I usually paint large oils of fishing trawlers tied up in harbour. I thought it would be good chance to try something different for inspiration in the studio.

I did a series of quick pastel drawings of fishing boats working out at sea due to the obvious difficulties of painting a large canvas on a moving sea.

Trying to capture the colour at night in a calm sea with the lights from the boats was really challenging.  

This is the Headland on the path to the sea cliffs at Fairhead, Ireland. The setting caught my eye for a future painting.

I did the usual quick pastel sketches preferring to use a blue palette to reflect the grey overcast sky. A bit of artistic license added some boats tied up on the pebble beach on the foreground.

The Ailsa Craig is the huge volcanic plug that dominates the Firth of Clyde.

It is a landmark for mariners and home to thousands of seabirds. A Jacobite prison and quarry for curling stones are dwarfed by the sheer cliffs and nesting gannets.

With the temperature dropping and the sea getting choppy I was only able to spend thiry minutes doing some quick pencil sketches before heading for Girvan Harbour. 

A parting photograph of the gannets overhead as we headed for home.