The Holly Green Sketchbook


A NEW SKETCHBOOK and, as I started it over Christmas, I had to go for the one with the holly green cover.

Rather than fit it into this regular blog, I’ve given it it’s own website and the new format, putting the emphasis on the sketchbook page itself, has worked well for me, encouraging me to complete a page a day.

One A5 page a day might not seem like much of a commitment but believe me with the distractions of Christmas that’s been quite a challenge.

I’ve also decided to give the sketchbook a theme – natural history – and I think this helps to give me some focus when deciding what to draw. I’m also making efforts to tell little stories rather than always to immerse myself in the drawing.

Pages so far include;

Leaf prints, hunter’s marsh, spear thistle, canal bridge, pheasant feeding, cherry galls, holly & ivy and Tuscan black cabbage.

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  1. Richard,

    Best wishes for 2014 for you and Barbara.

    I like the new sketchbook, especially the item about the cherry galls since I learned they used to made ink from them.

    Will there be “January 2014” pages as well?

    1. Thank you Monique. I have a friend who makes his own ink but I’ve never tried it myself. As I remember it, it makes a warm brownish free-flowing black ink.
      I’m just catching up with the sketchbook – I got stuck on new year’s eve. Those family parties have a lot to answer for.
      Hope all goes well in 2014 for you.

  2. Thanks Richard,
    I’m still enjoying your new sketchbook. It must be great to see Walking with Dinosaurs in 3D, maybe a bit scary too? 😉
    Researchers of our natural history museum Naturalis at Leiden have been excavating the skeleton of an American T-rex in America. They want to add it to their collection and show it in their new Dinosaurs department which is to open in 2017.

    You know a lot about the moon! I always like to watch the moon. It’s one of the few things we see the same sight of whether we are in the Netherlands or in the United Kingdom…

    1. I’m getting a lot out of the small challenge of a page a day, especially as I’m focussing on natural history.
      No, the dinosaurs weren’t too scary! In fact I’m tempted to go again, despite the fact that the film is probably mainly aimed at children, because the effort that has gone into reconstructing past environments and animals.
      I checked out the moon details on Google Earth but found that there was a bit too much detail there for me and ended up getting a couple of astronomy books from the shelf. Google moon is great in the way you can spin it around but when you’re checking out the more or less fixed view from Earth a static map can be easier to follow.
      I’ll look out for news of the Leiden T-rex. Might be worth a short voyage from Hull to Rotterdam to see it!

  3. Thank you for the tip of Google Moon.

    Maybe you like this website about the T-rex of Leiden although it is not up to date…?

    Will there be more sketchbook pages in future? I like to read (and see) them so I can learn about wildlife in the UK (/Yorkshire) and compare it with wildlife here in the Netherlands. I learn the English words for birds, plants etc too.

    I’ve participated in our national Big Garden Birdwatch. There were less birds than usual because of the relatively warm weather. Sparrows and tits were most seen. We had the luck to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Unfortunately he or she was chased away by a magpie.

    1. Thank you for that. I was lucky as a student in London that the illustration department was right opposite the natural history museum. I’d pop in at lunchtime to join one of the gallery tours, which regularly included dinosaurs, plesiosaurs and other fossil life.
      I’ve got nine pages almost ready to go online but I got stuck on a page a week ago and I have to load them up in date order.
      Our woodpecker didn’t show up for the birdwatch, he’s not a regular and we missed the nuthatch too, but siskins, long-tailed tits, pheasant and goldfinches made up for that. But it was a dismal, rainy morning.

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