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    Ivy sketchbook scientific illustration and a landscape

    Autumn is well and truly here; with flat yellow leaves on the pavements, tractors hauling trailer-loads of potatoes through town, and windfall apples rotting in the wet grass.  Time to do some sketchbook studies.

    I had a wonderful time with the ivy, getting the depth of the glossy dark greens was really tough, but it was wonderful when I felt I’d come close.  The structure of both the flowers and berries is exacting and fascinating, it was a treat to have to get out the dissecting microscope to have a proper look.  It’s finished, and my studio is no longer full of the sticky scent of ivy flowers.  It was a lovely job to work on. It’s also extraordinary to see the hoards of insects using ivy flowers as a nectar source; it’s the only copious nectar producer out there right now and it’s a buzzing mosaic of hoverflies, bees, butterflies, flies, and the odd wasp.  A joy to behold, and well worth listening to as well!

    I’ve got feedback on my private commission, so have begun drawing up the final rough.  I love this stage, everything seems possible and the space within the sheet of paper seems to stretch and contract with every new item you add.  Here’s a snippet of the rough as it is now, by the end of the week it’ll be completed.

    Tomorrow is a treat, I’m off on a Fungal Foray with Radnorshire Wildlife Trust , in practice for the nature walk I’ll be leading on Monday October 15th as part of  h.Energy week, here in Herefordshire.  Come along, I’d love to see you there!

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    Lizzie Harper