Vale of Edale

Wednesday, 3rd January 2006, Peak District

Upper Holt Farm, Barber Booth, Vale of Edale

Looking north west towards Upper Booth, Jacob's Ladder and the High Peak

There's misty cloud and fine drizzle over the Dark Peak, so I head for the National Park centre at Edale to draw in the dry, warm shelter of their displays. Unfortunately, this winter, it is closed for re-building, so I drive off towards Mam Tor along the back road.

Most of the places that you can pull off the road are field entrances so when I see a lay-by that doesn't seem to double as a passing place or turning circle, I pull up.

After my delay starting, I decide to take my subjects from whatever I can see around me. That's the advantage of the Peak District; wherever you stop there will be half a dozen subjects that you could draw.

The farm and the lichen were drawn with my Parker fountain pen but for the view of Edale and the thorn trees below I tried a dip pen and calligraphy ink. The problem with this was that in the cool, damp conditions it took ages for the ink to dry and there is a tendency even now for the pages to stick together on the thorn tree drawing.

The other problem was that after four hours on the hillside I was chilled to the bone - even the flask of Earl Grey tea I'd brought didn't warm me up very much. Next time I will allow myself more time out there and I'll intersperse drawing with periods of brisk walking.

Thorn trees
The calligraphy ink I used for these thorn trees takes a long time to dry in cold, moist conditions.
I think the grey-green lichen is Common Crottle, Parmelia saxatilis Next Page

Richard Bell,