On Feb 21, 2020, I gave a lecture at the Gateway Museum, Chico CA on attention and curiosity and the art and science of Nature Journaling. A highlight of the evening was a conversation with 16-year-old nature journaler Fiona Gillogly. Special thanks to Taz, coordinator of the Chico Nature Journal Club for this video.
What twenty tricks can you draw from the notebooks of Leonardo daVinci to level up your own journal practice?
Here is a video of one of the nature journal club workshops where we explore two ways of drawing: understanding the form and structure of your subject vs. looking at it as a collection of interlocking shapes. I use both of these approaches in any drawing.
Learn the geometry of snake scales to help you sketch in the field. Don’t drive yourself nuts trying to copy every scale exactly. You can suggest scales with the X technique (demonstrated below), add a few details and you are good. Draw an x pattern over the back of the snake. Each of the scales will fit into
The trick is to dive in but that is not as easy as it sounds. Here are a few thoughts to help you get started and keep at it. Moving the goal post Do not focus on trying to make pretty pictures. That just leads to journal block. Open your journal with the intention of
Bugs are fun and they are everywhere! Learn how to draw insects and spiders in quick field studies. Develop these drawings into careful studies. Learn important anatomical characteristics to look for and to make your drawings more accurate. Learn the top mistakes that everyone makes and how to avoid them. We also will explore how
[I]mmerse yourself in art and nature in a weekend journaling workshop at Pepperwood Ranch in Sonoma. Keeping a nature journal that encourages discovery and curiosity is the most effective way to train yourself to be a naturalist. Explore and describe the wildlife, wildflowers, and landscapes on the pages of your journal and discover secrets and
“I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see.” Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier Observation is a skill that you can hone by training and technique. Bringing these tools to bear in nature observation enhances the richness and joy of every moment in nature. Learn how
Understanding mammal anatomy is essential for fast and accurate field sketching. You do not need to memorize every muscle in the book but there are 6 muscles that a mammal artist should have under their belt. These make distinct lumps and contours on the body. On long-haired mammals such as a bear, you do not
Shorebirds are great subjects to sketch. They will hang out and nap in plain sight, do not hide in vegetation and will return to the same postures again and again (feeding, resting, sleeping, etc.). Once you are familiar with the basic structure, you can adapt it to drawing any shorebird by modifying the beak shape