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!

Flat Mushrooms

An informant tells me that everyone has gone mad. With hours to go before the start of our second lockdown (unless Parliament votes against it), there are huge queues at the shops. Not just the supermarkets, any shop.

I have to admit I nipped into a local store for milk and some mushrooms early this morning, but the madness had not yet begun.

I painted the flat mushrooms using French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna with a smidge of Yellow Ochre in places and Winsor Violet in the darks.


I am starting a new sketchbook to celebrate the beginning of November and, as it turns out, the start of another national lockdown for at least the next four weeks. The sketchbook is a 7.5 inch square format, which I haven’t tried before but which I think I might like. The trees are halfway along the lane between house and village, and the yellows I used were a mix of a Lemon yellow with New Gamboge and darkened with some Burnt Sienna added and Winsor Violet where I wanted even darker.

We are being encouraged to not go out unnecessarily, but are allowed to do so to exercise. I am choosing to nominate sketching as my exercise of choice..

Autumn View

With persistent rain all day (yesterday), and not being able to get to where I wanted to go, I resorted to painting the view from an upstairs window. I used a Stillman and Birn Beta wirebound sketchbook which I think works better when I use a slightly wetter wash, but I wanted to keep the intensity of the yellow and orange colours against the darker tones around them.