Eyam Hall sketch

Eyam Hall sketchDon’t let the bleak images on the National Trust website put you off visiting Eyam Hall. The Jacobean manor house has been let to the Trust on a 10 year lease and the family apparently only moved out in February, so I think it was a rush job to get some photographs up.

eyam hall

It was just a flying visit today and I only took quick photos of the garden, but I am definitely planning another visit over the summer; if nothing else, there’s a lovely shady spot on the bowling green that I’ve got my eye on:

Eyam Hall bowling green
Eyam Hall bowling green
Next up: I sit on some stones at Longshaw


Stanage/North Lees sketches

Stanage from Dennis Knoll - Peak district sketch by Sian Hughes ArtStanage from above North Lees Hall - Peak district sketch by Sian Hughes ArtNorth Lees Hall - Peak district sketch by Sian Hughes ArtMoorland Roadside Sheep - Peak district sketch by Sian Hughes Art

Monday: Day one of my holiday! Sketchbook in hand, I set out from Dennis Knoll, underneath Stanage Edge, on the short walk to North Lees Hall. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to see anything, because it started off really misty, but it soon cleared as I descended into the valley.


North Lees Hall was Charlotte Bronte’s inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. Apparently it was used in one of the many film adaptations too, but I’m not sure which one. You’re welcome. Google it? Anyway, it’s on my shopping list for when we win the Euromillions.

I stopped to attempt to draw the sheep on the drive back home. I probably didn’t take enough caution of the lambs though, as three of them had set up camp underneath my car by the time I’d finished.

North Lees

Next up: I try to draw some pugs.

Sketchcrawl: Edale

Urban Sketchers Yorkshire at Edale - Peak District sketch by Sian Hughes Two urban Sketchers Yorkshire at Edale - Peak District sketch by Sian Hughes Urban Sketchers Yorkshire at Edale, view towards Mam Tor - Peak District sketch by Sian Hughes

On Saturday, around a dozen members of Sketchcrawl North ventured out to Edale in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire.  Having not been out with them for over a year (!), I am well out of practice at drawing around other people (and generally out of practice at doing things) but I was determined to get out and go go-getting. I am pleased/smug to report that I successfully navigated my way along the miles of winding road and around 100* cyclists (*estimated) all by mine self!

We walked up through the village and set up camp on the foothills of Kinder Scout, underneath Ringing Roger (ish). Following my success at getting to the venue I was puffy with confidence but, despite being pretty bold when sketching at home recently, I annoyed myself by immediately placing myself several feet away from the rest of the group and defaulting back to pencil and muddy greens. I knew I would. Oh well, I had a lovely morning and at least my horrible sketches are a record of the day. Better luck next time, hey?

I was sad to rush off after lunch because the others went back down the hill to draw the village in the afternoon, but I had to go and eat my own bodyweight in sausages, thrash the boys at ‘Cranium’ and then get a massive migraine. Anyway, as usual you can see everyone else’s sketches on the Facebook group.

Sketching kit

Hazy Fields

hazy fields (detail)Remember what I said in my last post about keeping spammy content to Tumblr? Well I’ll just have to apologise now for spamming my 3 email/RSS subscribers who may have had 250 updates from me today when I accidentally imported my entire old blog over here. I actually just meant to import the sketchcrawl stuff – I’m so sorry!

Anyway, here’s a detail from a nice sketch of a calm, calming, deeply calming, hazy autumnal meadow. Love you ?

Happy Landscape

happy_landscapeI’ve basically spent the “summer” using up all my paper and so, before I start on the next batch, I thought it was probably time I came back to blog about some of it.

You know what they say about quality over quantity? Well, I’ve completely ignored that and posted a whole bunch of sketchbook doodles on my Tumblr blog, in an attempt to keep the spammy content contained on the least annoying platform. I’m not really sure why I posted it at all to be honest, but maybe someone will like looking at it? Enjoy!Continue reading “Happy Landscape”

Sketchcrawl: Chesterfield

IMG_1531Here be my drawings from our Sketchcrawl in Chesterfield last weekend. It was a glorious day and so I spent much of the time in the shade of the trees in the churchyard under the crooked spire. The spire itself was too hard to draw due to it being a) crooked and b) too close. But I took a photo of it instead.

img066My drawing skills were a bit dodgy so I tried to perk my sketches up with some watercolour.

img067The Rutland is a lovely pub which can be viewed from another shady spot in the church yard, as it is right next door. It provided a handy venue to share our drawings over a beverage at the end of the day.

img068After lunch, we moved onto the markets in the town centre. Again I couldn’t bear the heat (or the crowds) so hid in a corner in one of the side streets. Please don’t look too closely at the proportions, for some reason I’ve drawn a massive chimney in the middle. I’m itching to alter this one!

Not being able to find any other suitable spots in town, I went back to the churchyard – I really tried to concentrate on this one, I promise. But as you can see, I got bored when I reached the right hand page. Still, I sort of prefer it to the left!

img069If you’d like to see sketches from the rest of the group (or if you’d like to join in!) please have a look at our Facebook group: Sketchcrawl North.

Sketchcrawl Chesterfield

Sketchcrawl: IWM North, Salford

On Saturday, Sketchcrawl North went on a fieldtrip to the Imperial War Museum North at Salford. It is a crazy building based on a smashed up teapot stuck back together, designed in order to disorientate visitors so much that they are unable to leave without buying a amusing-when-you-read-it-out-of-context wartime postcard, apparently. I may have got that wrong.

Anyway, here are my sketches of the exterior of the building. I loved the shapes, it was like something le Corbusier might have designed if he had turned to the Dark Side. Ronchamp meets the Death Star? No? Just me then…

Inside the building are exhibits covering ‘every major conflict since 1914’.

On the hour, visitors are plunged into darkness and the ‘Picture Show’ projected onto every surface. It’s a surreal, moving and chilling moment as the chattering crowd stops and is captivated; their eyes fixed upwards as horrifying personal stories of war are told over background images and sounds of conflict which bombard from all angles.

It’s a pretty sad place, to be honest, as it should be. The notes displayed on the walkway into the cafe are devastating, especially knowing that they are written by serving soldiers… I’ll say no more. You’ll have to go and read them yourself.

I’ll leave you with this image of a creepy up-lit gas mask:

Don’t have nightmares.