Wednesday, 12th November 2003
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
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hop about at the edge of the car park then disappear into the dense
cover of the shrub beds.
crow 'caws' over the rooftops. Magpies
are hustling about as usual, taking an interest in any opportunity
that might arise.
gulls swoop over the cars, their neat plumage reminding
me of days by the sea.
seem most at home in this urban world: a couple of them strut and
dodge amongst the shoppers by the entrance to the supermarket while
another perches on the big 'm'
of a MacDonald's.
As we came here Barbara glimpsed
a brown bird perching on a bus shelter - she thinks it was a kestrel
- unnoticed by the people queuing below. I'm sorry I missed that.
While Barbara and her Mum wend their way around the aisles of Morrisons'
supermarket, Flanshaw, Wakefield, I take the opportunity to make a
quick watercolour sketch of trees (above), sitting with the
car door open as it's a warm afternoon.
the fuzziness painting of those masses of bare branches and twigs
I'm ready to draw something with more definition; I sketch the leaves
of an evergreen shrub (which I think it might be Daphne)
as they swish in the breeze.
A Little Teapot
we wait for our lunch in the café I can't miss the opportunity
to sketch another everyday object; a small stainless steel teapot.
It's a tricky thing to draw, partly because that spout seems to
me to be out of proportion to the rest of the pot. Perhaps I'm picturing
it like the head of a bird, in which case the spout would be a bit
on the small side to be a beak.
I'm blotting the pen and ink drawing (above left) of the
teapot with my water brush to produce the wash of tone I realise
that I'm painting a distorted, simplified view of the café:
a fish-eye lens reflection of lights and windows and of me, greatly
expanded horizontally, as if seen in a fairground mirror.
This little metal teapot hardly
an inspiring object to draw - not such a pleasure as drawing the
Daphne leaves, for instance - but any opportunity to practice
drawing ellipses and three-dimensional shapes has got to be worth
Even something as simple as getting
the relationship of one object to another can be more difficult
than you might think: I found it tricky to get the mug the right
size in relation to the teapot. Especially as I kept moving the
mug to drink more of the tea.
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