Hythe Cottage - Geological / Architecture Commission

Hythe Cottage - Geological / Architecture Commission

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 Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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This exciting drawing commission is quite an unusual one for me- as well as capturing the client's own home, and the overall townscape of Whitehills, the local Geology and natural forms of the bay play just as big a part, making this piece an interesting blend of architecture and nature. This feature will look in depth at the creation from start to finish- from meeting the client and finding out the brief, to planning, creating and finishing the piece, and presenting it once framed...

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Meeting the Client- Again!

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The Old Rectory Illustration- Jamie Cameron

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A few months back, while working on the Old Rectory Illustration (read the full feature here) I met Calum, who just recently had bought a house in Whitehills, and having seen the finished result of the Old Rectory drawing, was interested in looking at a piece to commemorate his characterful new home in this Aberdeenshire fishing village, just a few miles from Banff. Having seen a few photos of the stunning sunsets which he had been getting, I took a trip up to see the building and the place, and find out more:

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Whitehills Panorama Jamie Cameron

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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The Brief, and Planning the Drawing

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Having met the client and had the chance to see his characterful new cottage, we had a walk around the natural Habour called the 'Hythe', and the surrounding streets so I could get plenty of reference photos. At this point the rain started coming on quite heavily, and as it was approaching lunchtime we retreated to a local chipper for a delicious fish and chip supper, overlooking the marina and within sight of the Harbour Master's office!

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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In walking around the place and chatting with some of the locals, it was a great chance to see what Whitehills was all about, and although the local fishing industry has certainly changed a lot throughout the years, the same patterns of work and life are still there to this day, and the marina was a real hive of activity- the heart and soul of the place. Being an accomplished scuba diver, the client was keen to incorporate as much of the sea into the piece as possible, and having seen the place and learned a little of its history, I agreed this would be the best way to approach a piece like this, and also to make his new cottage a prominent part in the composition. 

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In planning out the piece, I knew that it would be a much more varied and scenographic piece than I am normally used to- aside from the cottage, which is beautifully situated within the village, the natural harbour, and the surrounding buildings were just as important, in order to make the piece capture the local area. I took some time setting out the composition, and following on from an idea suggested by the client, also thought about ways to suggest a change in time (from modern to ancient) as you move from background to foreground.

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Working on the Piece- Filling in the Details

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With the general composition planned out, I started filling in the details of the village - scape. This involved working from the numerous reference photos I had taken, and trying to ensure that the buildings were located in the right positions, were the right size, and had the right outline- not as easy as it looks when Whitehills is such a characterful place with many different types of buildings, all facing different directions!

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Once I had the general forms, I went into more and more detail, shading the doors, windows, slates, chimneys and brick courses- this is where the drawing really began to come alive, as texture was added and things began to have depth and a 3D-quality.

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Geological Details- Drawing the Bay and Rock Formations

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Whitehills- Rock Formations Nature Jamie Cameron

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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In trying to capture the character of the natural harbour (the Hythe), and the fishing heritage which has played such a big part in the evolution of Whitehills, I wanted to make really sure that the way in which I captured the bay and the natural forms complemented the style that I had used for the buildings, so that it would read a whole, without jarring and looking out of place. Thankfully in my fantasy works, I have had the experience of drawing lots of mountains and geological formations, so I knew that a series of fine lines, built up in a dense web would be the best way to convey the beautiful veining and striations which were present in the sea - worn rocks. As you will see from the photos, the contrast and colours in these rock veins are really beautiful and dramatic, and so I also wanted to make sure they would live up to this in the drawing.

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Final Details- The Personal Touch

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In nearing the completion of the piece, I wanted to make sure the piece was personal and specific to the client and to the place, so as a nod to the fishing heritage, and to tie in with the theme of old-to-new, I included in the foreground some wooden fishing boats amongst the rocks of the bay. In the harbour master's office, I had seen a few photographs of old fisherman mending their boats, and so I also included a small hut I had seen, which was actually made from the upturned hull of a boat, with a door added on the front- this would have been used a kind of Bothy for shelter and retreat from the biting sea winds, and when added into the scene, seemed to tie in perfectly with the character of the place! 

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I also incorporated a subtle diver, with scuba gear, perhaps resting on the rocks, or just about to take a dip into the sub-aqueous world beneath the bay- see if you can spot him!

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The title was added after consulting with the client, and in a capitalised simple font, matched the scene perfectly.

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Back to the idea of old / new, I also added extra crispness and definition around the client's house, and some of the outlines of the chimneys, in order to create a slightly more modern character- this also contrasted nicely with the outlines I picked out in the rock formations, and as these were done in pencil and had a softer, more gentle quality, I felt the contrast between old and new was just right- not too 'in-your-face' to dominate the composition, but something which was effective.

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration-

Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Hythe Cottage Whitehills- Jamie Cameron Illustration

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Framing and Delivery

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Hythe Cottage- Architectural Art Jamie Aberdeen

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With the piece all done, the last thing was to get it framed, and the client chose a beautiful black grooved frame, with light grey mount which is one I have used before, and complements my style of drawing very nicely.

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A few weeks later, I met the client who works between Whitehills and Westhill, and presented the finished piece to him- he was delighted with the end result, and as he is planning some renovation work on his new home, I can't wait to see how the piece looks on his wall once some of the jobs have been done and he has settled in!

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I want to take this opportunity to thank the client, Calum, for a really rewarding piece, and one which pushed my abilities in composition and contrast to new levels! This was not an easy piece to do, but from experience I have found that I will look back on this as something which has allowed me to learn new skills and achieve a new level of ability in putting things in the right place to make a complex scene look seamless.

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From the Drawing Board,

Thanks for reading!

~Jamie

 

 

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If you would like to get in touch or have any questions about the piece, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Phone: 07804 669082
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