Danebury hillfort, located between Andover and Stockbridge in Hampshire, has a fine collection of beech trees. I’m told that the beechwood once extended over the whole site, but that the county council, who maintain the site, cut it back to reveal the splendid earthworks.

By the main entrance to the fort, two or three beeches entwine on a prominent rampart, their convoluted shallow root system partially revealed by erosion. This drawing captures them as autumn starts to turn their leaves that delicious shade of red that beech is famous for. I used a fairly minimal palette of inks to pick out the colour, keeping the bones of the tree in stark, pen-worked monotone in order to emphasise the fascinating shapes.

Gatekeeper (Danebury hill fort)

Gatekeeper

12 x 16 inches, Inks on kaolin-coated board, framed (black wood, tray style)

£410

Media note: All the inks I use have a high light fastness rating. Most are pigment inks and are sold as “India(n) Inks” – this term traditionally refers to the black ink made from lampblack, which is the black that I use in these drawings, but some manufacturers use it to describe their ranges of similarly robust coloured inks.

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