Shed Sketches


Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Friday 7th September, 2007


THIS IS the tidied up version of our garden shed; until I reorganised it this summer it was so jam-packed that when you tried to remove one item you found that it was interlocked with several others.

I painted the walls and ceiling in white emulsion and hung the tools on screws to free up floor space but I find that, when I return with half a dozen tools from a session down the garden, it's not obvious which hangs where, so I'd like to paint outlines of the tools on the wall. Provided I had the time and the inclination, I'd find that a theraputic activity as much as being an organisational task.

As I drew, a small wood mouse ran across the path and made its way under the leaves of an astilbe by the pond to the stone wall of the raised bed. Apparently aware that I was watching it from a few feet away, it leapt off a ledge then hopped and scurried off down the garden path.

Wood mice have a habit of jumping.


Tower PenTower Pen

I used a dip pen with an old Tower Pen 111 nib and Nan King Indian ink for these drawings. I decided, after accidently blotting one of my Art Pen drawings at Roche Abbey the other day, that waterproof ink would be more practical.

Tower PenI can't get quite as a fine line as I do with the Art Pen so I'm working in an A4 Pink Pig sketchbook instead of the A5 format that I sometimes use. If I use the drawings in a published sketchbook, I'll reduce them to fit, as I have done here.

I keep referring to the Tintin stories; Hergé always worked a size up on his artwork and once, when starting work on a new story which required extra detail, he increased the working size still further but gave everyone in the drawing team thicker nibs so that the line wouldn't suffer when it was taken down that extra bit.

It's good to go back to dip pen again, although I find myself occasionally making blots if I make a sudden movement with the pen, as I did on the drawing above, so it's not a medium that I could risk using indoors much.

I've got two boxes of the Tower Pen nibs; nearly 300 nibs in total, which should last me a lifetime . . . or two.


shed shelf