Holly Cottage, Loddington, Leicestershire, sketching in pencil and mixed media

Holly Cottage, Loddington. mixed media. Vivien Blackburn

Yesterday I went with 2 friends to sketch in the garden of one of their friends who recently bought this gorgeous cottage. I decided early on that whereas my friends concentrated on eliminating the scaffolding, (up for the re-thatching) and re-inventing what was underneath, that I'd draw it as-was. I just did sketches (having lugged all but the kitchen sink ' just in case!' - oils, watercolours. charcoal, coloured pencils, several sizes of sketchbook ........) In the end I only used pencil, watercolour and a very little coloured pencil.

I don't often 'do' architecture, simply because I love freer, more flowing landscape so it was a challenge.

The cottage was built in 1673 with stone and brick from the earlier village nearby, wiped out by the Black Death. The houses were then burnt down, I suppose to stop the spread of the disease? The date is carved into the beam above the fireplace.

It was last re-thatched in the 1960's

It's in a beautiful tiny village. Just across the road is an old manor house. When Lady Allerton, the last family owner, died, she left the house and her money to make the village a conservation area and the Trust owns a lot of the houses (there aren't many!) They had only had one child, who was disabled and her husband never let her bring the child home and refused to have any more.

It used to be 2 cottages, for workers on the estate. It's absolutely beautiful but incredibly dark inside.

Jean, the owner, made us scones and 3 kinds of cake to keep us going as we sketched! all as light as a feather and totally delicious. So a really nice day of unwinding, being spoilt and just trying something different.


muddy red shoes said…
do more architecture, these are great, especially like the scaffolding.
Jeanette said…
Just beautiful! i love the mixed media piece, it really brings out the character. The pencil sketch shows the detail of this lovely cottage.

I once lived in a thatched cottage in Devon and had friend who lived in one as well. The history and architecture are unique - as are the 'visitors' who make their home in the thatch ;)
vivien said…
Thanks Sarah and Jeanette :>)

I'll try to do more!

visitors .... mmmmm - we did rent half a farmhouse in Cornwall(not thatched) when I was small and the rats used to do clog dances in the roof! pure Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Samuel Whiskers stuff!

A thatched cottage in Devon sounds lovely
Robyn said…
I love your approach to the thatching in progress. Great drawing and very nice colour and texture in the painting.

Sounds like a delightful way to pass a day. Now I want a fresh scone.
vivien said…
mmm and home made jam it was as well :>D
Julie Broom said…
I totally agree with Jeanette - you've really brought the character of the house to life. Sounds like my sort of day, think I'll do some baking tomorrow ;-)
dinahmow said…
Now this is sketching...there is something more "telling" in a half done sketch than a final painting.(Or perhaps it's just my butterfly brain!)
I'm fairly sure I have an old photo of my then partner sketching a thatcher in Devon...must look for it.
Brian McGurgan said…
Beautiful studies, Vivien! The mixed-media one is so rich in color and gives such a wonderful feeling for the place and its character.
vivien said…
Thank you Julie, Dinah and Brian :>)

I agree about half done sketches - they do often have a really telling quality - I suppose because they are so focussed on what interested you?
Beautiful vivien! You can surely do more architecture, you DO have a free hand which is very appealing..Love these and the sepia colour gives it such an old world etched feel.
I really like these sketches Vivien and I absolutely agree - you should do more architecture
vivien said…
Ronell and Katherine - thank you :>)

maybe I'll have to do more architecture then!!
Shanna said…
A wonderful drawing! Your touch is very fresh and alive.

I have admired your work for quite some time and really appreciated your visiting my own blog VIEW.
vivien said…
Thanks Shanna :>) I thought your skies series was gorgeoous
Yellow said…
There's such a sense of location in these two. To say 'there'a a lot of love in that drawing' sounds so pants, but it's true. I struggled for a better way of putting it, but I couldn't find the words.
vivien said…
:>) thank you

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