This week’s art is an ink drawing of a conference centre in Hertfordshire. It is based in an old country house set in some beautiful grounds. When I’ve visited, with the Quakers, I’ve always found it to be a very restorative place with a really good atmosphere. I wish I could find out more about it’s history. I remember some photos of the family and the staff from the past on the walls in the main house but that’s about all I can recall.
Here are some process photos showing how the drawing progressed…
Here is the finished picture…
For this drawing and last week’s drawing I used a new 210cm x 210cm sketchbook by a company called Ohuhu. I really like it. It’s a hardback book which makes it easy to use outside on location as well as indoors, but unlike most hardback sketchbooks the way they’ve bound the cover doesn’t restrict how well the book opens – so it’s really easy and comfortable to use. It’s designed for markers and comes with a rubber mat to place behind the page you’re working on to prevent bleed through. I’ve not found this necessary with ordinary ink drawings through. If I use my alcohol markers at some point in the future I think it might be more useful. The paper is reasonably thick though, at 200gsm.
This week I worked on a simple ink drawing of a European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). It was a real tonic to work on a picture like this. I find ink incredibly relaxing as a medium.
Here are some process images…
Once I had my hedgehog I simply added some foliage (some ribwort plantain and a common daisy). Here is the finished drawing…
I drew the whole thing while in bed over the course of a couple of evenings. I do love hedgehogs!
Years ago, in late autumn, a tiny little hedgehog came running into our house in the late evening. She ran so fast that I thought she was a rat! After a brief search we found her hiding behind the washing machine in the utility room. She was such a little cutie. 🥰 I had no idea that hedgehogs were so fast on their feet! 🦔
After advice from the RSPCA we fed her some cat food, gave her water and arranged for her to be collected by a hedgehog rescue the next day as she was too small to have survived the winter. I do hope she was OK.
This week I decided to try to paint something quite quickly since I’m still unwell. So I painted this forest scene with no sketching, no planning (except some planning in my head) and three brushes –
a hake brush for the background wash (this is a big flat brush which is great for covering big areas).
an old mop brush for the undergrowth and bushes (this is a scruffy blobby fat little brush which is great for textures).
a rigger for the trees (this is a brush with really long thin soft bristles and is great for drawing lines).
I painted a graded wash for the background going from a French Ultramarine (dulled with a tiny bit of Payne’s Grey) through a Winsor Blue (with a hint of Phalo blue) to Paynes Grey (with a tiny bit of Phalo blue as well.)
Then, once it was dried I added some bushes with dilute paint and gradually worked forward with the undergrowth using darker and more saturated paint as I went.
Once this was dry I painted in the trees, again working from the trees furthest away first using very dilute paint and then working on closer and closer trees with darker more distinct lines. The rigger is such a good brush for this. I love it. It makes them look good without any effort on my part.
Finally I added a Great Horned Owl in one fo the trees and gave him some fierce orange eyes – he is the night watchmen of the picture. It took longer than I expected to finish because I had to dry different layers with a hair dryer and my hair dryer kept on overheating and stopping. Overall it was about 40 minutes. Then I went back to bed.