Drawing at Tair Carn Isaf (the Three Lower Cairns) yesterday with Dewi the archaeologist and Melvyn the film maker. It’s a complex site made up of many cairns, large and small, with more in the distance, lining up along a number of large rocky outcrops gambolling across the landscape. The problem for me as an artist is how to approach drawing these monuments which, although Bronze Age graves, are basically piles of rocks and to be honest, one pile of rocks is much the same as another.
For this one, I chose an aspect that shows the most easterly of the three cairns on the Tair Carn Isaf (Three Lower Cairns) site, with two of the three cairns on the Tair Carn Uchaf (Three Upper Cairns) site in the distance. I chose a piece of Fabriano prepared with charcoal, white acrylic paint and walnut ink (that I made myself). Then, with Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels I used a variety of colours to indicate the contours of the landscape and the shape of the cairns against the sky.
Dewi is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments. His previous book on the stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Melvyn is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.