Leven, Fife

The Beehive House

The “Beehive” House on the former Co-operative building on Durie Street, Leven

The Church

The Church, remnants of a 12th century church.

Mercat Cross

A sundial in Letham Glen.

A few of some recent watercolours for an interpretive panel for Fife Council. It was one of those perfect jobs to travel somewhere new, make some drawings and photos and do some watercolours later on.

Life Drawing (Painting)

Life Drawing

Great to be back life drawing again. I normally start with a pencil outline that I transfer to the canvas. Recently I’ve been jumping straight into paint. I still do an outline in burnt umber with a small brush rather than go straight into values.

For someone who likes planning things out its been an eye opener painting in this way.

Life Drawing

Still working directly in paint straight away. I usually paint just a section of the model normally like a shoulders to hips view. I felt like I was on the verge of something clicking in my head while I was painting this, like rather than painting a figure you’re painting how a person fits in space, a presence. It’s difficult to explain exactly what I’m meaning as its a perceptual shift. I’ll try and explain it further if I can figure it out a bit.


The final part of my Isle of Skye residency, some more studies. I’ll develop these later on for an upcoming exhibition at Single Track in spring.

Skye cottage

Black house roof - Skye

I got slightly obsessed with the shape of the thatched cottages especially in contrast with the Skye landscape and light blue of the sea. Even on overcast days the light sand would reflect the light under the sea giving it a beautiful shade of blue. This cottage was from the Museum of Rural Life.

Black house - Skye

Another thatched cottage study.


A church near Skeaborst.


near Staffin

The Storr (back view)

A back view of the Storr.

The Single Track will be opening again on Sunday 5th April (tbc) where I’ll be exhibiting some new Skye watercolours.

Single Track
A contemporary art gallery & espresso bar in the north of the Isle of Skye.
Isle of Skye, IV51 9UL

I was staying at Willie McLeod’s House a beautiful self catering cottage on the Trotternish peninsula. Here’s a view from the front door on the last day I was staying there.


I can’t wait to visit again.

Isle of Skye – Artist’s residency part two

Morning handground coffee

Trying out my new coffee hand grinder with some Carvetti beans a good start to the day. For a couple of days I took a step back from sightseeing and tried to approach Skye from another angle than its greatest scenic hits.

Bus stop with added chairs - Skye

I kept noticing many of the bus stops have handy chairs in them.

Mackenzie Stores - Staffin

The petrol station and local Mackenzie store is nice to pop in for some life saving warm snacks and friendly chat after visiting Slipway beach.

Slipway beach postcard

I visited Slipway beach near Staffin a few times to see if I could find any fossils and check out the dinosaur footprints. I couldn’t find either but it was still worth a look. By the pier its pretty impressive when its stormy a good place to check out dramatic waves.

I sent this small watercolour postcard at the Brogaig post office, its has am interesting interior full of cubby holes to place mail for the locals. I’d usually ask if I could sit down and draw but felt for a change I’d pass this time, it felt like i’d be imposing too much.

Café Sia, roastery Skye

And finishing the post coffee at Café Sia in Broadford, they also roast their own beans.

Isle of Skye – Artist’s residency part one

For a great start to 2015 I went on an artist’s residency on the Isle of Skye staying in a beautiful cottage at the north end of the island near Kilmalaug, Trotternish. It was one of the great things that has happened after doing the coffee spots calendar last year. During the Glasgow Coffee Festival I met up with Lorraine who owns Willie Mcleod’s House and Indi from the Single Track in Skye (the shop features on the calendar) and they kindly offered me a place to stay on the island to do some artwork.

A scenic drive past Glencoe then past Fort William it started to snow really heavily that I took a corner and put the car into a tail spin. Luckily I was going pretty slowly and came to a halt in the middle of the road then face to face with some other drivers patiently waiting for me to stop. After a shaky wave to get past me I continued on…even slower. Then suddenly getting close to the Kyle of Lochalsh the weather totally changed, snow and ice to no snow at all. Then it was a breeze for the final leg to Skye with a quick obligatory stop to check out the castle, Eileen Donan. One day I’ll get round to drawing it if I can figure a way to bring something new to it, its such a Scottish icon it would make a difficult painting, like sunsets.

The Granary

Being on the road for so long, it was nice to slow down for a moment and have a break at The Granary at Portree. I didn’t get one of the coveted window seats but was happy to draw the window views and the customers.

The Storr

then closer!

The Storr

After settling at the cottage the next day I went for an exploration around Trotternish. The weather was pretty dramatic and I’d get short windows of sunlight interspersed with hail and snow so I took to just drawing from my car. Here I stopped by the road and drew the Storr for a while then carried on driving then thought oh this view is also good. I loved the change in weather it made for some really stunning scenes.

Castle Duntulm

At the top of Skye sits the castle Duntulm (Fort on the Cliff), the road up to it has some beautiful wind twisted trees on either side.

near Duntulm

A little further on with a different view of the castle, its in the background to the right.

Just pass Duntulm

Just pass Duntulm. I had initially planned to travel around more of Skye but had really underestimated how large the island is. Drawing somewhere new its difficult to get a balance of exploring and finding new places that will make a good picture to actually drawing. So I rather than trying to see “everything” and do less drawing I decided to stick with the north part, Trotternish for the full week. This meant it was much easier to stop whenever something good or come back to it later without worrying I had to get somewhere. So I ended up doing a loop around the north part of Skye maybe 4 times each time getting to know the place a bit better.

Snow drop

Snow drop

I planted these last year so it was cool seeing them flower, good for a small watercolour study.

Quarrier’s Village

Quarrier's Village

Quarrier’s Village and Mount Zion church as part of a series of watercolours I was commissioned to do.

Sketchbook/phone case

Sketchbook/phone case

I altered/modified a Midori traveller’s notebook into a phone case combo.

Coincidentally the small moleskine notebooks are the perfect height to use, I just needed to trim the edge by about 1.5cm and it was a good fit.