Back to the Sketchbook

Cushions drawn this morning on a visit to Barbara's brother and his wife in my Moleskine travel notebook.
Cushions drawn this morning on a visit to Barbara’s brother and his wife in my Moleskine travel notebook.

It’s soon got around to Burns Night – one month since Christmas day already – and this is only my second post of the new year but I have been busy; for the last month I’ve managed a page a day in my holly green sketchbook. For that I’ve been trying something new by scanning the whole page each day.

I’ve also enjoyed sticking to just one theme, natural history, as it’s got me noticing things that I would have missed if I hadn’t set myself the task of finding something fresh, however trivial, to draw and write about each day.

New Theme

In contrast to the simplicity of that page a day approach I decided to go for a different look for this Wild Yorkshire blog, making it less of a drawing journal and more of a newsletter for my other projects, such as the somewhat neglected nature diary website and my even more neglected, which includes my walks booklets, guide books and published sketchbooks.

WordPress 2014 theme.
WordPress 2014 theme.

I’ve decided to go for a new theme for the new year, one which makes navigation a bit more obvious, rather than relegating it to the bottom of a long page. The latest WordPress standard theme, called 2014, seemed a good one to go for.


The same page using the Aldus theme designed by Fränk Klein.
The same page using the Aldus theme designed by Fränk Klein.


25 February; As the 2014 looked a bit black and formal, I’m now trying an airier theme called Mon Cahier, which still includes a column for navigation, hopefully combining what I like about Aldus with the functionality of WordPress 2014.

Join the Conversation


  1. Dear Richard, having only just discovered your printed work through our mobile library, I am pleased to say that I am now an ardent follower of your exceedingly interesting blog, and in particular, your green sketchbook. It is refreshing to see your observations and drawings of the natural world that surrounds you and us all, but often get neglected in our rush to see the more spectacular as portrayed in the mass media. (Nothing wrong with that but it is good to slow down a little and see a little more.)
    As a postscript, re your recent beach combing page, I was curious to see that you had labelled Cerastoderma glaucoma as the common cockle (Cerastoderma edule) rather than the lagoon cockle. Sorry if I sound like a pedant; I am not really, just curious.
    Looking forward to seeing more pages, even though this tranche of awful weather is not that conducive to getting out and about.
    Best wishes, Mike

    1. Thank you for spotting that Mike, I’ve read the wrong caption in the Hamlyn Seashores field guide. They sometimes label under the shell, sometimes above, which sooner or later is going to cause confusion. My specimen is obviously C.edule, the Common Cockle, as the Lagoon Cockle ‘is more triangular in outline’. I’ll change that in the caption and make a note in my sketchbook too.
      It’s dismal again today and I have to admit that I headed for cover yesterday to catch ‘The Harry Hill Movie’ before it closes, filmed on location on the wilder side of Blackpool and featuring the ancient race of Shell People with names like Barney Cull, Conch and Michelle. Very silly!
      There are some dazzling wildlife documentaries but I like it when Chris Packham and co. do little features on animal skulls, droppings and nibbled nutshells. That’s real hands-on (even in the case of the droppings on occasion!) natural history.

      1. I see what you mean about the Hamlyn guide; ..but they are nice illustrations. I tried to reference C.glaucum (not C. glaucoma as I wrote previously…oops) in ‘Tebble:British bivalve seashells 1976’ but I see that he had it as C. lamarcki. It is no wonder I get confused.
        The wind and rain here in Devon has been and is still pretty rough so no sketchbook work plein air today. Roll on the drier (and safer) weather.
        Best wishes, Mike

    2. I was sorry to hear that my favourite stretch of Devonian railway at Dawlish has been pounded by the storms. Hope they can get that up and running again soon.
      As soon as it settles down and I can get a free day, I’ll want to head out to the Yorkshire coast.

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