide is out it creates a universal pattern as it weakens to a trickle.  It looks like a delta, roots of a tree, tresses – how often nature repeats itself!

KILBEG HARBOUR

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The perspective of boats can be difficult to capture so I suggested some “blind” drawing i.e. not looking at the paper when you’re drawing. This can be challenging as there is an automatic reflex to look down at your sketch book. However, as is seen in the sketches below,  the results are worth it – strong flowing lines, spatial awareness and perspective “seen” without realising it!

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Kay sat for ages studying the movement of the water for this sketch and I really think she captured it.

IMG_6960Pencil sketch Kay Cullen

IMG_6957Watercolour sketch Harry Foy

Of course there were lots of interesting subjects to draw other than boats….

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Pencil sketch Anne Marie

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Looking forward now to August’s workshop. I am under no illusion that the weather will be as stunningly warm and sunny but Donegal offers so much more than good weather!

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Donegal, Holiday, On Location, Workshops

Sketching in Donegal in the sun

Dolphins leaping, long, white sands, rusty rivers, waterfalls, salmon, guiness, sunbathers – hang on a minute – SUNBATHERS! Yes, that’s right, Donegal was hotter than the Costas last week and 10 times more beautiful! It isn’t often that I don’t have to pray, cross fingers and toes and do a fair amount of cosmic ordering for good weather on my Donegal sketching breaks but this time it was a piece of cake.

Seven painters (and one spouse) met up at my place on Sunday evening for three days of sketching on location. I like to choose some of my favourite spots where there is plenty of subject matter to suit all tastes.

Below are a few images from our day at the Glen river

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Before they started I asked them to do some quick line drawings showing the flow and direction of the water’s movement and to be aware of how dark the river and river bank actually is despite the bright sunshine.

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Pastel sketch – Harry Foy

IMG_6929Pencil and watercolour – Aileen Hull

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Charcoal sketch – Kay Cullen

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Black pen – Lillian Weatherup

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Pastels – Lillian Weatherup

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Black pen

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Soft pastels – Georgie Lilley

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Black pen Joan Hull

At the end of the day we took a trip up to Sliabh Liag to the highest sea cliffs in Europe

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and what do you think we found there?

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Nothing like a delicious cool ice-cream after a hard day’s sketching in the sun!

Another blog will follow with more of the week’s sketches

Donegal, On Location, Workshops

DONEGAL SKETCHING BREAKS

Muckross HeadMuckross Head

DATES:                        Sun July 7 – Wed July 10

                                   Sun Aug 4 – Wed Aug 7

TUITION FEE:           £175/Euro 210 (includes light meal Sunday eve and 3 x sandwich lunches)

LOCATION:                Largy in south west Donegal lying between Ireland’s largest fishing port and the beautiful village of Kilcar in Donegal’s Gaeltacht

Breaker Muckross

Breaking Wave at Muckross Head

The weekend starts with a light meal and a demo on the Sunday evening at 7pm, sketching on location Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10am – 5pm with a lunch-break from 1 – 2pm

The course is suitable for all levels

There is excellent accommodation in the area at reasonable prices and there is plenty to do for non-painting partners

Early booking is advisable!

Contact Rosie for further information

Donegal, Holiday, On Location, Uncategorized

Sketching Holiday in Donegal

Arriving down at the cottage in Donegal on Saturday, I feared the worst weatherwise. With statistics echoing through my ears of the wettest June on record I looked out the front window of the living -room and couldn’t see the mountain for mist. The window to the back (the house is one room wide!) usually shows a panoramic view of Donegal Bay and the Sligo mountains beyond – nothing- I couldn’t even see the bottom of what I laughingly call my garden! Now I always have a Plan B for wet days but the whole idea of sketching holidays is to experience first hand the colours, smells, sounds and feeling of space that our photos don’t or can’t portray. However, Donegal didn’t disappoint and on the first day the clouds parted and the sun shone. In fact, two out of three days were sublime showing this part of the world to be the little bit of heaven that it is! In the evenings we spent our time wining and dining in Kitty Kelly’s restaurant at Largy and The Clock Tower at Fintra. I shall be running a further sketching holiday in August and there are 2 or 3 places still available. Below are images of some of the locations and a few of my sketches which I managed to do in between tutoring and a finished pastel based on sketches from the boats in the harbour at Kilbeg Pier

Hopefully a blog will follow with images of work from the sketching holidays’ participants

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Pale light at a beach at Muckross showing the Sligo mountains beyond

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The waterfall and salmon leap at Teelin

Of course without the rain the rivers wouldn’t be so amazing and the fishermen would be very sad!

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Kilbeg pier at Teelin Bay looking across to Slieve League

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Oil pastels

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Oil pastels

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Oil pastel sketch

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All sketches Rosie McClelland

Donegal, Holiday, On Location, Uncategorized

Sketching in Donegal

I  have just spent a week painting in Donegal with four other artists. When I send out the information letters, with a list of materials, I always include raincoats, woolly jumpers and sturdy shoes in addition to suntan cream and a sunhat! Anyone who has painted in Ireland is prepared for glorious sunshine interspersed with showers and indeed that can be the reason for wonderful “light shows” and magnificent cloud formations over an ancient, majestic landscape. However this year, on a couple of days, the sky fell and hovered just above our heads like a heavy grey blanket. On one such day we took ourselves off to the Glebe Gallery, beside Lake Gartan near Letterkenny, to see the exhibition  “Burst the Heart Open – A Celebration of Irish Paintinghttp://www.eaf.ie/detail.php?id=12  On view are works from artists such as Sean Scully, Derek Hill, Sean McSweeney, Jack Yeats, Ciaran Lennon and Patrick Collins amongst many others. Open until August 28th and well worth a visit. While you’re there take a tour round the fabulous Glebe House which was the home of Derek Hill and houses an amazing array of international art.

On the way home we visited the studio of Donegal artist Stephen Bennett, near Ardara. Stephen used to be in advertising working for Saatchi and Saatchi in London until he returned to Donegal with his wife and started painting the beautiful Donegal countryside and it’s people in his own inimitable bold style. Check out his website and call in if you’re in the area.  http://www.stephenbennett.net/

Muckross Head

An intrepid artist – this piece of coastline is only reached at low tide!

Trying to capture the movements of a wave crashing against the rocks in soft pastels (Rosie McClelland)

Sketch in oil pastels (Rosie McClelland)

Well on a wet day there’s nothing else for it but to retreat to a Donegal pub for lunch!

Nancy’s in Ardara

Wild flowers along every wayside oil pastel sketch (Rosie McClelland)

We spent a morning at Killybegs harbour- below are a few quick impressions

I love using oil pastels for the instant saturated colour and quick coverage

(Rosie McClelland)

It was a small group this year, about half the size of previous years but nevertheless, despite rain, we produced a lot of work, had a lot of laughs and drank our fair share of wine! Thank you for the good company.

Drawings, Holiday, On Location, Sketching

A week in Provence

I have just spent a week in Provence. I was very kindly invited to stay in a beautiful appartment in St Saturnin d’Apt by a member of my art classes.The last time I visited Provence was 25 years ago and I don’t remember it being quite so spectacular but perhaps that was because my children were still toddlers and we all came down with a stomach bug! This time there were four of us – all grown-ups – and we  spent our days sketching, sight-seeing, browsing colourful market stalls and drinking copious amounts of wine in breathtaking surroundings.

One of the highlights was visiting Cezanne’s studio. To see his painting jackets hanging on the wall close enough to touch (I didn’t!), familiar objects from his still-life paintings such as jugs, bottles and the white statue of Putto sitting on shelves was magical. I lingered long enough to let the inspiration soak in. Mont St Victoire didn’t let us down either with a display of blood-red poppies and wild flowers in the fields at it’s base.

The urge to paint landscapes doesn’t happen often to me and when it does it’s usually in the form of water – tethered boats in harbours, atlantic waves crashing onto ancient rocks or rushing salmon-filled rivers – there needs to be some kind of emotional connection for me to want to capture – so I was happy to sketch buildings and people and make notes on the mediterranean light and palette.

Tangled cables in Bonnieux Rosie McClelland
oil pastel sketch Rosie McClelland
St saturnin Rosie McClelland
Oonagh Catchpole – View of St Saturnin – Watercolour
Caroline Twemlow -Roofs at Bonnieux
Janet Clarke -Irises
My three companions, Caroline, Oonagh and Janet