Scotland Highlands Landscape Oil Painting

Would you like to go to Scotland?

My sister and her husband took a trip to Scotland several years ago. The photos she took were just beautiful. (And now I want to go!) This painting  is inspired by one of her photos taken when looking northwest at sunset over Loch Leven from Ballachulish, Scotland.

I painted a 5x7 inch watercolor of this scene from the Scottish Highlands at that time and I like it so much that now I'd like to paint it in oils on 8x10 inch panel.

Come along with me and we'll paint our way to Scotland!

First of all I paint the sky since the sky determines the colors and mood of the entire piece.  It is late in the day and the sun is illuminating the clouds from behind.

I paint the clouds with a grayed purple mixed from red, blue, white and a touch of yellow, and the sky from a tiny bit of phthalo blue and lots of white. I highlight the clouds with white paint where the sun is coming through. Everything is done in soft tones.

Next I paint the mountains using a soft blue to give them a distant look:

There is a bridge in the distance connecting the land forms. While the paint on the mountains is still wet, I use a pointed brush to draw the lines with a dark gray mixture:

Then I paint the land forms - a bit darker than the mountains and warmer in color to bring them visually closer:

Here is the painting so far:

The water is next. Remembering that water bodies reflect the sky, I use a flat brush to paint it in shades of violet blue to match the clouds.

In the foreground is a bit of the Scottish moorland. I paint it in warmer tones of green to visually bring it forward. But I paint the edge along the water with a warm blue. This helps to visually lay the land form down flat.

One of my watercolor students saw the painting at this stage the other day when she came to class and was quite impressed by it. I had to explain that it is not finished yet:

One of the things that is missing is the reflection in the water from the land forms:

Also, I want to add a focal point. The lake would be more interesting with a boat, so I paint one with a pointed brush and a mixture of dark blue-gray:

I highlight both the bridge and the boat with white where the sun hits them. A few sparkles on the water near the boat are a nice touch too.

 And here is the finished piece:

I am happy with the soft light in this painting illuminating the landscape from behind the clouds. And the boat is just the right thing to add interest, don't you think?

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