Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

Blottily Calligraphical

handSunday, 17th December, 2006
THE INK is so free-flowing: a disadvantage with a slow, detailed drawing but helpful if you're trying to keep the drawing flowing and animated.

coneMy new calligraphy pen gives the graphic line that I'm after for my sketch-maps but when I draw the pine cone I find that the ink starts flowing so freely that the line goes blotty and soaks into the cartridge paper of my sketchbook.

Drawing on a piece of scrap laser copy paper (left) gives a better result.

I think it's important to keep the pen moving so the flow of ink doesn't build up.

Drawn to the City Drawn to the City

John Welding gives me a copy of the sketchbook format catalogue of his latest exhibition; an ambitious project which involved him drawing at the big shopping centre in Milton Keynes, his hometown.

His two weeks as artist in residence culminated in an exhibition - in the form of a kind of comic strip account of his experiences, drawn directly on the White Wall art space in the centre.

John Welding: sparrowThe exhibition continues into the new year, so catch it if you can. The catalogue is a real collectors item with an introduction by animator Tim Searle and a contribution by storyteller Philippa Tipper. And lots of lovely drawings by John. More details at:

As well as shoppers and stalls there are drawings of buildings, trees and birds including this sparrow that 'looked at me all funny'.

I know that look.