Through the autumn I have been back to Holne Chase to sketch the roe deer at dusk whenever I get the opportunity. I have been sketching them here for several years and still enjoy the challenge of drawing and painting them. They seem to have become used to my presence sitting at the edge of the meadow so I can watch them for an hour or two on each occasion.
After the half hour cycle ride through Hembury Woods I park up my bike in a ditch beside the road. The deer are now used to me hopping over the fence and hardly seem to notice me. Their numbers vary each evening but there are usually at least two to draw and up to ten some evenings. The deer must catch my scent at times but are quite relaxed and often lie down in the grass after feeding for a while. I have got to know the indviduals including a one antlered buck who picked a fight recently with anther buck – the males often fight again during November in what is known as the ‘false rut’.
I sketch intensively for an hour or so until their forms melt in to the background and it is too dark to see them properly, just their white rumps can be seen gleaming in the darkness.