Botanical Field Sketching with Martin Allen June 5th – Woodland Diaries

Posted on 5th July 2016

I was just about to start our first sketching workshop when suddenly, through the open doors of the Wildlife Trust HQ at Margrove, there was the sound of a bird making a noise like a fire alarm. This distracted me into telling a long and rambling anecdote about how I had managed to fix my mum’s smoke detectors only the previous day and my mum had been so proud of me as I had never ever shown any competence in DIY ever in my life. To be fair all I did was work out that it had a hinge cover rather than a twist/unscrew one but nevertheless this, in someone who sees the only reason for earning money is to pay someone else to do DIY, was majorly impressive. Can’t remember what the bird was, but I imagine most of it was brown – they usually are.


Anyway, we started off by just drawing a flower with no instructions from me, apart from to draw it as badly as they could as then after some help from me they would look like great drawers at the end of the day. Naturally once I’d suggested they do something badly they all came up with rather good attempts. Not put off by this I then demonstrated easy ways to draw accurately and lo and behold it was a lot easier and some cracking drawings were done.

Then, as the sun had come out, we wandered outside looking at the garden over coffee before heading out to the car park to do a habitat drawing. This was both difficult (i.e. people complained because they didn’t get it right first time…well hello, that’s life I’m afraid) and yet strangely everyone managed to produce something perfectly respectable before lunch.


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