Monday, 29 July 2013


In the morning after our arrival we set off to explore the Colorado of Rustrel and the campsite owner told me it was about 4 kilometres to the entrance of the marked footpaths along some very pretty lanes lined with lavender fields and vines growing out of the startling red earth.  She explained that there were 3 paths of varying length and difficulty and we chose the easiest mainly because the others had some very steep climbs.  The sights we found were quite astounding with all shades of rocks from white through yellow to the darkest red.  It just wasn't possible to sit and draw everything so I chose the most spectacular to sketch where I found a group of German artists also trying to capture the views in watercolour.
Later in the afternoon I took a short walk from the campsite and found myself in this amazing red landscape. The rocks had been cut to use for paint pigments and left some very sharp and strange shapes. Steps and paths had been placed so one could explore this wonderful place.  I was alone and saw nobody as it's off the beaten track mentioned in the guide books.  I spent a happy half hour drawing with only a few large ants for company.
While we were in the area I collected a few of the coloured stones to draw.  I found several different shades and used the pigments to rub in for the background.  2 years ago when we visited Roussillon I was able to buy pigments ready ground to make into paints which I did as soon as we returned home.  I have used them in a few paintings and also made some wax crayons by mixing the pigments with melted candle wax.  I have a few sketches done in 2011 of Roussillon so maybe I'll post them after I've completed the 2013 trip postings.
These strange rock formations loom above the pizza restaurant at the entrance to the campsite.