Autumn in England. Conkers and acorns. Whilst out walking the dog I crunched underfoot this unfeasibly long acorn, minus its little cradling, egg-cup-like stalk. It was bigger than a nearby conker which was missed by schoolboys looking for bigger prizes as they clacked their sticks up at the boughs of the horse chestnut, shielding their faces as the sticks came down again, peeking hopefully at a shower of prize conkers, thudding on the wet grass, nestled inside alien spiky green cases. Winsor & Newton watercolour and charcoal on handmade Indian Khadi (210gsm) rough paper.
On a recent trip to see my brother where he lives in Navarrenx, a Béarnaise area of south-west France, I perused a wealth of bric-a-brac that sits on the mantel piece on top of his giant fireplace. I chose a grouping of this wooden Indian scuttle, porcelain dog and wax cactus candle to sketch. It’s actually painted in the main with white gouache on Raven Black paper, with sanguine and white Conté details plus charcoal pencil.