Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Nature Sketching

In September 2015, I'll be teaching a four-day workshop called "Sketchbook Journaling in Nature" at Touchstone Center for Crafts. Touchstone is a residential learning center located in the Appalachian mountains about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh. We'll be visiting during one of the prettiest times of the year and will have plenty of opportunities to get out in the woods and soak up all that nature has to offer. (For more info about the class, click on the "US Workshops" tab, above. The 2015 classes aren't up on the Touchstone site yet.)

So, in preparation for the workshop, I thought I'd start a dedicated nature journal that I can work on throughout the coming year. All of my other nature sketches are scattered throughout random sketchbooks; I think it will be nice to now have one book dedicated to nothing but trees, bugs, skies, flowers, etc. Here's the first page, from the last weekend in October...

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

My plan is to have a decorative border on each page. I really enjoy the mindless repetition of drawing border designs like this. Each little element is so simple, but they all add up to make a nice frame for the page. It's like a meditation for me when I'm working on them.

The lettering and border were drawn with a black Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, size S (Superfine.)

For the sketches, I used a Sakura Pigma Micron, size 01.

I've made a good start on my new nature journal. Now let's see if I can keep it up through the winter. I may have to really think creatively to find subject matter at times, but I think it will be good exercise to look for signs of life in nature when it's ten degrees outside. Brrr! It's hard to even think about that right now!

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