fish creek

3

With this one I took an existing landscape sketch and decided to put a character in it and also record the whole process. I had a rough story in mind while designing the character.

“After his father dies a young boy decides to take up the tradition of fishing the nearby creek with his recently deceased father’s oversized equipment. He soon finds that the job isn’t as easy as he thought.”

Also check out the full painting process video on my youtube channel!

https://youtu.be/90EU9MwMX2s

4

Natural spring restoration in Milan’s countryside

Back in October, when I was in Italy to visit my family, I was gifted with warm temperatures and bright days, so one afternoon I took full advantage of it with a walk to one of my favourite spots, just on the outskirts of my hometown.

Right next to a still-active farm dating back to the XVI century there once was a freshwater system of natural springs, which had eventually dried out due to a drop in ground water level. Years ago, effort was put into re-creating the lost ecosystem by carrying out a number of missions. Hydraulic works and a layer of clay soil ensured water flooded the creek again, and was retained by most of the bed. With water, the original animal and plant life slowly started re-appearing, but many tree species were re-introduced in order to create the type of forest which covered most of the plain space in northern Italy, now greatly urbanised and converted to fields. As indicated on the signs, which provide plenty of information regarding the whole story with pictures and maps, they actually tried to divide the area into three typical forests formations: 

  • The oak-hornbeam forest, with a canopy of Quercus robus and Carpinus betulus and a shrubby layer of Prunus padus, Corylus avellana, Euonymus europaeus, Frangula alnus and Crataegus monogyna.
  • The black alder forest, named after the prevalence of Alnus glutinosa and other species who enjoy growing closer to water, like Viburnum opulus and Sambucus nigra.
  • The willow forest, with species adapted to riverbanks conditions and different degrees of flooding, like Salix caprea, Salix alba and Populus alba (more sheltered from flooding than the willows).

Other plants introduced in the area around the springs were: Acer campestre, Prunus avium, Ulmus minor, Prunus spinosa and Cornus sanguinea.

From the long wooden deck in the water it was easy to observe the numerous Squalius cephalus, known in English as European chub or just chub, swimming around. They are common across Europe and pretty common in northern Italy’s waterways. Nearby there were also some hives as the farmers use honeybees to ensure efficient pollination in the fields and collect honey.