Be a Tree

crab apple4.55 pm; Blackbirds are alarming as the gloom of sunset fades out the remaining colour in our back garden. Not that we can see the sun setting; it’s remained cloudy with varying degrees of gloom all day.

In contrast to the twilight mood, the golden hornet crab apple by the pond is bubbling with pale yellow fruits, festooned with golden baubles.

In movement and dance, school children are asked to be a tree. What kind of tree would you be if you decided to be an autumnal golden hornet?

Although it is stretching to the skies in classic tree-mime fashion, those awkwardly bent limbs suggest that it might be attempting to support the firmament – like the Viking cosmic tree – rather than reaching for the sky in hopeful supplication.

A couple of broken paving slabs that I’ve leant against the raised bed give the impression in my sketch that the crab might have used those scraggly limbs to scrabble and scrooge up from an underground lair, like Mole in The Wind in the Willows.

Dripped in Ink

sketchbook and notebookDrawn, or rather dripped, in bamboo pen using Daler-Rowney Calli waterproof ink, the drawing is so blotty that it will take days to dry, so I’m photographing it rather than laying it on the scanner. And thank goodness I didn’t use my regular sketchbook and put that out of action.

As I got inky fingers opening the bottle, I thumbprinted the basic shape of the main stem on the blank page before I started the drawing. I decided that might take away the some of the scariness of the blank white sheet while working against the clock.

I started at at five to four and called it a day after fifteen minutes.

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  1. An absolutely lovely speed drawing Richard. I have to admit that W@N Calli ink is my favoured because of its dense blackness, its feeling coming off the nib, because you can brush wash it with water as you go and the fingertip feels good in the field because it can add vitality to the drawing. (re your image.) Much enjoyed, thanks

    1. Thank you Mike, I will try turning it into a wash next time I work with it. The blots are still thick and wet but I don’t want to risk trying blotting paper as it would leave patches.
      15 minutes to draw, 15 days to dry!

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