Fern Gully

Monday, 3rd April 2006

waterfallI've been going on and on about wanting to get back to drawing in the Peak District but today I was wishing I was back in my warm studio. The day started with blue skies and sun but heading to the hills I could soon see billowing towers of cumulus stacked up over the horizon. There was a hail storm every hour with strong cold breezes.

cloudAt least the rain and hail gave me a subject; this is one of the drainage gullys taking the run-off from the wooded hillside under the track at the edge of Ladybower reservoir. The damp shady habitat encourage a lush growth of liverworts, mosses and ferns which I started drawing for my book.

After an hour or two of that I was ready for a brisk walk and to sit on the bench overlooking the reservoir for my picnic lunch. I wished I'd gone back to shelter in the car to eat my sandwiches.

I didn't manage to draw the subject I had in mind at the far end of the track, a banking by the trackside, because the wind was so wild in that part of the valley that I couldn't shelter under my fishing umbrella..

I went back to the more sheltered gulley and, with the umbrella up for most of the afternoon, drew in bamboo pen then added tonal washes of dilute Chinese ink (left).

The forecast is better for tomorrow, but it looked good for today. Next Page

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk