Basil, African Blue

Basil never seems very happy in our garden so we’re going to see if this African Blue variety does any better. Pencil and watercolour isn’t normally my thing but I’m currently reading Agathe Ravet-Haevermans’ Drawing Nature, so I’m giving her favourite media a try. She works as a botanical draughtsman at the National Museum of Natural History […]

Urban Watercolor Sketching

I’m aware that I get set in my ways so Felix Scheinberger’s Urban Watercolour Sketching made perfect holiday reading when we were in the Dales a few weeks ago. It’s a short refresher course in watercolour, one that I’ll dip into again. This is an illustrator’s approach and the examples are almost exclusively pen and ink and watercolour rather […]

Clay Pipe

I spotted this fragment of clay pipe when I went out at sunset to see if I could catch the slug that’s been eating our French bean seedlings. In thirty years of digging I find it surprising that this is the first time I’ve spotted it. I’ve found pipe fragments before but never anything as elegantly decorated as […]

Blue Damselflies

2.30 p.m.; Common blue damselflies are mating down by the pond, the blue male clasping the olive female. She rests on the water surface as she carefully lays an egg on a submerged leaf of pondweed then the pair move on to lay the next. There are smooth newts lurking below. One grabs a female and swallows her head […]