Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December Days

Now that December has arrived it has brought with it some bitterly cold weather.  The birds are coming into the garden and feeding on the red berries. The ground was littered in the half eaten fruit.  A very tame  blackbird prefers to hop by the kitchen window,  it seems to know we will instantly throw some bread outside.  I would like to think this was a blackbird who was born and raised in our garden and he knows it is a safe place to be.  We had a nest in the ivy and it would be so nice if it was our blackbird.
We heard the birds singing early today,  as it was such a lovely morning and the sun was streaming into the back of the house.   Outside it  was cold and frosty but such a beautiful  bright day,  and as we drove up and over the moors we admired the sight of the snow covered Lakeland hills.  The view looked spectacular, huge white shapes and a clear blue sky.
 The December landscape is now stripped bare and it is easy to see the patterns of the stone walls and the dark linear shapes of the trees showing their structure of trunks and branches.  We passed lots of little woods where we could glance through the tall trees and see the dead and dry woodland floor, everywhere in pale shades of browns and  then the bright rusty coloured bracken which glows in the sunlight.
It was bitterly cold as we wandered around the market town, as the market traders blew into their hands and danced from foot to foot  trying desperately to keep warm.  Hats, scarves and gloves were essential and everyone seemed to move around quickly doing their business and avoiding staying out longer than needed.  Our journey home was so pretty in the sunlight, as the sun was so low in the sky it cast a pink glow and made the dark trees stand out even more.  As we reached home it was almost sunset and we witnessed a deep pink sky  on this clear frosty evening.  It was lovely to return to a warm fireside.
   My drawing is a simple collection of some of some of the  berries off the ground,  a red leaf found  alongside them and a twin sycamore seed.  I really liked the dark edges of the red leaf and the way the sycamore is also turning darker.  Six red berries in a line just felt right and completed the composition.
I chose red, yellow ochre, sepia and black  and all of the shades were mixed from the four inks.
 I used the thin brush and every tiny line was made slowly as I meticulously painted the objects.
I wanted to really capture the delicate qualities of these winter objects and their colours and shapes.
I used red and yellow ochre for the leaf, red and black for the darker shades at the edges. Sepia and yellow ochre and a little of the dark edge mix on the sycamore.
The finished drawing.

I had a little helper.
I have been knitting a tiny cardigan and some warm blankets this week for a little birthday girl. And of course the mouse wanted to help paint!                                                              

Thank you for your comments. Hope you enjoy seeing what I have been drawing and knitting for my little friends birthday. Hope you are all keeping warm and cosy.                  
Best wishes to everyone.    Millyx


Pondside said...

Lucky you to have such a helpful helper-mouse!
I enjoyed both parts of your post - the painting and the description of your day. I am so glad that I can now accurately imagine the scene of the stone walls!

Amanda said...

It's good to see you have a little apprentice there!!! Very good Mouse is too!

Hindustanka said...

i love how you describe the weather there and your walk... can imagine it all well now. drawing came up exquisite with so much attention for the details. have a nice day ahead and keep warm! I see that many of my blogger friends have winter days already at their places.

Frances said...

Milly, how well you describe the beauty that can be found on a chilly December day.

Those market traders must be very hardy souls...with many layers of clothing and socks over socks over socks. I do hope that they have lots of customers!

Your painting is quite wonderful...clearly the composition gives us viewers a splendid new Christmas tree. Thanks as always for revealing the colors that you have so richly mixed.

The tiny knitting will be a real birthday treat for a lucky child. You've reminded me of a beautiful little sweater my great auntie made for one of my dolls. She also taught me to knit and I still use some of her double point needles for my sock knitting.

Busy days over here! xo

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Milly - your winter leaf and berries is absolutely amazing. You take such wonderful care with your art and it shows. I think the sweater is adorable. Hope you have a wonderful day my friend. Thanks for stopping by to visit me too and leaving such a sweet comment.

JP said...

I so love that red leaf and you mixed the colour just so - I love colour mixing but do find it frustrating at times!!!

acornmoon said...

I envy you your view of the Lakeland hills especially on bright and frost days.

Your drawing is very Christmassy and so too your little Mouse.

Leonie Norton said...

I am new follower and a botanical artist. Just love your work!

Kim Henkel said...

What a beautiful day you described so lovingly. I enjoyed the telling of it so much. As for the beautiful new painting- stunning! I love how the berries look like winter berries, and the lovely texture and colour in the leaf. AND the little sweater on the very special. I am sure the birthday person will be delighted!