Everyday Sketchbook

CHARLOTTE’S Ice Cream Parlour  at Whitley, with its assortment of farm animals and its panoramic views across the Calder Valley, is a relaxing place to draw. It’s up on a ridge-top but on a windy day you can retreat to the shelter of the cafe . . . and perhaps sample the Real Jersey Ice Cream.

As well as a contented Jersey cow there are a couple of donkeys, some heavily pregnant nanny goats and rare breed sheep.

Peacocks are displaying to the peahens, a black hen is leading her brood of black chicks across the meadow and, adding an exotic touch, a couple of rheas (or are they young ostriches?) are strutting along in the paddock by the car park.

The donkeys wander over to meet visitors and indulge in a bit of mutual grooming.

I’m back to working in the Crawford & Black portrait format sketchbook – that’s the one with the 96 gsm acid free cartridge which I find a bit thin and absorbent for my pen and watercolour sketches but it will do for everyday. When I get the chance for some natural history drawing, I’ll go back to landscape format.

Recent snatched sketches in my ‘everyday’ sketchbook include the backs of some shops and this tubular metal chair.