Down the road in November

After a couple of days on other things, I really needed to sketch something, and so went straight in with a pen and drew a view from a window in my sketchbook. I noticed I had the angles of the roof wrong but just went back with some other lines and painted over them. Sometimes I think we panic too much when we make a mistake and waste a lot of paper or ruin a perfectly good sketchbook, but to err is human after all, and even our errors can add interest to our lives!

Next door’s next door

Some days there’s so much to do that finding time to go out to sketch just doesn’t happen. That is when you start looking for objects which might work as a still life – some fruit perhaps, or flowers, even a teapot all work well on occasion.

Today I happened to glance out of the window – a window I must glance out of how many times a day, every day. Yet today when I looked out, next door’s neighbour’s garden shed, or part of it, suddenly became interesting! It has probably lived there longer than I have lived here, but I don’t remember seeing it before although I must have. Yet there it was, half hidden behind a fence, between some shrubs, waiting to be added to my sketchbook.

In the car-park

Sitting in the car outside a supermarket early this morning, I hoped to sketch some more figures. At first there were not so many people and I wondered if I was too early, then all of a sudden people came thick and fast and I had no time to manage a whole figure before they disappeared from view. Here are a few who came and went in a short space of time. I added watercolour later.

Taking a walk

Random figures seen today while out for some exercise. None of these figures were actually in the same place at the same time, although they were there within about an hour of each other. Some were scribbled in with a pencil and inked over after they had gone. The man with the wheelbarrow kept stopping for a rest. I leant against a wall most of the time but the larger figure was walking in front of me, talking to a companion and I was able to follow at a safe distance unnoticed. I tried to use the ink pen (make unknown) loosely, but turned out not as loose as I’d like. It also smudged a bit which made me think it wouldn’t take a wash, but when I applied some colour later on it didn’t move as much as I thought.

I really miss being able to sit somewhere with a cup of tea and sketch people when they are not moving so much!

Strawberry leaves

This is a small ink and wash sketched in the garden. Here, I let the ink do a little more of the work and be more obvious in the finished piece. I used a Rotring Tikky Graphic pen which was to hand. I let the colours merge on the page more without too much interference from me.

The strawberry leaves at the moment in the garden, range from bright lemon yellows through blue greens to orange, scarlet and deep crimsons. Quite beautiful.


This tree is in the same location as the ice-house in the previous post. It has faced the ravages of time, and taken everything thrown at it, all alone, protecting the distant trees which seem to have found safety in numbers. I liked the starkness of it and couldn’t help but wonder at it’s previous strength and the events it might have witnessed.

The Ice House

Before the invention of refrigerators, or for that matter, electricity, and you wanted to slip some ice into your glass of gin, where do you keep the ice? An ice house, if you had one. Many large houses had an icehouse tucked away somewhere, to store ice throughout the year. This one is on the Sherborne Park Estate, 4000 acres of farmland, woods and water meadows managed by the National Trust. I suspect it was also a piece of one-upmanship to be able, in the middle of Summer, to offer your guests a dish of ice cream.

Towards the barn

As the sun was shining today and the morning was taken up by food shopping, I went out early in the afternoon to do another sketch of a scene I see a lot of on my frequent walks.

The ground had dried out a little since yesterday, so after the initial drawing I was able to put my palette on the ground where it wouldn’t wobble so much. I only had to stand up a couple of times to keep the blood circulating in my legs!

Lockdown sketch

The first official day of the second lockdown and I went out for my ‘sketchercise’ this afternoon. I was quite looking forward to sketching this view, but I have discovered one drawback with having a softback sketchbook. The page you are not actually working on is not so useful for resting the palette on. It’s too – well, soft . Not so easy when there is no handy wall or fence around to lean on. Still it is a useful reference even it didn’t quite turn out the way I expected!