Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Bird Topiary at Great Dixter

The Bird Topiary at Great Dixter
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils, 11" x 16"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

One of our Indian Summer Jaunts at the end of September was down to Great Dixter in East Sussex to see the garden in late summer.

We let the satnav do the navigation and ended up having a delightful journey across Kent and East Sussex which I'd never have done if trying to read a map (The other half isn't wonderful at reading maps so we've always taken main road routes hiterto).

We got there at lunchtime and sat and had our sandwiches while sat in the Sunk Garden next to the Barns.  Then took a leisurely trip round the garden to see what had changed before I started the sketch at the top of the post.

The original plan had been to sketch the topiary birds in my Moleskine A4 sketchbook to see how they worked and then sketch them again for "A Postcard from my Walk".

The sun had other ideas!

This was on the 28th September and it was very hot in East Sussex with a clear summer blue sky with absolutely no clouds.  Even the sunlover aka he who must not be bored while I sketch couldn't cope with sitting in the sun for longer than 20 minutes as it was just too hot!  (The BBC ran a slideshow the next day In pictures: Autumn Heatwave of what people had been getting up the previous day during the Indian Summer and the Guardian was writing about how retailers were having to switch back to summer mode)

So my sketch for the postcard had to be done at home based on my sketch in the garden - which in turn also had to be finished off at home re the dark tones at home as it takes forever to get the right dark green.  The trick is to do a bit in the garden and then know how much more needs to be the same colour to complete the sketch!

The Topiary Birds at Great Dixter

Here's the link to the post about the sketch on A Postcard from my WalkGreat Dixter, Sussex

The garden is now closed but opens again in April next year.  It's one of my favourite gardens and is definitely worth a visit if you are every in the area.



  1. very successful - one of your best I think :>)

  2. Wow. I just discovered your work. Just beautiful!


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