As I was walking Zac today I was noticing the differences in appearances of trees and mentally comparing hawthorn and alder when I realised that although I can visualise the appearance of most of the common local tree types I had no idea what an alder tree’s bark looked like – even though I drew one a couple of days ago! When I saw this rather nice looking alder growing in the sheep field by the river it seemed a good chance to draw it. Zac was much less impressed because I chose to draw a larger picture and so kept him waiting much longer!
Because I spend more time walking in woodland than I spend sketching in woodland I find more and more that I set out on a sketching trip with a particular tree or location in mind. Today was no exception. This is a beech tree in Saltburn woods growing on the edge of a steep slope. If the slope was rock we would call it a cliff as it is it is just earth covered with a treacherous layer of rotting leaves.
The first picture is my sketch of the day, the second picture is a photo of the same tree taken earlier in the year.
I’m sorry, I’ve been terribly remiss about my daily sketches. Hopefully now I am back on track.
Sketch from Saltburn Valley Gardens, if you know Saltburn Woods this is the view looking across the beck below the Woodlands Centre.
I love this particular view and I hoped it would give me opportunity to explore the appearance of a woodland floor in more detail. I settled down happily to start sketching a double page spread. However I had overlooked the effect of the damp conditions on the local wildlife – I had barely started before I was attacked by swarms of midges in such numbers as I have only previously met in the Scottish Highlands. I lasted as long as I could but eventually I fled the scene taking a few photos so I could finish the sketch later in a midge free zone. This is how it has turned out.