On July 3, 2018, I was invited to speak at The Foster, an amazing gallery, dedicated to the work of Watercolorist Tony Foster. Here I describe my process of creating the Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada and nature journaling.
There are a few conventions that help illustrators make useful identification drawings for field guides. Real birds do not look like the illustrations in field guides. The field guide illustration is an attempt to average characteristics of many individuals into a “typical bird”. This bird does not really exist. There is tremendous variation between individuals even