Having spent most of my life living by the coast and having more than one beach just 15/20 minutes walk from where I was staying, I've been missing this the past few weeks since moving back to Edinburgh. There is a beach here but it's either a bus ride away or over 1h walking. I'm happy to walk but with shorter days, somewhere nearer would be ideal. 

Today, I found it! There's a place not so far from where I live which has water with waves, some seaweed - for added seaside feels(!), a nice stretch to walk along, and great views. There may not be sand but it's still as close to a beach-like place as I can get and today it was simply stunning. 

The sun was shining glistening on the still waters first with silvery hues and gradually becoming golden as time passed and the sun began to set. 

At moments I felt as though I had been transported to a coastal city in the States or even the UAE! The incredibly cold wind brought be back to my Scottish reality however. This contributed to me not sketching while there but I will be sure to do some acrylic sunset paintings in my studio from the photos soon. I really want to capture those strong, fiery, scorching, shades of the setting sun. 

I always find looking out to water really relaxes and calms me. Scientific research also shows that there are multiple benefits of 'blue spaces' so it's certainly worth seeking out blue spaces wherever you live. 

Laying back, enjoying the views, and snacking on a tortilla wrap 😊

    Just look at that natural beauty *heart eyes* !! 

If you'd like to see how my paintings turn out, follow my Instagram account @HCRart where I post snaps from what I paint in my studio. I'm also on Facebook and you can find me at www.facebook.com/hcr.art

Have a great day, and remember to embrace and enjoy the small things in life 

I went in search of snow and found... snow. I learned, also, the value of 'wider context'. You'll find out what I mean if you keep reading till the end. 

The first sketch I did had no trace of snow but when I liked the composition and initially started added colour when the hills were looking particularly vibrant courtesy of low sun. By the time I'd finished, the sun had been hidden by clouds. 

Further along the road to Glenshee, blue skies and sun appeared again and the landscape got increasingly undulating. 

More sketching on the way. 

Does anyone else enjoy sun like this as much as me?! Low Autumn/winter sun casts such a warm, coppery light yet it is usually bitterly cold at the same time. Tones of photos can be really deceiving. Warm hues does not always translate to warm temperatures. Trust me! I really appreciated taking my ski jacket with me. 

Look at the colours, the textures *heart eyes*

Landscape loving on the drive through Glenshee. 

If you're wondering what that wooden post is with a little red mark at the top which is invading the bottom of my photo is, it is there to indicate where the edge of the road is in the event of heavy snow. There are a number of them at both sides of the road throughout the road. I've seen snow all the way up to the bottom of a road sign in this area before so they are definitely worthwhile. 

Keeping warm in my hat and ski jacket. 

Here's the snow I promised. Look, so much. So. Like almost 1m squared in total. Haha. 

But wait, here's a bigger patch all together. 

... Oh, wait. That's just a trick photo. There's actually very little snow. See what I meant earlier, the wider context is very important! 

The snow may have been disappointing but the soup at the Glenshee Ski centre was on point as usual. Warming and tasty. Perfect for getting some energy before the long trip home. 

Hope you enjoyed this post, if you'd like to see some of my art that has come from more snowy days in Glenshee 
then check out my portfolio. 

For more of my art and studio shots, follow my Instagram account. 

Not on Instagram? What's wrong with you?! Nah, just kidding. 
It's no problem, I'm on Twitter and Facebook too so you can follow me there. Say hi, and I'll check out your accounts too. Social media is supposed to be social after all! 

Bye for now, 

Sketching at Inverbervie bay

This place lovely place to be; perfect for walking, picnics, and, naturally, sketching. There were also a number of people fishing in the sea. Much as I enjoy fresh fish, however, fishing has never appealed to me. There's no way I'd have the patience for it. Even more so if I was hungry at the time! 

For the painting I did here, I chose a general view of the bay from a conveniently placed number of large rocks which made for a reasonably comfy seat and table for my paints and water pot. I used a few wee pebbles from the beach to prop up my watercolour box and I was all set. 

The thing that was most troublesome while painting was, as is pretty standard in Scotland, moving clouds changing the light every so often. This is always annoying but I've become quite used to it by now. I usually go with the most flattering light and try to work from memory when the light is obscured by the pesky clouds! 

Here are some pics showing various progress stages of my painting.

In the final moments of painting it got a bit chilly but once I'd finished the sun came out again so I went for a stroll along the pebble-y beach to warm up. It's so calming walking along a beach, looking out to sea and seeing the vast stretch of water all around.

I liked this fishing boat planter. Great way to re-use an old boat. 

For more of my art follow me on social media: 
To see my abstract acrylic landscapes follow me @HCRart on Instagram  
For some art articles and WIP videos, check out my Facebook page
and for a mixture of work, follow my Twitter account @HCRart  

Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, and Kinlochleven are some of my favourite places. I posted earlier in the year about a trip to that area of Scotland as a break from my studies (only a 1 day trip but a break nonetheless). I realise I never actually followed with any more photos yet I did more watercolour sketches while there so here are some of them now. It's crazy to think that these were done when there was snow and summer was still to come yet now summer is past and it will be snow season again soon! Where does time even go?! 

The light changed so much while painting this, with every movement of the clouds, the shadows cast over the mountains darkened parts while other parts were illuminated by the rays of the sun. At one point it started pouring with heavy rain as well and this was all in a not very long length of time. The great thing about sun and rain, however, is the formation of rainbows as you can see below. 

Social media: @HCRart on Twitter and Instagram 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hcr.art 

I also administrate an Instagram account where I share pretty pics from around the Scottish countryside: @ScottishScenes 

On Sunday I took a trip to St Cyrus beach for a walk and, naturally, ended up sketching too. This beach is one of the hidden delights of Scotland. It's entirely hidden from the main road and is gotten to by a single track road winding through farms. Once you arrive at the car park the beach is still hidden from view and is reached by a foot trail over protected natural environment and up over sand dunes where you are greeted with the stretch of sand and sea. 

When I arrived I was surprised that the place was so busy; the car park was full and there were cars parked at the side of the narrow country road too. This was unusual for a beach in this part of Scotland especially on a breezy, Sunday evening. While walking towards the beach there was a continual stream of people coming back from the coast. Some had large, cameras with professional-looking telephoto lenses. Puzzled, I asked one if there was a reason it was so busy and they replied that there was a humpback whale which had been swimming near the coast. Ooh, I thought, that would be great to see! 

Once I reached the beach, I noticed some people had brought camping chairs to it on while using binoculars to keep an eye on happenings in the sea. 
Unfortunately I did not have binoculars nor a decent camera so I didn't spot anything. 

Instead I sketched some other subjects in the area. A beach is not somewhere I would have chosen to sketch much in the past as I'd have considered the main thing to sketch to have been sand and water, the 'ebb and flow' of the tide. This is not something the would be easy to sketch in pen! Recently I have been making myself look deeper at what I see around me, however, and see shapes and textures to sketch I would have, in the past, thought not to be of much interest. Having this view of my surroundings means I can find things to sketch everywhere and never have an excuse to not pause, embrace what is around me, and try to capture a snapshot of it with my pen on paper. 

The first sketch I started was this one of the cliffs which are significantly set back from the coast due to changing tides over hundreds of years. It fascinates me how the landscape has changed so much with time. I thinks that's one reason I like coastlines so much and am appreciative of the fact I don't live in a landlocked country. 

Climbing over the sand dunes and approaching the beach. 

I may not have seen the humpback whale, but I did see the most seagulls I've ever seen at once. Not really something I wanted to see...! The noise they make in unison - wow - what a noise. 

Sketching odd 3D patterns in driftwood. This looked like multiple eyes to me! 

How I like reflections. So calming. 

The finished sketches. Cliff study, sand dune grasses, driftwood, pebbles, shells, and little seascape studies.

Maybe the next time I go to that beach I'll see a whale! There had also been sightings of dolphins and buzzards there that week so I'm keen to go back wildlife spotting. It's the best place to see marine life - where they should be, in the wild, roaming free. 

For more of my art, you can follow me on Instagram: @HCRart
Facebook: HCR.art
Twitter: @HCRart 
Website: www.hcart.com 
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