Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Tuesday, 17th July, 2007

THERE ARE PRETTIER flowers, such as spikes of yellow loosestrife and the tubular bells of pale pastel lilac hosta, in the corner between the pond and the hedge but the structure of hogweed is more appealing to me.

I have only half an hour but I want to use dip pen and Indian ink rather than the more convenient but slightly more mechanical fibre tip pen. Dip pen feels like a suitably organic medium for an organic subject like this. The structure of the ribbed stems and the umbels gives me something definite to draw, which you wouldn't get with a mass of fine, feathery foliage.

The gentle curves on the stems are always a challenge to me and you can see where I've gone wrong when starting the drawing. With dip pen you've got to start at the top and work down or you blot the lines you've already drawn.

I added a watercolour wash. In the time available it wasn't possible to show any of the surrounding plants.