Author Archives: pjkirk

Bean-shìdh

Bean-shìdh is Gaelic for Fairy. This composite image is from a photo I took while hiking to the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye. It’s about a forty minute walk from the car park to the main pools and well worth the effort. Bring a lunch, I did, and sat on one of these amazing rocks looking down […]

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Pillboxes Roseisle Beach

Along the northeast coast of Scotland many of the beaches are covered in so many pebbles and empty muscle shells that you can’t really layout on the sand. Roseisle Beach just a few miles east of Findhorn Village is a lovely sandy haven. The Germans must have noticed this sandy shore too. To prevent foreign […]

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Ruda

Ruda is the Gaelic for Ram. This rock cliff overlooks Neist Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Skye off the western coast of Scotland. The day I was there I saw goats and sheep grazing on the hillside. I also discovered a yogi sitting in the lotus position at the base of the ram horned […]

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Lupin Castles

You can find these lovely lupins blooming at the Boath House, a Georgian Mansion thirty minutes east of Inverness. The eight room hotel has been completely restored and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. But for a real treat save room for afternoon tea and a walk through the 22-acre estate.  

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Her Bangs

The model on this night of Life Drawing, had wild hair; a mixture of dreadlocks and tiny braids. I hid her eyes behind her fringe of bangs and added dark a few dark gestural lines to capture the her free-spirited do.  

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Claigeann

Claigeann is the Gaelic word for skull. This mirror image of a photo from my hike to the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Sky. I initially saw the scull with a grassy mohawk but when I look closer I see a woman’s head where the scull’s nose is. What do you see in this image?  

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Findhorn Bluffs

I rented a room in a flat in Findhorn Village so I often walked around the horn, past the bay to the open ocean. This is the view looking back at the marina from the bluffs. The bluffs provided a wind break and a nice place to set up my easel to paint.

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Keyll

Keyll is Gaelic for forest. This photo was taken at the Findhorn Foundation. The Foundation is an ego village on the Northeast coast of Scotland.  

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Abandoned Bridge

This abandoned bridge was off to the side A82 on my way to Oban. The road ran over it before they upgraded to a steal bridge.  

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Gesture Drawings

Standing one-minute poses are something you’ll do at the start of most Life Drawing sessions. These quick sketches are usually done on cheap newsprint with vine charcoal. Vine charcoal is made from willow vines that have been burned at high temperatures. One of the big advantages of charcoal is how easily it can be erased. In this sketch. If you look […]

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Findhorn Marina – Plein Air

In September we had the first day of sun with no rain so I gathered up my  easel and headed down to the Marina. I walked around to the far side of the horn so I could capture the marina behind the mored boats. I had a few visitors walk by. All were very respectful […]

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Body as a Light Source

Working in charcoal is a good way to study light and shadow. Notice the little highlight under the breast and how it helps create volume. The body is actually the light source, its bouncing light back up into the breast shadow. In this sketch I’ve broken one of the cardinal rules of figure drawing; thou shalt not crop the head. What would […]

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Fiodh

Fiodh is Gaelic for Antlers. I see a pair of antlers with soft furry ears on either side. What do you see?

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Findhorn Bay

The view from the bluffs back toward Findhorn Village and the Marina.

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Upland Stream

This is a small painted sketch I did in preparation for a larger painting, Badlands. In some ways I prefer this looser rendition to the more details version. Which painting would you rather look at; Badlands or Upland Stream?

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Female Gestures

A time saving device used in gesture drawings is blocking in the scull; using a flat plane for the face. Capturing the gaze is enough for a one-minute pose, anything more and you won’t get the whole body done. These quick studies help loosen up your arm and ground you in the art of seeing the whole image before moving […]

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