David Bellamy – The Magic of Backlighting

I have to confess that I’ve neglected this blog lately as I’ve been away enjoying the highlands of Scotland in one of the most beautiful periods of sunshine. As well as climbing some of the peaks I also found myself drawn towards the stunning coastline, and with a combination of light mist and strong sunshine, day after day brought heavenly opportunities for the landscape artist.

One of the sketches I did was of the rugged west coast as shown on the right. Here I used a 5B pencil on a cartridge pad. Most of the horizon was lost in mist, so I only hinted at it on the right. With the sun providing such strong backlighting the rocks stood out dark, with their tops catching the light, as were the areas of beach. For the sparkling water I have simply dotted the area in question, and this can be moved to suit my needs when I carry out the final painting.

A scene like this can look a little desolate without some form of life, so I would introduce bird life or maybe a small boat into a painting. A cormorant stood on a rocky promontory well to the right, and in a nearby beach a number of waders were at work on the wet sand so it would be easy enough to introduce any of these to this scene, perhaps with a strip of sand in the case of the waders. The sand would also break up the monotony of wall-to-wall stones and pebbles in the foreground.

I enjoyed every moment I lingered in this delightful spot. Nature washes away all the stresses of life, and for me always injects a tremendous energy into my work. If you go out into the landscape it will always have a lesson for you, without fail. As someone with a deep love for the natural environment I have always treasured my visits to the Highlands, but for how much longer I don’t know. With the encroach of massed wind turbines across some of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes they will before long be submerged in a ghastly industrial mess. Even if the turbines were effective and didn’t involve highly toxic manufacture, didn’t decimate the bat and raptor population, didn’t pose a considerable threat to human health, they should still be kept out of these overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes for which Scotland is (at the moment) world-renowned. As they are primarily a means of making vast profits for corporations, political parties and even many so-called ‘green’ organisations, it is little short of criminal what is happening in Scotland and Wales. Please go and see these marvellous landscapes before they are decimated, and see for yourself what is happening to one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

6 thoughts on “David Bellamy – The Magic of Backlighting

    • Thanks, Gill. When I gave a demo in Scotland last year I ended by commenting on the industrialisation of the Highlands by wind turbines. Everyone in the audience was supportive of my stance – they all knew how devastating this will be for Scotland because they can see it with their own eyes. Because of media propaganda so many do not realise what is really happening though.

      Best wishes,

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you David regarding the spread of those ghastly windmills. I wouldn’t mind if they were a real answer to the problem of climate change but I believe they are grossly overrated as a possible solution.

    • Sadly, Brian, with much of the media, especially the BBC, giving a totally false impression of what is really happening in the energy sector, so many people fail to grasp the calamitous effect this is having on our countryside, health and economy. Best wishes, David

  2. De acuerdo con tus consideraciones. Me gustaría ver la pintura que realizaste con este maravilloso boceto.
    I’m agree with your considerations. I’d like to see the painting you did with this wonderful sketch.

    • Hi Mercedes, I haven’t done a painting of that scene yet – I only did the sketch a short time ago. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog,
      Best wishes, David

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