The 2nd April is National Day of the Ferret (in America.) Doesn’t have quite the same ring as The Day of the Jackal, but there are no stuffed jackals in Cliffe Castle museum and I knew I’d find a ferret, so I leapt at the chance of joining in Charlie O’Shields’ April Doodlewash challenge of sketching a National Day subject and thought I’d give it a try. What I wasn’t prepared for is the size of this creature – or rather its length. It looks like a stretched limo! I couldn’t get it on one page of my usual sketchbook so I abandoned my first drawing and used my small homemade concertina fold book instead. Then when I got home I found it wouldn’t fit in the scanner, so I had to photograph it instead.
Drawing in Cliffe Castle’s natural history gallery is delightfully absorbing but it can be a bit of a challenge because of the low level of light, and this animal’s face and paws are half hidden in shadow – but I still find it a lot easier than working from a photo – and sadly I don’t know anyone who has a live ferret – even though this is Yorkshire, where famously men are known to put ferrets down their trousers. Well, the ferret-fanciers, anyway – and this being National Ferret Day who knows whether this kind of thing will be going on all over America?
Thanks for the challenge, Charlie, this has been fun!