Pakenham Mill, Suffolk – 18 July 2013

Pakenham Mill is a lovely spot between Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. There’s a working Mill and very pretty, tranquil grounds to get lost in and find a quiet spot. On this particular Thursday it was so hot outside that we didn’t get further than the tea room but this afforded lots of interesting, quirky objects and lovely, ever-changing light and shadows to draw.

I was very distracted as Dad was so ill and my aim was for a day off to recharge batteries. I found that my hand to eye coordination had gone to pieces and I wasn’t drawing what I was seeing but I persevered and while my drawings aren’t great the process was definitely therapeutic!


I worked with pencil, graphite pencil, pen and charcoal pencil. The shadow on the tearoom wall was a picture in itself. I had a play around with some different hatching effects. I was quite pleased with the scribble effect for the views through the windows which was slightly distorted because of the old glass. Good practice if not great work…

Later when back home, with the tea room theme still in my mind, I remembered a photo that I had taken on my I-pad as a ‘negative’ of a table and chair and I got this out and drew it.


I wasn’t feeling too precious about the outcome and I experimented:

  • stippling for the shadows – finer and denser might have worked better but definitely worth a try
  • a wash of water colour over charcoal pencil created a subtle, textured effect on the wall
  • on the tablecloth I’ve used fine hatching with a hard pencil and put a bit of charcoal pencil and watercolour wash over the top. The pencil hatching gives a pleasing woven fabric effect.

All in all some useful discoveries.


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