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Paint Wild Orkney
19th December 2012
28th June 2013 - 5th July 2013
Master the art of painting the islands’ wildlife and incredible archaeological landscapes with three of the UK’s top nature artists.
- Field sketching, looking and understanding through observation
- Animals in action, birds in flight
- Keeping your art kit portable and working at a comfortable size
- Fundamentals of landscape
- Composition and planning
- Recession, depth and perspective
- How to capture light and mood
- Giving a landscape identity
- Looking at detail – understanding fur and feathers
- How to use gesture drawings
In association with:
JOHN BUSBY Landscapes and birds have been twin passions in John’s life for more than 50 years. He has illustrated over 30 natural-history books.
DARREN WOODHEAD is widely acclaimed as one of the UK’s most prodigious talents. A field painter, his paintings encompass energy, life and spontaneity.
TIM WOOTTON With a string of awards to his name, Tim illustrates articles on birdwatching, wildlife and countryside issues. He has lived on Orkney for 10 years.
Enjoy painting the stunning wildlife and archaeological landscapes of Orkney, under the tutelage of John Busby, Darren Woodhead and Tim Wootton.
For artists, Orkney is a magical place steeped in archaeology, from Neolithic standing stones to medieval churches, and famous sites of historic naval importance, such as Scapa Flow and the Churchill Barriers.
© Tim Wootton
In summer, the cliffs bustle with seabirds, and short-eared owls, hen harriers and merlins hunt over the moors.
Grey and common seals can be seen from coastal walks, while inland we shall search for endemic Orkney voles, rare Scottish primroses and special island breeds of sheep and pony.
During the week, we should spot red-throated divers at the RSPB’s Burgar Hill hide, sketch fulmars and guillemots on the Brough of Birsay, and search for skuas on the island of Hoy.
Every evening we will share our efforts and adventures.
With 18 participants and three leaders, everyone will enjoy one-to-one tuition, so you are sure to learn new skills and master familiar ones.
PLUS every participant will receive a free painting kit (worth £125) containing all of the materials you need for the course, including a top quality watercolour set, courtesy of Great Art.
Arrive in time to meet everyone and enjoy a relaxed dinner at the Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall, our base for the week. Then look ahead at the week’s activities.
The essence of the week will be drawing and painting in the field, so the itinerary will be very flexible in order to make the most of the conditions and locations.
Each day will begin with breakfast together, before heading out for the day with packed lunches, returning in good time for dinner.
During the evenings we will enjoy discussing what we have learned that day, demonstrations, show-and-tell sessions and reflecting on the day’s wildlife, sketches and paintings.
Each day we shall explore Orkney’s most beautiful wild places, painting the landscapes and searching for wildlife.
Sites will include:
Brough of Birsay This tidal island is accessible via a natural causeway and offers an abundance of rockpools, seabirds and possibly even cetaceans.
Marwick Head One of the best places on the mainland for puffins, as well as other seabirds.
Skara Brae An entire prehistoric settlement with rooms and passages, beds and pottery, exposed by a fierce storm some 5,000 years after it was built.
Yesnaby Spectacular Old Red Sandstone coastal cliffs, sea stacks including Yesnaby Castle, blow holes and boiling seas…and Yesnaby is one of the few places where the rare Scottish primrose grows.
Kirkwall museum and Scapa Flow One of Britain’s most historic stretches of water.
Hoy A short ferry ride will take us to the island of Hoy where we shall walk over moorland in search of both Arctic and great skuas, admire the dramatic sea cliffs and enjoy views over the impressive sea stack, the Old Man of Hoy.
After breakfast, we will sadly say farewell.
Enjoy the highlights of this year's grey seal pupping season on an Orkney sealcam courtesy of Sanday ranger Roderick Thorne, who has lived on the island since 1984.
The sealcam is now offline until next November when the seals will return once again to breed, but there are lots of nice pictures on the website to enjoy. Just make sure you return in winter for the real action!
New art skills for everyone
- Introduction to working in the field
- Enhance your observation skills
- Techniques to develop hand-eye co-ordination
- Improve your field skills, and identification and understanding of birds and animals
- Composition and how to make paintings work
- Study the work of great artists past and present who take their inspiration from the natural world
- Principles of anatomy
- How to use binoculars and telescopes to observe, draw and paint nature
- Introduction to watercolours
- Colour mixing and values
- Introduction to working with a limited palette
- Working with the elements
- Mixing colours in the field
- Understanding shape, form, texture and light
- How to bring life to the page
- Using sketches to develop your work further
Where: Orkney, Scotland
When: 28 June – 5 July 2013
Cost: £1,595 pp based on two sharing (includes full board, tuition, transport on islands and ferries)
Deposit: £300 per person
Single supplement: £175 per person
To book and for full terms and conditions contact Speyside Wildlife (details below)