Drawing inspiration

Pausing to draw, sketch or paint your surroundings is a wonderful way to slow down, and take in the world around you. Here in the South West there are some fantastic places to inspire your creativity, so whether you enjoy a quick sketch or a full day with your paintbrushes, you'll find a place to inspire you. To get you started, here are a few suggestions.

Painting of Buckland Abbey

Investigating Buckland Abbey

Buckland Abbey's intriguing mix of architecture and its location in the Tavy Valley make it fascinating place to draw. This is certainly the case for artist Eric Gaskell: 'I've been to Buckland lots of times and always draw there. But this is my favourite view, the big windows, the dark recesses and the textures of the stonework.'

St Michaels Mount drawing

Sketching the Mount

St Michael's Mount is a Cornish landmark, its outline immediately recognisable. The rocky island topped by a medieval church and castle and reached by a famous causeway, offers so much to capture through your pencils, as artist John Shiels explains: 'Whenever you go on holiday in the Penzance area, St Michael's Mount is always there! Looming, brooding, but always its iconic outline is waiting to be drawn. It's always there but subtly changes every time you study it.'

Painting of Trelissick Garden

Getting creative at Trelissick

Surrounded by the Fal Estury and with magnificent views to the sea, Trelissick Garden is a botanical wonder of ferny dells, exotic plants, winding paths, orchards and towering trees. Pick up your pens, paper and paints and find your own way to explore this paradise, just as artist Chris Tate did: 'I find the history of the garden make Trelissick magic. I love all the different plants especially just before it gets dark and quiet by the river.'

Corfe Castle painting

Finding inspiration at Corfe Castle

Whether you're inspired by its commanding position in the landscape or the intricate details of its tumbled stones, there is something to interest everyone here. For artist Ann Hyde it's more about the feeling: 'For me, the thing that inspired the drawing was the amazing walk from the entrance gateway up towards the castle.'

Painting of Stourhead

Taking time out to paint Stourhead

Whether you like perspective, colour, vistas or detail, Stourhead is certainly a place to bring your pencils. Or brushes, as in this painting by Peter Jarvis: 'It was done over a couple of hours on a lovely day in early September last year. I used the strong cast shadow from the tree in the foreground to give it depth and the beautiful house did the rest!'

Tyntesfield Orangery

Tyntesfield on paper

Set within a large estate, the Gothic grandeur of Tyntesfield makes it an interesting study. Whether you're grabbed by the kitchen garden and flowering terraces, the impressive architecture or by one of the 60,000 objects in the collection, Tyntesfield will always offer up something to interest your paintbrushes as artist Gemma Hampton explains: 'The Orangery at Tyntesfield is an incredible space. It is filled with natural light that pours in through the elegant glass windows, with vivid greenery thriving beneath. This is an ink and watercolour sketch inspired by a visit.'

Trimming Trelissick's wisteria painting

Drawing people as well as places

Sometimes it's the human goings-on within a place that can spark your interest and create a moment to capture. This was the case for artist Lizzie Black: 'I love the tangled bare limbs of winter wisteria. The gardeners were having quite a sociable time chatting to passers-by. The ladders, buckets and wheelbarrows added to the busy scene. I was delighted to be able to find a space for the tower in the background.'