Short day, bright things

On dark days, this, near the Winter Solstice and dark of news to match, I’m happy to see any glimmer of brightness that the garden will offer.

Here, bobbing in the chilly breeze, the first snowdrop of Winter. It’s a few weeks early, brought, perhaps, by mild weather but it brings hope of longer, lighter days to come.

The cyclamen, so bright it needs a highlighter on top of the watercolour, has a visitor, a little, lime-green caterpillar nibbling at its petals. I sketch it outside until frozen fingers suggest a retreat into the kitchen to finish the drawing in the warm. I take a good long look before I go in so that I have in my head the detail I want to add.

And I’ve missed a bit while dead-heading the roses so there are rosehips, translucent, I notice as I draw and always more complex in colour than I think.

Ballpen, watercolour, fineliner, highlighter and household candle on waste and scrap paper.

My holly illustration from September's Back garden banquet post is now on Christmas cards, available in London shops Know & Love and the art shop at Hackney Wick Underground.

See my Christmas gift guide on my studio website's blog for products from this project and from my illustrations for 26 Habitats.