Thursday 12 June 2014

Hackpen Hill

There are at least two hills in Southern England called "Hackpen". The latter part of the name - pen - is likely to be from the Celtic for hill. I'm not sure what Hack means; I'm resisting the urge to link it to the word for a "horse for ordinary riding".

One Hackpen Hill is in Oxfordshire, near Wantage, and has a Devil's Punchbowl at its foot. It is not far from the Uffington White Horse (a hill figure, possibly the best known and almost certainly the oldest white horse carved into a British hillside).

The other is in Wiltshire, near Marlborough, and is not very far from a dolmen called the Devil's Den. It has a white horse all of its own (quite a few Wiltshire hills do). This white horse (known variously as the Hackpen, Broad Hinton or Winterbourne Bassett White Horse) is probably 19th Century.

The two are curiously similar, in superficial tems, and roughly equidistant from me, but it was the Wiltshire Hackpen that I visited yesterday, with a view to painting it. I took a walk around the White Horse and decided that a panoramic format would be useful (the sketch shown above was made in two parts as my sketchbook page turned out to be too short). Unfortunately, the sun didn't shine on my photographs from what I considered to be the best location, so I may have to return...

Possibly with paint.

EDIT: Two days later...


  1. I look forward to seeing the finished painting

  2. Will this be done in oil's or acrylic's?

    1. It was done in oils, with a knife. No need to clean brushes and no need for plentiful supplies of clean water :-)


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