Journal

Crychan Forest Art – Today’s Sketches

pen sketches of crychan forest in a sketchbook

When it comes to art, Crychan Forest is pretty inspiring. I’ve chronically under-explored this wonderful forest having only visited a few times. The last time was in Crychan was 2019, and even then it was a relatively short walk around a route I’d already explored.

I have been struggling with my daily art practice recently and found myself needing to take a break for a day, and so I did no art on Monday.

I find myself teetering on the edge of spending some serious time on a new piece, but also wanting to get as much of the play out of me as possible. This morning, I drew a bunch of boxes in my 10 x 10 sketchbook, collected a few of my photos from Crychan Forest and did several thumbnail sketches over the course of an hour. I’m drawn to creating forest art. The trails provide so much visual interest from the towering firs to the mossy forest floor, there’s always something that catches the eye. As well, forests work across a range of media. I already have a bunch of unfinished forest oil paintings, but not much in the way of forest pen drawings.

I’m really keen to create a new piece, but I’m still getting a lot out of exercises like this. Whether it’s experimenting with shading, composition, or even just taking a scene and seeing how it will convert from a reference photo to a drawn piece — deciding what details to leave out — especially in complex woodland scenes, it’s so valuable. I do wonder how far I can take this testing phase.

I suppose like everyone else, I’m waiting for the Covid restrictions to end so I can jump in the car and get back up there for more reference photos to inspire more art of Crychan Forest.

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Published by Chris

Landscape artist Chris Richards lives on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in the village of Ystradgynlais. Chris works mainly in oils, but also dabbles with acrylics, ink pens, watercolours, and soft pastels.

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