Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall Harvest Journal Page + Step-by-Step Border

This page from my new nature journal shows a selection of what I collected the other day when I took a walk in the woods near our house. I wanted to see how many "crops" (seeds, nuts, and berries) I could find as fall dwindles down and winter moves in.

Ink & watercolor, two-page spread in 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" Stillman and Birn Beta Series sketchbook

I found lots of acorn caps hidden under the carpet of leaves, but I had to look long and hard to find even one or two acorns. The squirrels and chipmunks must be sitting on a gold mine of winter stores, because they didn't leave much at all for a budding naturalist to pick up.


A few of the multiflora roses had rose hips on them, but many had already been eaten by the birds or deer.  


I've always loved the smooth, silvery-grey bark of the huge old beech trees in our woods. I really should sketch one of them sometime. For now, here are a few beech nuts that they produced this year.


The shag-bark hickory trees dropped plenty of nuts this fall. I managed to find a few that had been missed by the squirrels.


Wild grape vines grow high up into the tree tops around here, but luckily I found a bunch of grapes that had fallen to the leafy forest floor.


Most of the black walnut husks had turned black already, but I picked up one that still had some of its pretty apple green color.

The wild barberry that I happened upon was covered with beautiful red berries.


I did the calligraphy on this page with a regular dip calligraphy nib.


I filled the reservoir with watercolor paint using a brush, so I could match the color to my sketch.


The border was simple to do...


First, I drew two parallel guidelines, then followed these steps:



See how easy it is? :)

I love sketchbook pages like this that are filled to the brim with interesting things to look at!




13 comments:

  1. Your journal page is Gorgeous!! I love your technique for the lettering and the border. Your page is so full of interesting and beautiful bits of nature! It looks like you could just pluck each item off the page.

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  2. Wonderful page, love it! And thank you for showing your border technique:)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the border how-to. I'll include more of these in future posts.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Lin! I was pretty tickled with this page, too. Sometimes, after working on all the little parts of a page, I'm amazed at the end result.

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  4. I abandoned my Stillman & Birn Beta hardbound for the spiral bound, but when I see your full-spread pages like this, it makes me want to reconsider. Just beautiful!

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    1. I usually don't paint across the center of my hardbound sketchbooks, because I often have prints made of my work, and the center seam interferes with that, but I just decided not to worry about all that with this nature journal. I like being able to carry a smaller book while still having the option of painting a larger sketch.

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  5. This is really beautiful and quite inspiring to this beginner sketcher. Thank you!

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    1. Take heart, Linda, it just takes practice! The more you draw and paint, the more you'll learn and improve. It takes courage to persevere, but we sketchers are brave sorts, aren't we? :)

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  6. I am so loving your nature pages!!! The borders really set them off.

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  7. Beautiful page layout, thank you so much for sharing! I appreciate the time you take to offer us tips that we can use in our own artwork.

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