Scottish Landscapes in Watercolour

My burning passion is for landscape painting, mainly in watercolour, a medium I love because of its luminosity, immediacy and unpredictability.

My work builds on direct observation in the field, often combined with memories, feelings and an emotional response to the natural world. I rely extensively on the experiences gained from working in a variety of landscapes, and I love to work in that area between representation and abstract. I revel in the opportunity to play and explore with paint and I live for those exhilarating moments where observation, my emotional response and the paintings become interwoven.

These 10 paintings are based on trips in Aberdeenshire, the Cairngorms, Orkney, Mull, Mallaig and Wester Ross over the last year. I let these places soak into me and then watch as they reappear, often months later, in the studio. Once I start a painting I am interested in capturing the feeling of being in that place and in following the watercolour paint as it does its thing on the paper.


108cm x 52cm

Cairngorm Winter
75cm x 50cm

108cm x 50cm

Walking Amongst the Wild Dunes
36cm x 47cm

95cm x 25cm

Morven and the Howe
54cm x 36cm

Rain Moving Over Hoy
34cm x 54cm

The First Cast
109cm x 71cm

Upland Spring
35cm x 24cm


This sketchbook material comes from these same trips to Aberdeenshire, Orkney, Mull, Mallaig and Wester Ross.  

¹ Sketchbook Works: Orkney 2, Cromar, Mallaig 2, Mallaig, Orkney, Orkney 3, Morven, Mull.
Lead Image: A Place to Breathe (109cm x 39cm)

Creator’s biography

Stephen has lived with his family in rural Aberdeenshire since 1997. However, he grew up in west Wales, a place where he developed a deep and abiding love for the natural world. He went on to study ecology and conducted scientific research related to wildlife and landscape for over 30 years. Illness drove him to retire early from his work in 2019, and since then he has focused on his painting. His burning passion is for landscape painting, mainly in watercolour, a medium he loves because of its luminosity, immediacy and unpredictability. He exhibits his work in six galleries across Scotland, and has shown work at the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour annual exhibition in Edinburgh.


New Exhibition: An Inner Place 9-16 June 2023 at Clashnettie Arts Centre