The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

The ultimate guide to nature drawing and journaling. This is the how-to guide for becoming a better artist and a more attentive naturalist. In straightforward text complemented by step-by-step illustrations, dozens of exercises lead the hand and mind through creating accurate reproductions of plants and animals as well as landscapes, skies, and more. This book provides clear, practical advice for every step of the process for artists at every level, from the basics of choosing supplies to advanced techniques. While the book’s advice will improve the skills of already accomplished artists, the emphasis on seeing, learning, and feeling will make this book valuable—even revelatory—to anyone interested in the natural world, no matter how rudimentary their artistic abilities.

  • Ways to use your journal to enhance curiosity, creativity, and sharpen your naturalist’s eye.
  • Simple techniques to improve your visual memory and help you draw what you see.
  • Lessons on how to use graphite, pen, watercolor and gouache for fast field sketches.
  • Lessons on how to draw wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, landscapes, seascapes, and skies.
  • Paperback8.5 x 11, 368 pages, with full-color and black-and-white illustrations throughout.
  • Preorder today: available mid January 2016.
  • Read reviews



58 thoughts on “The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

  1. Sabrina says:

    Hi John, I am in Germany and pre-ordered your book on amazon. I wondered about the low price (around 18 €) and now there seems to be another book, a nature journal which sells for 35 €? I am confused. There are no descriptions so far. One is hardback and one paperback. Different pictures for the cover, too, but the journal has the cover picture for the guide and the guide a journal picture. I am afraid I might have ordered the wrong book, are these the same, just one hardback and one paperback, or is the journal something different, maybe just a plain notebook? Can you provide the ISBN for this instructional book? Thanks for your help, and thanks so much for all the great instructions you give for free!

    • John Muir Laws says:

      The hardback book is mostly a blank journal to sketch in yourself. It has a few pages that are journaling guides but this information is minimal. The paperback is the full guide to how to draw. I just looked at the descriptions on amazon and found it very confusing and asked the publisher to straighten that out. Thanks for letting me know it was such a mess online.

      • Sabrina says:

        Thanks, John!
        I looked at, and that seems so much clearer than on Can you confirm that ISBN 978-1597143158 is the right one for the guide book?
        I contacted about my order and asked them what book I will get, based on title, picture or ISBN…
        I make my own journals, so no need for buying a blank book! I’d rather use the money to make a donation to your journaling club. I enjoy the videos so much, you are a very good teacher!

  2. Cole says:

    Hello again John, I understand that this book will likely be available next month. However I am unable to find anything to show that I had ordered one, and I know that I’d did, because I have bean looking forward to it for months!! ?
    So I was wondering if I will get some kind of Secondary confirmation or alert when it is on its way, and how can I confirm that I really did order it?



    • John Muir Laws says:

      Hi there Cole, I expect to get the book around the 12th or 13th of January and will send them out as soon as I do. I have a record of your order on Sept 17th of this year so you are good to go. I think you will receive an email when it ships but I am not sure. Actually, anyone who has ordered from me might be able to help with this answer. Do any of you know if my site sends an “shipped” email?

      • Cole says:

        Great, thank you!

        That is a relief, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

        I loved your recent instructionals on fog and snow by the way. ?

        Thanks again John,


  3. Joan says:

    Hi John,
    Just wondering if the book is coming out in ebook as well?
    Although I would love a hard copy, but not sure if the shipping cost will be prohibitive to Australia and if I could then get your bird book in hard copy as well. I have already purchased it as an e-book, but would love a hard copy of both ( if shipping cost can be combined).
    Look forward to hearing from you. Good luck with the launch and sales.
    P.S. Will you be selling to Australian book distributors? I am in NSW.

    • John Muir Laws says:

      Hi there Joan,
      There should be an ebook version but I don’t know when that will be out. We should have the book available in Australia. I will ask my publisher for details.

  4. wendy edwards says:

    Hi John, I have gone onto your website and bought both books, looked at their contents on the Amazon site but bought them from yours. I make a lot of bird sculptures, so was very keen on your how to draw birds, book.

    Looked at the Journal-ling book and it looks great so bought this also. Treat to myself. 🙂

  5. wendy edwards says:

    I just lucked upon this site and love the steps to drawing birds. I’m Tasmanian and would like to know how much of the book is dedicated to fauna, flora, how relevant it will be for me. The birds are easily translated to ours – wonder about the animals.

    • John Muir Laws says:

      Hi Wendy,
      The book uses examples from the area around my home and the US but is widely applicable in other areas just like the bird drawing book. I think you will love it.

        • John Muir Laws says:

          Postage to the land down under is more than my site calculates. Should I ship the books by the least expensive method and then have you send the difference or would you like to try to find the books elsewhere?

  6. Donna says:

    Hello, John

    I saw a preview of your new nature drawing and journaling book on and can’t wait to get it in my “hot little” hands. It looks as if you have done another fabulous job. Thanks in advance.

    • John Muir Laws says:

      Thanks Donna,
      I hope you will love it. I encourage you to buy it from my site rather than Amazon so that the little guy gets the margin. Thank you for your support.

  7. Cole says:

    Hello John,

    Thank you so much for all of your video classes, books, as well as all the drawing instruction found right here on your web sight.

    In your new book, will there be any instructions on how to draw the Bee Eater pictured above?
    I only ask because that is my favorite style of drawings that you do, and When I say style, I mean to draw with a simplified look (without every single feather and detail), but still keep a vivid sharp definition, if you know what I mean.

    • John Muir Laws says:

      It is a feature of my cart that is confusing. When you click on the book. It is added to your cart but there is not immediate prompt on the screen that you have been successful. View your cart and the books hold be in there.

  8. Laurie says:

    Hi Jack, I’m so excited to see your new book! Is it really true about the late November release? My local bookstore said that the publisher has March 2016 for the release date. If I order from you, would it be possible to have my book signed? (I understand if that’s too much.) Lastly, I was wondering if a person is charged right away or when the book is shipped? Thanks in advance for answering my questions. I’m just so excited because I know that this book is going to be a tremendous resource for me and my future students. Thanks!

    • John Muir Laws says:

      If the production schedule goes as planned, I should have the books in November. Still a chance that it could get held up by an unforeseen circumstance but at this point I think we are go for November or there about. I will sign the book before I ship it out. Paypal charges you when you make the order, their system does not know when I ship.

    • John Muir Laws says:

      Hi Barbara, I am so disorganized that I might forget you paid or loose your check between now and when the book comes in. When it comes in, I will announce it on my newsletter. Shoot me an email then and we can get you a copy pronto. Thank you for your support.

  9. Suz says:

    Can you tell me how many pages are in this book? Also, does it contain a good bit of your bird book, or is that book more involved? Thank you

    • John Muir Laws says:

      This book has 302 pages. There is minor overlap with the bird book but it goes into a lot more detail about techniques and other taxa.

  10. Luiz Lovato says:

    Helle Jack! I am very excited to read that! Please reserve one for me?
    I will have to find a way to bring it to Brazil! Tks 🙂


  11. Rita says:

    i would love to order your Journaling book. may I find a way to send it up to Canada Manitoba or has somebody any Ideas. ?


    • John Muir Laws says:

      Hi there Rita, When the book comes out I can price shipping to Canada for you and we can see if it still seems like a good deal to you. Another way to go about it is to order from a small independent local bookstore. This is better for the community than ordering from huge online retailers.

  12. Deborah Normand says:

    Hi JML,
    I am very interested in purchasing your new journaling guide in the fall. It is sure to be very useful…just like your videos. I stumbled upon your website but lucky accident. Thank you for your offer. The colorful birds are a nice teaser.
    p.s. Someday it would be so wonderful to meet you and attend one of your classes/journaling trips.

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