By Lucy Harvey
A talented artist has created breath-taking paintings which blend seamlessly into the atmospheric Scottish landscape behind them.
Lee Craigmile, from Largs in Scotland, uses a method dubbed sight-size which sees him set a precise vantage point – allowing him to see the area he is painting and the real landscape around it side-by-side and at the same size.
The special technique has seen Lee produce a series of awe-inspiring paintings from all over Scotland including Glen Nevis, Loch Tulla, North Ayrshire, and the Isle of Skye.
He said: “My paintings click so seamlessly into the landscape itself largely because of my training in the sight-size technique.
“Within the sight-size technique, the artist sets up the easel in relation to the subject so that the image optically appears to be the same size as the subject from where the artist is standing.
“Using sight-size allows one to scan the eye back and forth between the painting and the subject seamlessly, which enables them to see errors in proportion, colour, and value easily, therefore liberating him or her to trust in the visual impression.
“It is also by exploiting this same trick of perspective that we use in sight-size that I can line the painting up in a photo of the surrounding landscape so that it just clicks perfectly into place.”
Lee, who runs The Glasgow Academy of Fine Art alongside his wife, is inspired by the likes of John Singer Sargent and claims there is still an abundance of Scotland he would love to paint as well as the Fjords in Norway.
“I love painting the Scottish landscape in particular, as the weather can be wild, and very atmospheric, creating a variety of dramatic light effects to capture and choose from.
“Of course, the weather can also be very unpredictable and harsh—but that’s just another part of the challenge and the great rewards of painting outside.
“For when the Scottish weather inevitably acts up, I also always carry a large umbrella which I can then attach to my easel in order to protect the painting.
“Along with my training in direct observation from life, my equipment is another important element in creating a successful painting in the field.
“My metal tripod easel is an essential part, as it raises my panel to eye level without blocking any of the landscape behind, which enables me to work in sight-size and scan my eyes between the painting and the landscape without interruption.
“All my gear is lightweight and durable so that I can trek almost anywhere without problems.”