Mist over Mam Tor

meadow crane's-bill

Coffee break at the Riverlife Cafe, Bamford.
Coffee break at the Riverlife Cafe, Bamford.

Losehill has its head in the clouds as we walk along Hollowford Road, the old route between Castleton and Edale. The verges are lush of meadow crane’s-bill, yellow vetchling and meadowsweet.

A male bullfinch investigates a blackthorn by an old field barn then joins his mate as they make their way along the tall hedgerow.


Dock leaf
Dock leaf with creeping buttercup.

Calf number 500196 takes a passing interest in us as I photograph him through the fence with Mam Tor in the background.

It still amazes me that we can reach this horseshoe shaped valley in just over an hour’s drive from home. We’re delivering books today, so we’ve come the long way around via Sheffield. On what’s become a regular run for us, I find it impressive that such a busy, and what I’d call vibrant city –  with galleries, theatres, museums and a botanic garden so close to lonely gritstone moors and green limestone dales.

In the Hope Valley we’re right on the border of these two Peak District landscapes, where tropical limestone seas gave way to the river deltas of where the millstone grit was deposited. Between the two, looming behind calf number 500186, we have a great pile of Mam Tor sandstones and Edale Shales. Which are notoriously unstable. Beyond 500196’s hindquarters, you can see that landslip that closed the A625 Sheffield to Stockport road in 1974.

Castleton barn

Silver birch, drawn as we had a late lunch at the Seed Room, Overton.
Silver birch, drawn as we had a late lunch at the Seed Room, Overton.

There’s more lush vegetation by the stream in Castleton including an umbellifer (hogweed?); a garden escape, yellow loosestrife and a clump of reed canary grass, Phalaris arundinacea.

Hope we’ll be back in the Peak District again before too long.


The Poachers’ Panels

poachers framespoacher pageYou can’t see how the page will work until you drop the artwork into the comic strip panels and add the speech bubbles. But there isn’t a lot of dialogue on this action-packed page.

The layout still needs some attention. The central circular panel needs to be larger and I’d like the knife to be breaking out of the panel but for now this version will serve as a rough cut.

The main lessons that I draw from working on this fight sequence are;

  1. Be bold
  2. Be relaxed
  3. Learn a bit more about Manga Studio (the program I use to add the borders)