Nature’s fireworks

A dark, dank day has me reaching for soft-toned, soft-textured paper. Not, it's called – a tactile surface somewhere between smooth and rough. It was my dad's choice for watercolours (I always wondered at the 'not') and today, it's mine because I have small things to draw, in a posy foraged in yesterday's dry weather.

Some of my forage is forage itself. Ivy's fast-growing sprawl gives it a bad name but this time of year, it's a feast for late Autumn's creatures. Its plenty allows me to snip a bit. It's November 5th and each stem is a mini firework display, bursts of flowers turning to berries, glittering with zingy yellow-green that has me reaching for a highlighter and sponging on sparkles of yellow and mauve.

For the table, I choose a tea bag. Its tannin is just right for the timber, though my stained fingers make me grateful that I've decided on a day in...

My posy has lonicera berries too, glossy, dense deep purple at first glance but as I hold them up to the light, like glass. I use layers of purple and Payne's Gray to build up the colour.

There'll be fireworks tonight in my neighbourhood – but it makes me smile to know that nature has got its display in first.

Ballpen, watercolour, fineliner, highlighter and tea on handed-down watercolour paper.

Sketches from this project are available as greeting cards, from the Garden Museum shop in London, at Hackney Wick Underground, and here on Etsy, with prints to order.

On my Teemill shop, sketches on t-shirts and tote bags.