Sketching in the Brecon Beacons

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Pen-Y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons

Into the mountains I went, to stretch my legs, connect with nature and sketch what I could see.  I was graced by the beautiful weather and on the first evening I heard the curlews calling me. They take me back to an ancient time, it feels like a sound from an old landscape, similar to the one I find myself within.  A castle mound caught my eye in the distance so I headed its way, where I discovered a beautiful hare with huge pointed black tipped ears. As It sensed me, it was off like a flash in the direction of an ancient hedgerow. This old landscape was so inspiring and before I knew it, my sketchbook was in my hand and I was sketching away as the sun was setting.

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Blaencamlais Motte and standing stones.
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Larch Tree Flowering – Spotted en-route to the Motte
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Standing Stone
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Ancient bank with wizard-like trees growing on top

I was  staying in such a beautiful old landscape, I had to sketch my view. It was so inspiring to be sketching every day. I often don’t have the time, but there is something in making the time for the things which are important to you.

It was taking me about 20 minutes each sketch and I was experimenting with adding coloured pencil onto my watercolours to create a more mixed-media sketch. I really love the result. What do you think? I was using Daler Rowney Pencils, Windsor and Newton pocket watercolour set, Black micron waterproof ink pen, and painting using the Pentel Waterbrush. I also carry some white-tack for sticking my watercolour paints to my board and holding pages down, if windy.

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Sketching our view from Wanderoo, where I was staying
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Cray Reservoir seen on the way back from Henrhyd Waterfall.

I visited some inspiring places, including the Defynnog Yew believed to be 5,000 years old, round the back of the church. You can climb up into it. If you go there visit the Welsh Rarebit Centre, they do gorgeous food.  I also visited the Henrhyd Falls, where you can walk behind the waterfall and was lucky to see an orange tip butterfly there.  On Mynydd Illtyd Common I heard the cuckoo calling and met a Birch Tree which looked like it was off on a walk itself.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the weather and taken some time to explore in nature and to be creative.

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You can follow my Instagram feed at @thewalkingsketchbook

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