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mug of soup


Monday, 23rd December 2002, West Yorkshire

With all the preparations for Christmas it's dropping dark by the time I get out for a walk to catch the last postal collection. In the rain the dark pavements reflect the yellow glare of sodium street lights but in the gloom I don't spot anything remarkable in the way of natural history to draw so I decide to spend an hour, maybe two, sketching the last two bunches of onions that we've had hanging from a rope at the back of the garage. I bring them up into the studio and hang them over the desk.


It was the rounded shapes of the onions that attracted me to the subject but as I start drawing its those dried, twisting onion tops that fascinate me.

This is drawn using a Rotring Art Pen with a fine sketch pen nib filled with brown Waterman fountain pen ink. Even when dry this ink tends to run a little when I add a watercolour wash to it but, as this is a brownish subject, that isn't a problem as it might have been had I chosen a subject such as a wild flower with areas of pure yellow or blue.

We had a good crop of onions this year, probably our best ever, which I put down to the efforts I'd put into constructing and preparing a raised bed. With all the veg plots now converted into raised beds I'm hoping for decent crops right through the garden next year.

I'm surprised how similar the first paragraph of my diary entry for this day last year (see link below) sounds to today's. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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