The Road North: Scottish Highland Landscape in Oils

"The Road North": Scottish Highland Landscape in Oils

For 8 years I wished I could remember exactly where this scene is in Scotland, as I took the photo while touring the Scottish Highlands, and spotted this lovely bridge and rocky river – a perfect subject for an oil painting – en-route to a hotel. I didn’t make a note of the town we were passing through, and for those 8 years whenever anyone asked me where it was, the best I could come up with was "Er, Scotland, somewhere..." I was subsequently delighted when a visitor to this site recognised the scene and informed me of the location : The Falls of Dochart in Killin.

From a painter’s point of view, it was a challenge to present the different types of water, from the spume of the cataracts to the mirror shine of the static pools. I think the most successful element of the painting is the stand of Scots Pine trees on the left of the bridge, with their rusty-coloured under-painting showing through the layers of oil paint on top.