There are only a handful of people who know the Lake District as well as Mark Richards. His recent eightbook collection, Lakeland Fellranger (Cicerone), took 14 years of research. It’s a beautiful collection, and one enhanced by Mark’s stunningly
detailed line drawings.
“I feel very close to the mountain when drawing it,” he explains. “A drawing can take upwards of ten hours to complete, during which time I am constantly
referring to my photographic references to gain 3D perspectives. Because I have adapted the various techniques Alfred Wainwright used to create the mountain’s body I can recreate the flow of scree, patches of grass and bracken, the play of light on crags and rocks, the movement of water in the becks and the form of clouds in the sky. They are all no less real for being rendered in fine lines.”
Although his talent was seen at primary school, Mark first got into drawing before he joined Gloucestershire Mountaineering Club at 21. “Right from the start I saw drawing as a natural extension of hillwalking. Through my teens I periodically glanced at Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Southern Fells. This was the first book I ever bought; I was 13.”
He admired the penmanship of Frederick Griggs, Robin Tanner, Fred Lawson, as well as Cicerone co-founder Brian Evans. But it was Alfred Wainwright who is the primary influence.
“His documentary-graphic style touched a chord with me and it was through AW that I really began to explore the magic of line drawing. I had the unique pleasure of staying with him at his home in Kendal, travelling up from my home in Oxfordshire for long weekends of walking with him and watching him draw. All my guides for the next 20 years were hand-scribed like the master who was indeed my mentor.”
Linescapes are available to buy via markrichards.info. See more of Mark’s work at linescapeartist.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Picture detail: View from Pike de Bield Moss of the eastern aspect of Scafell Pike, with
Esk Buttress topped by Pen rising to the main summit and to the right Little Narrowcove rising to Broadcrag col and the prominent peak of Ill Crag