Drawing and Painting

for Nature Journaling

"Anyone can draw.

 Anyone can write.

If you can sign your name, you can learn to draw.

If you communicate in at least one language, 

   you can learn how to write."

Paula Peeters

in Make a Date with Nature: An introduction to Nature Journaling, page 13. Adapted from "Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain" by Betty Edwards

Jamaal Rolle, a Bahamian visual artist, demonstrates the idea that "Everyone can draw!".

In his talk at TEDxYouth@GrandBahama, he transforms words of a subject into drawings of the subjects such as the words cat, dog and turtle into drawings of a cat, a dog and a turtle. "He is a self- taught artist who has the keen ability to present life-like images on his canvas and viewers are mesmerized by the subject’s likeness." 

Salla Lehtipuu, a Finnish visual facilitator, "... believe(s) that everyone can learn visual logic and how to draw simple icons and figures. Drawing is a great tool for your notes,  facilitating a process and as a support for your own thinking." She challenges people's idea that they can not draw in her talk "Think you can't draw?" at TEDxTurku.

“If I had to pick only one thing to tell you about learning to draw, it would be this:
       If you can see what is wrong with an image, you can correct it.”

Susan Leigh Thomlinson, How to Keep a Naturalist's Notebook, page 29

Here is a selection of our favourite resources

Field Drawing Fundamentals 

  1. Field Sketching Basics, video workshop 

  2. Five Tips for Better Drawing, video workshop

  3. Fundamental Drawing Techniques, video workshop 

  4. Shape vs. Structure: Integrating two ways of drawing, video workshop

  5. Doodling with Diagrams video workshop

Drawing as a Process

  1. My drawing process and practice, video of lecture at the Foster in which John Muir Laws “describe(s) my process of creating the Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada and nature journaling.”

  2. Introduction to Sketchnoting, video workshop with Kate Rutter

Getting Three Dimensions

  1. Exploring values with graphite pencil: Great Horned Owl Skull

  2. Showing planes with line angle, blog post

  3. How do straight lines curve on a rounded surface? blog post

  4. Hatching and Crosshatching Technique, blog post

  5. Crosshatching Landscape Step-by-Step- Yosemite Valley

Drawing Techniques

  1. Gesture SketchingVideo Workshop

  2. Splash and scribble: wet watercolor and aquarelle pencils, video workshop

  3. Creative Lettering for Nature Journaling, video workshop

  4. Sketching on toned paper, blog post

In Technically Correct Colour

  1. Color and Value; Color gets all the credit, Value does all the work video workshop

  2. Reinventing the Wheel: Why Red is not a primary color blog post​

Supplies, Equipment and Visual Aids

  1. Choosing Watercolors

  2. Watercolor Color Chart

  3. Choosing and Organizing Colored Pencils

  4. How to Make Your Own Palette

  5. Make your own Value Filter

  6. Make a Model of a Bird in Flight

  7. Downloadable Leaf and Flower Models

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