How To Start A Nature Journal - Sketchbook Techniques For Nature | Julia Bausenhardt | Skillshare

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How To Start A Nature Journal - Sketchbook Techniques For Nature

teacher avatar Julia Bausenhardt, Nature Sketching & Illustration

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is a nature journal


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Techniques for drawing


    • 5.

      Getting started with your sketchbook - let's go outside


    • 6.

      Making collections


    • 7.

      Drawing your collection pt1 (leaves and bark)


    • 8.

      Drawing your collection pt 2 (ivy leaf)


    • 9.

      Drawing your collection pt3 (winter berries in different techniques)


    • 10.

      Create your own sketchbook page


    • 11.

      Final thoughts


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About This Class

In this class, we’re going to start a nature journal, or nature sketchbook.

If you love art and nature and would love to connect the two, then you should try out nature journaling. Or maybe you’re curious to make your own art, but feel hesitant to do so, or you always wanted to keep a sketchbook but don’t know how...all very good reasons you should explore nature journals.

I used to shy away from keeping sketchbooks (and actually only made art on loose paper), but now they’ve become my favorite tool. Sketchbooks don’t have to be intimidating, they can serve you to discover beauty in nature, and to connect more deeply with the world around you. And you will get better drawing skills in the process.

This class will show you essential techniques for keeping a nature journal, and how this can help you to build your creative habits and get better at observing and drawing. 
I’ll help you to choose the right materials to get started, and how to actually get started. I’ll share some of my favorite techniques and different examples of sketchbook pages. I’ll show you how you can find inspiration in nature, and finally, I will take you through a step-by-step process for a couple of sketches.

Drawing and painting with watercolors is a skill that everyone can learn if they keep doing it regularly. And if you do it, you will see and experience nature like you haven’t done before. You will remember it better and more vividly.

This class is great for beginners, in fact absolutely everyone can start such a nature journal and build a regular art making habit around it. I hope you’ll be inspired and excited to start your own nature journal by the end of this class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Julia Bausenhardt

Nature Sketching & Illustration

Top Teacher

Hey, I'm Julia! I'm an illustrator & field sketcher from Germany.

I've been passionate about the natural world all my life, and I'm dedicated to connect art and nature in my work. With my work I want to increase awareness for the natural world we live in and its fascinating fauna and flora. I share my sketching adventures regularly on my blog.

I work mostly in traditional techniques like watercolor, gouache or ink and I love field sketching and nature journaling.

Showing people how they can discover and connect to nature through making art is an important part of what I do - that's why I teach here on Skillshare. Drawing and painting are excellent ways to learn more about nature. I want to help people deepen their connection to na... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello. I'm Julia and illustrator, designer and nature enthusiasts. Thank you for joining me in this class. We're going to start a nature sketchbook or nature journal. If you love art and nature and would love to connect the two. Then give this technique try or if you're curious to make you run up a few hesitant to do so or if you always wanted to keep a sketchbook but don't know how, then you should explore nature sketchbooks. I've been passionate about nature and art all my life, and I love the way that I can connect the two through keeping a nature sketchbook. I used to shy away from keeping sketchbooks and actually only made art on newspaper, but now they're becoming my favorite tool. Sketchbooks don't have to be intimidating, and they can serve you to discover beauty in nature and to connect more deeply with the world around you. And he will become better at drawing at your drawing skills in the process. So this class will show you essential techniques for keeping NHS sketchbook and how this can help you to build your creative habits and get better at observing and drawing. I'll help you to choose the right materials to get started and how to actually get started . I'll share some of my favorite techniques and different examples off sketchbook pages, and I'll show you how you can find inspiration in nature. And finally, I will take you through a step by step process for a couple of sketches. You will find out how you can grow your curiosity and knowledge about different facets of nature. By keeping a nature sketchbook, you will learn different our techniques, like drawing watercolor and sketching with ink, which you can use for a lot of other art projects in the future. This class is great for beginners, and in fact, absolutely everyone can start such a nature sketchbook and build a regular art making habit around it. I hope youll be inspired and excited to start your own natural sketchbook by the end of this class, so let's take a look 2. What is a nature journal: So what exactly is in HS sketchbook? Let's take a look. In short, a nature sketchbook. Our Nature Journal is for noticing, observing and drawing the world around us. It can be making art in the field like short sketched observations when you're outside either visual or written or both. And it can also be studying details off natural things at your desk at home with things you brought home from the outside. And like the notebook off a naturalist, it's about observing details that you other wise wouldn't notice. Let's take a look, shall we? Just a random page from my sketchbook and and a sketchbook for me is a great way to document your time in nature and connect more with the thing. The things you see by noticing details like how this bird's goes, it goes up and down the tree. You don't have to be greater drawing or painting to start Nature journal, but I guarantee you you will get better at drawing the longer you keep a sketchbook, and this is really the key. The to get better at drawing, you have to be drawing and keeping nature. Sketchbook will help you to build that habit. Another benefit is that he will also get a better understanding of plants and animals and nature in general and get a better understanding off the tool to use. You don't have to be scared off your sketchbook if you treat it like a playing field for your art for different techniques like and this, um, on this page, I used pen and pencil and then watercolor on top of it. And, um so I did try to bring across what I wanted to record in different techniques, and it was a lot of fun making this page. So it's not about making a pretty picture or having a pretty and result on your page. It's about finding out something new, asking questions and noticing things. And NHS sketchbook is about discovery. Everyone can build this curious mindset, and I think by doing so, you will automatically lose your fear about keeping a sketchbook and get inspiration for new outwork. And I will go into detail on some of the techniques that you can use a new nature sketchbook in a later listen 3. Tools: So let's take a look at the truth that you will need for nature sketch booking. And obviously you'll need some kind of a sketchbook. Um, I'd say if you choose the size, if you don't already have a sketchbook that you like and then choose a size that for a book that you will actually will want to take with you outside because you'll have to carry this thing around. And if you take one of thes, really the big fancy note sketchbooks that are great to work in, But they're really heavy and they will get heavier and heavier, and you will likely not take it with you again if you go outside the next time. So something like this size this is roughly a five size has really worked well for me. And if you take a really small sketchbook, it becomes a little bit hard to, um, make sketches and scribble your notes around this so there's something to consider. Then we have the next part, and this is really this is sort of off my fear kids, so it's it's really not much to it. Let's see. Okay. Probably have to get rid off some of these things, actually. So obviously you'll need some kind of a pencil and either normal pencil or seven People like the East mechanical pencils because you don't have to shop in them either. What? Either one is fine. And then I have an assortment off different pens. He has a very fine one that I used to either to go over my pencil work or I work directly with pen. And these US um um, different gray tones that I can use to add shade or different to indicate eternal range on an object if I want to do that. So these are actually really great to work with? Um yeah, another eraser. And then there's the question off Russia's. So let me show you this watercolor kid first, Um, this is just a really small watercolor kid that I assembled from different pants. I had lying around, and in some cases I filled them in from the tube. Um, this is really all I need when I'm out in the field. I don't make really, um, detailed work. And if you discover that you like to do more detailed work, you could consider bringing a bigger pants. It Sometimes I like to do this. If I know that I need a bigger mixing space or more colors, you can see they are really There's really a lot more in this pants, sir, And that's actually one that I would use at my desk at home, in the studio to so. But this will work in most cases. And really, what I like to do a lot of times is making quick sketch when I'm outside and get down the basic kindness and then we find it a little bit more. I work on it a little bit more when I get home, so that's really I can get. The the best of both boils this way. Um, and this is also this much lighter for a little bit lighter than this big one. So that's another factor to think about when choosing your watercolor set. Then, as for brushes, there are these little no travel brushes that you can put together like this. This actually I think I'm not sure this. I think this came with a set by Winsor and Newton, so it's It's not the worst quality brush, but it's not. It's not the best quality either. So you should if you take, um, a really brush or a normal brush. I should say that you will have to find some way to protect the tip because otherwise what will happen? You will bend the little bristles if you just put it in your in your kids like this. So, um, an alternative are these water brushes and these are great because you already have the water you'll need for watercolor within them. So there's no need to have, you know, water container, and then you have the dirty paint water and don't know what to do with it. And, um so he's already have the water in them, and by pressing them, you can actually get the water. And then if you want to clean them, just, you know, just do this press a little bit, and then you can apply it the next color. So these are really great to work outside without, you know, having too much of a hassle. And they are also available different size list, so you can even do really fine work with it. The only thing that's not really possible with these kind of brushes is doing really dry work. Really? Where you have a dry brush because the water is always kind off. That continues to to come through. But for that, you might want to have a little drivel brush like this one. Okay, another thing. That's fun. Color pencil. So I always have a little assortment of colored pencils with me. I keep them like this so that they so that I can get to the color I want in, um, quickly. And yeah, there Another method for adding color to your sketch and I really enjoy working with them. You could also, if you have, if you're watercolor has drive, and you can add color pencil later or the other way around. So it's really a versatile tool to have. And yeah, that's basically all there is to my field, kid. I usually have something like this, which you can fold out to sit on above or when you're outside sketching. You should have fun, and you should be, you know, you're creature needs should be met, So bring something to e. Bring something to drink. Make sure that you're not too hot or too cold, and that's really the basics for when you go outside that you should think about these things too. So, yes, so much about the tools 4. Techniques for drawing: Let's take a look at different techniques in your sketchbook. So I already talked about this a little bit, and the last lesson I usually work the pencil or a pen to get my outlines down quickly. And then I had details with more pen or watercolor. And this has the advantage that if I'm sketching something that you know that moves, our that could disappear. Then I already have these outlines, and I can focus on adding color and details later, So you could also use thes kind of color pencil. Like I showed you all watch paint, if you want. Where you could make these little pence heads from gua sh easily whatever you feel familiar with and whatever you like to use this fine. So bring what you like and bring the tools that you love s fall sketchbook. As I said, the important part is that you use one that you will actually take with you. So and that's true for all art supplies. The best sketch boob and the biggest sketchbook or your 48 pen, watercolor said, might not be what you want to bring with you when you go outside, so but these tools can be great if you work at home and want to do a little bit off refining or further study. Nature sketchbooks work with different elements to let you required what you see, and usually you will have images and text to transfer what you see in the field onto your paper. So making a sketch of visual analysis off your object can help you understand it better. And then adding text can can further that experience, and you will actually retain a more vivid memory off off it. This way, you can also use the sketchbook to study underlying principles off flowers, animals and already showed you this page. But I think it's a really good example of this, so you can see that I made this page when I was outside, and I just brought it down the different ways that the bird was sitting on the tree. And I knew this Wasson that hedge and I make it made a quick watercolor study of it. And then when I came home, I actually I took a closer look at some photographs at the reference and work out how the different parts off it, um, sit together And then I dove into some Bert Aneta meet who get a better understanding off how birds I actually constructed. So to say, and this really helped me to get a more appreciation and more about understanding for this bird in general. So you can use your sketchbook to study the principles of certain flowers are animals this way? You can also ask questions and know them when you encounter something. And, for example, what might be unfamiliar honor expected about it or what have you never noticed before? About your subject or the other way around Doesn't remind you of something? Um, let's take a look at some more off my examples from my sketchbook. We do have a page about these leaves here and there. Waas One aspect that I found interesting and this were these little holes in the leaves and I looked at it from a few different angles, and I also try to record the different leave patterns. And that was really it. I also made a few color swatches because I like to do that to remind me what colors I used to be able to makes them again. Um, so we already talked about this page? Um, nothing in that hedge in different poses. And obviously you'll have to practice a little bit to make thes quick drawings. But once you know how you, um it'll get easier for you. And then you can follow an animal and observe its behavior like this and birth. I actually a great subject because they will usually come a little bit closer to you because they can fly away. So then we have this page where I studied the either anatomy off birds and this was actually not done outside with life birds, but at home with different references. And when you know the different feather groups off bird they hold, they are organized patterns and how the bird can fluff itself up on to show or to hide them . Then you will be able to draw a bird much more quickly. And so this was really helpful to me that to learn about this and obviously the same is true for flowers or trees and all other elements in nature. And by observing and understanding these things, you will appreciate them more, and they will become familiar to you. So when I made this little watercolor sketch. Um, off this bird there. I already knew the kind of feather groups that I wanted to include or that I could indicate . And yeah, I'm was able to Ranariddh in in this way and before, I would have only saw, um um Kartik mess off feathers. You can also make small collections from a certain spot and arrange them on the page. And this is particularly useful in the cold season, and we will take a look at this technique later in more detail. You can visually required the scale of an object or quantify it, like counting the petals off a flower or look at something from different perspectives. Like See, here we have it. First the whole landscape, then zooming in on a detail and taking notes on that. And I made a quick landscape sketch here and then took a closer look at the moths that I saw on the ground. And when I returned home, I I got interested in these moths, and I learned and noted the names off the different elements off of it. So that's what happened on on this page, and we have a bird because I like drawing birds, and I met to include it anyway, So you can see here that a page in your Neitz nature sketchbook doesn't have to be a pretty finished painting. Um, it's supposed to visualize your thoughts and help you to memorize things that you noticed. So it's a practical tool. And usually when you have a sketch and you add text elements around it or color swatches, it will start to look really nice. So that's another, um, positive aspect about this type off working. So a few other techniques. You could also compare different elements to each other, like size or the color of the habitat or their smell and what they feel like where you found them. And this can all be interesting factors. And you could, you know, put them together on a page and look at them. You can also add some metadata to your page, like the date or the weather, even the moon shape if you like. You can do this in a landscape sketch like a little stamp size format. This is also great to get started. Certain things to think about when you start your sketchbook begin to ask questions, and at them in the text to your drawing. You can see I did this at sometime, and sometimes here and here I just added some text about things that I was wondering things that I observed. You can see these are not the best sketches in the world that they got me interested in the plant that I was looking at, and I began to study it. Write down what you notice about the object. What? It reminds you off what connections to other things you can think off. What? You you wonder about it. What's strange about how does it change over time? You know, if you have a planned in your garden and you look at it at one day and the next day and the next day, you can make a little time time lapse, so to speak. Um, these are questions that you can ask yourself again and again whenever you outside or are looking at the natural world 5. Getting started with your sketchbook - let's go outside: So let's talk about getting started. I know a lot of people feel a little bit funny when they start in your sketchbook, particularly when they feel that they're not experts, and they can't really draw. And this new sketchbook, it can be really intimidating. And you can feel a little bit uneasy about actually making back in it. And you wanted to be pretty and perfect and all that, and I know this feeling very well. And unfortunately, there are a few things that can help you with this. Um, I have turned around my sketchbook to Oh, I haven't. Now I have turned around my sketchbook to simulate a new sketchbook. And obviously, this is not the best sketch book in the world. I made this myself from, um um water Kalla pair that from watercolor paper that I didn't really want to use. So I made this myself. Just pretend that this is a pristine new store board sketchbook. So a lot of empty pages and really intimidating. Actually, what you want to do is you don't stop on the first page batch on the second page, and this can just be around the mark or a quick sketch, maybe sketched the weather or some little objects. And just like this, you have started to use your sketchbook. It's that it's best Assad was with something small and easy, and then when you go back, you can add something to the first page Later. You could also test your pain or your pens and make a little color swatch off your watercolor set on the first pitch are also really nice, particularly if you don't have the space in your or no, what I kind of 10 set like this one here. I already talked about this a little bit. Just some logistics for bringing your nature sketchbook out in the field when you're out and about tried to take care of yourself. Like I said, a little bit of central tension if it's too warm or protection from the cold. And, um, this will go a long way to you know if if your needs aren't met when you outside, then you won't want to take out your sketchbook, so make sure that your you have food, you have something to drink, and, um, then you will. You will be in a much better mood to actually do something with this sketchbook. So take care of yourself. Also have fun. And this should be a joyful activity. If you're not having fun sketching, then then why do this? So you could even write this down here and you're just below your address. Have fun. Enjoy your time outside. Um, also, the first few sketches off the day will likely not be the very best you might know this from your practice at home. If you started work on a new project off, you continue to work on a project and the first sketches off the day, I usually just consider them Ah, warm up and expect them to be a little bit funky and weird that they're the war maps and that's OK. And the sooner you get them on the page, the the sooner you will get to the better sketches. And as a motivation for keeping this kindof sketchbook is, you might be worried that you're not great at drawing and let me just tell your secret drawing is a skill. It's not. It doesn't have to do as much with talent s you want to believe so. It's a skill, and it can be learned at. The more you do it, the better you get and you will see this. If you keep a sketchbook regularly, you will get better. You just have to do it. It's It's not enough to watch with videos like this about it. It's not enough to read books. You have to do it. And if you have fun doing it, if you tried to do it in a frame work like this where it's more about observing nature and learning things, then the drawing will happen, so to speak on the side and you will discover that you will get better. If you look back a few months or half a year or a year, you will see this this progression. So let's go for work and look at a few things and see what we can sketch outside. - So I just wanted to show you I'm out here in the field and I'm watching a heroin this this big . What a good How are you sketched? A few times it made a Robert wrapped, and then it's on actually really, really cold. Yes, I'm not sure how much longer I I will stay, but, um, came back, and right now it's sitting here and I just want to see if I can and sketch it again. And I'm actually here. It's not that far away from the city where list. And it's a kind of a bird watching platform where you can, you know, in your binoculars on watch different seabirds. I should say, What are birds? Because we're not, Um, see here. So just trying to get basics found for the spread big neck on, um, and it doesn't move a lot. So this point of sort of a little bit easier to get around dark area here. And, as you can see, just laying in some basic lines. Okay, Find the wings of the mall is a bad patch. Your thing? It was a really funny neck, I think, and it's it's really cold outside. But I wanted to show you how I actually I make these kind off sketches when I'm outside. I'm here with my little I only have my pencil and my you Right now, the rests on my bag and about four hoody, maybe sketches. And I think I will actually kill the rest of pain with some writing. We're watching a little bit more than writing to it. And then I think I will continue because it's just It's really, really cold. I want to get moving again. Okay, So I'm back home at my studio. No, I just got too cold. But I wanted to show you how I would continue with this page if I were outside. So I don't have a page for off pencil notes. And sometimes I do this. I do this kind of work directly and pen. Sometimes I go over it later with a pen, and I almost always add water color to it. So, um, back here at my desk, I do have the luxury off using riel a brush, and I do have a few pains. Premixed. So what I would do first is to add paternal range to the birth that I was sketching and actually with hair. Um, and I managed to get a few photos, so I have a reference with that Herron. It's it's really sort of easy because he is mainly grey. Um, so just let me put in this little ray marks that the bird has on, and just very, very rough color blocks and I'm using a self mixed grey here. Um, this is made from raw sienna and ultra marine or Cobalt blue. I'm not sure, but if you take, um, blue and Ross yellow and Earth tone, then you can mix the most beautiful grace. You have to try this sometime. You could obviously also use free made graze like Payne's gray. But these greys tend to look a little bit nicer. So I like to use thes so here for these two flying birds, I'm I'm really not sure. I think I only saw the silhouettes. So that's what I'm going to mm, to fill in with the color here so that I can see the silhouette that I also saw in the field and that will help me to identify the the bird when I see it again later. And the heron has this really characteristic sort of from its neck here, and also it keeps its legs out when it's flying, so you can see the feet. So I just want to add a few more markings down here where I got this detailed sort of close up view on the bird, and I remember that it has a sort of a dark patch here. And those, uh, either part of his feathers or of the wing feathers. Or maybe it's even apart off off the back off the bird. I would have to look into a book. And also very prominent with heroin ISS this dark sort off. No, I had patch that. He has the's head for this, like a little hat. And then I know that his neck I wasn't all wide, but it had a little bit. They actually also have sometimes thes feathers hang down. Okay, the rest off the bird was in a light gray. And I'm just going to indicate this year watering down my mix a bit more to show the wing. And there you have it. I think that's enough. I'm just going to put a little bit of color around the eye and maybe a little bit off, you know, on the beak. Um, let's see. I don't want to overpower it. So and you can see these are not finished watercolor paintings by any means. These are just to remind me off what I saw. Um, what I was able to observe. Um, I will go back into this later and write with a pen what I saw and then erased the pencil lines. Because this is just specific Killy for this sketchbook. Um, it's a little bit better to do it this way because this very rough paper and I don't want to smear it all across the page. So, um, that's what I will do when when this has dried. And usually I wouldn't do, you know, a lot of fuss with this, And it was the same thing with this page. I I, um, added the text first with pencil because I was working with pencil, and then later I came back and just edit the text with a pen and erase the rest. So Well, why not do it right now, do you? And here are the things that I noticed that hiss feet are visible when he flying. So the silhouette is really characteristic for this bird. And I also saw his, his neck, his breast part. And that's really good way to identify these kind of birds. A few other things that I noted were that he has here, um, he seemed sort of heavy. So, um, his wings, um, how should I say this? His wings moved in a very slow way. And, I don't know, the birth just looked heavy. I'm going to write that down, too. But this time in German, because I usually keep this sketchbook and German. And I wondered why this iss? Why, um, the bird doesn't look elegant, but he looks sort of heavy. Maybe years eaten lately. And then another thing that I noticed and what allowed me to make these two sketches Waas that he tends to just stand around. He doesn't move much and just stands around and either find South thing that he could hunt for, like fish or in this case, he just flew away. So it's just setting around without moving. Um, that way I have recorded a whole page about this bird with things that seemed interesting to me. So the bird behind the trees, the flying bird with this characteristic silhouette and then some more behavior about this animal. And obviously, when you're starting out, you will maybe want to to, um, look at something that doesn't have as many movable parts, like maybe a flower or now and winter, maybe some some pine cones or seaports or something like this and this can be really beautiful. And I actually, when I went outside, I brought a few things home with me for this class that we will use in the next lesson. And, um, uh, it's almost always better to sketch from a reference when you're outside and study it where you found it. Fandom. It's also good practice to document this with foot or refuse. But you can also take photos. And like I did for this last, take a few things with you to study at home. And I'm one thing about that when you collect things from nature, then please make sure that you're allowed to take them and don't damage plants or animals when you do so on. And please don't never take anything from nature protection areas and only take things with you that are safe and that are allowed to, you know, don't break any laws. Just be be a nice person to nature when you're outside. Okay, so I thought because winter is already here, that for the winter month, it can be great to make these kind of collections of things so that they remind you off off nature and off the other season. So I brought a few things home with me, and we're going to take a closer look at these now. I just wanted to show you what happened while I was filming this class. And, um, yeah, it started snowing. So my friends on the Northern Hemisphere, that's what we're up against. Now we can do this, right? Just look at that. That all that snow, I think it's really beautiful. 6. Making collections: So I've brought some things home with me from my walk outside and with the thought off making sort of, like small, small collection, off several collection off objects that I found outside. And I will take photographs off these and put them in the in the results section off the class so that you can watch. Look, take a look at them later. Um, what I wanted to say first is that I try to take only things that were loose and lying on the ground with a few exceptions, like thes small Berries. Some of these things I actually took from the garden. So not from the wild. Like this ivy here and this mistletoe. I just took a very small sample of this because it's actually I don't I think it's not allowed in Germany to collect thes from the wild. So be a little bit careful if you go through nature and just take things with you. In some states, it can actually be forbidden to to take a certain samples and certain objects from the wild . So please be mindful about that. Um, apart from that, I sort off took a little bit from each and, um, yeah, you can. What you can do with this is make a little collection. I mean, it looks really nice, just as it is. And there's some really interesting things to draw like this, Like him from the tree bark. It has really interesting texture and colors, and even something as random as this tree. Twig is looks really interesting and beautiful and is a great drawing subject, I think. And obviously you can arm just take this tree bark from the birch, which looks like it's made of paper on. And all of these objects can make a great subject, so you could spend, um, an entire a page or pages about them. Also, things like this decade leave actually leaves in many different colors. So, um, as I said, it's winter here now. So the really intense reds off off the leaves are gone, but they're still really interesting colors and structures to be observed from these fallen leaves. Um, you could make an entire page off leaves if you wanted, and I believe, not sure if I showed it, but I believe I did something like this year a few weeks ago, with just different leaves from one tree, which is an ember tree. So the the North Americans off you make might know this It it is planted here in certain parks in the city. So I found I just found these these leaves and found them so beautiful. And so now I have this kind of, ah color chart for these different please. And so you can think like this when you just collect these little things and a little a corns and seaports, um, all with very different textures. So let's actually start to arrange them here on this wide paper that I have. I'll just try and show you. And you obviously, you don't have to do it like this because you can easily do it on. Just start drawing something Ah, a little thing and then arrange it on your page while you are drawing. So we have thes spiky things that's probably a little bit more difficult to sketch, and and here it looks like someone already munched a little bit on it. And stuff like this is perfect for you. Nature sketchbooks. So if you come across, um, something like this and you pick it up from the floor, You just have a look at it, and then you can start to make a sketch and jot it down and then just write the question, right? The stuff that comes into your head when you when you look at it. So what happened here? What kind of animal Ated? Um, to me, it looks like a bird may be hacked into it and try to get inside. Where the really nice stuff, IHS. Or maybe it was someone who maybe because it's on both sides, maybe someone trude on it. So these are the questions that appear in my my head when I see it. Here's another thing that I found in in the gun. It's actually ah so interesting. It looks really alien to me. It's a ivy, um, flour. And, um yeah, I think it's like something out of a science fiction show are like Sputnik or something. And I find these kind of, um, observations so interesting, and so this kind of stuff that I would write down. So as I'm arranging these objects, I'm trying to think about things that interest me and that I want to draw on my page and maybe ask questions about or observed more closely. Um, when you go outside and collect things from from the floor like leaves, then it can be really good. Then it can be really good to preserve them once you get home. Because if you place them just in your warm studio like this pan cone, they will wither and they will. Well, this has opened up, but usually leaves will just crumble up and dry. And one thing that works really well is to place them in little plastic sex, and then either outside where it's cold or even in the in the fridge. So if you want to, um, work on your on these kind of leaves for a few days, then it can be a good practice to to do this and just look at this interesting leave. Look at this color really love this. And then look at this leaf from the same tree. So this is where it gets interesting. So how how does how does this Saad and how does it end up like this? And, um, why are there so many different colors? How how does this process even work? I will have to read about this a little bit more because I find it really interesting. So usually leaves start with the red and then or you know, and then they get red. And then brown and different trees have different color colors before the I'm get rid off the leaves, so that's an interesting process to me. 7. Drawing your collection pt1 (leaves and bark): So just to show you how you can work with these collections, this is another page, and I hope you can see it in its entirety. This is another page I'm made. With these collections in mind, I had already dried leaves and another kind off coal which was already munched upon. And, um yeah, I decided to draw it from different angles. And this was more offer off sketching factors, then really nature, sketch booking or nature journaling. So I didn't have as many questions to ask about this. Um, but I did make observations and learned how to draw these different. I've found these little apples, which is it's it's the or it is the original size. So, uh, this can also be something that you could note down in your sketchbook. And then, of course we have this. That's what I said about this twig, that you could take something as simple as this and make a sketch out of it. And I think it's really interesting. Then we have thes feathers, different kinds of feathers, um, more seeds. And so, yes, that's a whole page off off items that I studied and what I want to do now on the next empty page, Miss Sketchbook, This do the same. So just take some different objects that you feel drawn true that you collected outside, that you want to study further. You don't have to have many objects like this. Simply start with what keeps your interest and then we will sketch them. So let me put about five my sketchbook out. So this is an ivy leave. I think it's really I think it's really interesting this black structure here. So I'm just laying down the the outline. I hope that you can see the pencil, and I'm trying to have a very light pencil line so that it's not as prominent. When I go over it later with my watercolors, I will just indicate this is the the middle here and these little the middle vein and then these little veins that come out here and you can also take it into your hand and study it a bit more if you want, so these are very subtle. I already have yellow on my palette, and as you can see this sort off a little bit off dirty yellow, so just trying to get basic shape down, Andi, if you watch. If you look closely, you can see that it gets a little bit more green down here just below these dark flags. And I will try to incorporate this and my my sketch. So just a little bit off light creating this, um, a green. So lay down this, you know, first. And then I will drop in these hints of green. Also, here are a few bits, so I really like the texture and the structure that this has. And I think it's a great subject for drawing. Okay. And before I forget, I just want to add my little notes for this leaf, and obviously we will return to it later. But I want to add these notes now. So let me get my pen, and I'm going to to right down. So where do these black marks come from? And yeah, essentially, why does it look like this? And we will add in the the corrosion later. It will take a while. And as for now, I will try to to focus on this tree bark. So I'm just setting it up here, and I'm going to draw this from and angles. First, I'll have to get you overall shape on my page on And you could if you wanted to, you could measure it and take thes sort off lines with your pencil. And, um, that's a little bit easier for subjects like this. It can be really interesting to have magnifying glasses so you can see this a lot off details. And I bet there's a whole world hidden inside this. So this might be really interesting to look at under a microscope and then after you've done it, sketch your findings on in your nature sketchbook. So I hope someone off do a few, does this and posts it him in the project section. I'd really love to see it. I actually had a microscope when I was a kid because my grandfather wasa doctor and he had these kind of microscopes at home. Um, but I never really learned how to use it, and I think at some point we just donated her to the school or something like that. But I I was really interested in, and I always dissected, you know, most so are different roots and stuff like this, and I kept looking for new life forms and it on drawing a complex structure like this. It's really great to practice drawing because you actually have to to observe it and to look at it and translated to the page and you won't draw what you think you're seeing. So with easy subjects like this leave, you are inclined to just Oh yes, let's make it such a drop shaded such a drop shaped form. And here's the stork and maybe, you know, maybe it has thes little indentations. And this is why it's important to look closely and to challenge yourself a little bit. So often we draw things in the way that we think that they look and not the way they actually lay in front of us. If you want to be really precise, you can make these little color swatches and see if if you have the right, um, color or if you have to mix it a little bit more. Andi, I will just add in a very light layer off paint here, and you can already make it work for you. By taking up more pigment, you can make a darker so here in the part it's a little bit darker and that will help to shape the form. Just adding a little bit off CPR to this very dark corner here, and you can see that gives it already a little bit more roundness. So for this myth color, I take the tiniest amount of green. I believe this year. True, if you can see this year, is a hooker screen, so a convenience green and I add somewhat to it wash white. And then I have this sort off minty tone and I probably have to turn it down a little bit more. And then I just took some rule Number two this and now I will be able to add it to my onto my page. So again, I'm starting with a very light Kana just sort of block in the the places where I can see it . Since this says, added White, and it, I can actually go over areas where already laid down, pained and will shine. It will be opaque. - So at this point, I'm just letting this sit for a minute, and I want to take a closer look at thes how these orange dot Exe orange starts actually looked like thes little pro tooting things. And the great thing about this nature sketchbook format is that I can actually do this right below so I can take an area such as this and make an enlarged version of it. - I just added to this that they remind me off little parasols or sort of dishes and that I'd like to know what these are for. So the function I will need to find out because now I'm interested in actually how these things work. These likens so and the last step groups as the last step. I will just make thes a little bit more visible on my original piece, and I will do that by adding a bit of quash to my, um, orange watercolor and that will allow me to Meg thes dots more opaque. So as you can see, it's really easy to see these orange dot smell, and for me, it doesn't matters that much. That then the right color. Exactly. In fact, I could add a little bit off raw sienna, and that would probably be a little bit closer to what these actually look. But it's not so important this point. So right now I'm interested in having something to remember how this actually Waas organized on on the Bach 8. Drawing your collection pt 2 (ivy leaf): okay, since I already have on, I believe up here. I thought it might be interesting to have another part off the plant, and I found these little Sputnik shaped flat flowers here. Really interesting. So I think I will place it like this on the rest off the page and sketch it. So So I'm starting with measuring the widest part of this so that I can place it right here in this empty space. And I'm going to start by just lying. And the basic shapes has always That's always a good method to work. So when im sketching a complex shape like this complex element, then I always start with the elements that are in front. And then I worked my way backward, and this way I can make sure that I don't, um, overlap my elements too much. And I can also make sure that for you elements that I place in front will actually be a bit more prominent. So that way I don't have to erase too much. If you have problems with sketching very complex. The subjects like this one where you have a lot off a little single elements than just keep at it. Just keep practicing. It will get better. I have these same problems where I would lose the place where I was looking and I couldn't make it work, and it would look our funky, and this will really get better. If you keep drawing a lot, then you will get the hang of it. You will see that there's a lot of symmetry in nature, and if you've learned how to draw this kind of symmetry and how to render it on the page, then you will have more realistic painting. So actually, it's a good thing to learn about for shortening and how to draw around forms. So the leaves are really dark and sometimes even black and more of a yellowy green. And these parts have more off a little bit off a bluish green with brown dot inside, and these are even different. So I think I will start out with the leaves, and with a sketch like this, you don't have to show. No, you don't have to add color everywhere, so I might just add some paint here at the front, where it's not so disturbing to have, uh, color. And that makes my sketch. You know, I have all the information that I want and that I need to, um, get an impression off the plant. And I don't have to have color everywhere. You don't have to finish every painting. So that's another good thing to know. I think now for these elements, I think I will do the same. Like with the leaves. I will have this one and color and one off thes, and I will start with this. - Another great way to add, um, little details like this is actually the depend. This is obviously better. If you work at home, you can use thes with ink or with water color. And actually, what I might do is at the rest off these elements, not leave them in pencil, but at them in these in this ink, I think that might be interesting. So I s I almost forgot the veins on the leaf, so I will show you how to at this now you have several ways off airing such kind off life veins to relief. So well, just make sure that it it's it's approximately like it did before. As I said, you could use gua sh and then make these lines. And I found that sometimes a little imprecise. So another way you could do it is with a color pencil and white Oh, with a gel pen and well, actually, show it to you with ah kind of pencil just because And this extremely has broken off. So I will just use the chip, and that's okay. We don't need March. We'll just want to indicate where these veins are going. So I don't want them to overpower the rest or fewer off your drawing. Okay, that's actually enough. And you can see that if I took the job heard. And sometimes it doesn't really make a line, and it's really it's a bit more prominent than what I did with this color pencil. Oliver. Write down a few off the observations that I made when I came across these, uh, Ivy Bush. Basically, I'm just writing down that I noticed that this was one of the last plants that was visited by by bees and other insects, where they still got, um, some sugar, and also that it's an evergreen plant, so it will keep its lovely green color also in winter, for the most part, as you can see, there are exceptions to this 9. Drawing your collection pt3 (winter berries in different techniques): So I just realized I didn't have room on my previous page for my little rose hips here. And then I thought it might be fun to do another page with these sort off. Winter Berries is what I'd like to call them and just do a demonstration of different techniques that you could use for drawing and painting. So I will start with a pencil drawing for this rose hips going to define the areas which I need to be a little bit lighter where the light is sitting on this sort of glossy surface. So I think I'm But first I'm going to give this, um, some lettering so that we will have a title for the whole page. And as I said, I like the thought off having a page with these different winter Berries. So that's just what I'm going to write, and I'm going to add some writing here and there when I have completed my sketches. So I wasn't too happy with arrangement off this little element here, and I moved it slightly up. So now I think we have a nice page to work with, and I will fill it with some color and different techniques. So I will start with ease, Rose ITV's and I will just take mine Liner and I will just begin to draw in the lines that I've already laid an outline for, and I will try to keep it fairly light. So, um, don't try to simply trace your lines, bird. See the pencil as, um, the general suggestion and what I want to add to this is a little bit off shadow. So I do have this pen by Faber Castell, which is an ink pen. Onda. Basically, you, um, you can achieve differently different thickness off line with it. So I will just add a little bit of shadow where I see you. So this is a method to get your shadows recorded in a really quick where you could obviously also use watercolor. If you have a nice gray, or if you want to mix a grave that's also possible, and with these pens, if their water proof, then you can go over it over what you've drawn later and at some color to it if you want, so you could draw this and then enter layout of pain if you like, but you have to make sure that these are waterproof. And they usually say that they're with Pigmented Inc and waterproof on the pen. So now for this little fella here, I thought I'd like to show you what's possible with these sort of colored pens. They're different color pens available. There are these sort off normal thes are also by Famagusta and called police Halmos. These are just your ordinary color pencils. I really like them. They're really soft to work with. And then there are these others called I'm last July, also by Faber Castell. And these are watercolor pencils, so you could use them and then add later layoff water. And when it's dry, then you could add another layer off water kind of pencil. And since this paper is very rough and it's, ah, a little bit difficult to work with these pencils, so they usually work best when you take very smooth paper. So hot pressed paper is probably best for these. I'm actually going to try what I just told you. So I will at this layoff, um, watercolor pencil and them at some water to it, let it dry and then go over it again. with another pencil and we will see how this works out. And you don't need that many off these pencils. So if you get, um, a basic set, then that's usually fine. And you don't want to haul all these pencils with you outside. Usually if you take I don't know, 15. Also in the basic colors them you'll probably be fine. So I'm trying to mimic a little bit the direction that these veins are going in. I'm going to add a little bit off water to this. You will see. I spoke. Give and you can decide for yourself how much you want to blend this so you could do it with a very dry brush and sort off only go over the top and leave the rest of the structure . And you could also like I did here, blended to where it's barely recognizable as something that was done with colored pencil watercolor pencil. So So I think I will try something similar for thes rose hips and see if I can find in my stock red for this. Yes, here we are, and I will actually just lay in the basic color areas and as you can see there are these the's points where the light is hitting the berry, and this I will leave uncovered In this way you come easily at some color information to your drawing and in a very quick way to and if you if you like this sort of rough structure , you can leave it like this. If you wanted to be a little bit more, have a little bit more off smooth feel. Then you can easily go over with watercolor. Or, as I said to some of these pencils, you can add water. So far, this Alexe, I think I will show you the basic what kind of approach but always woods on. And just so that you can have the contrast on this page and see the different methods for for early in color, I will let this drive for a second. And now I think this one has dry to, and I won't go over it again with my my doctor colored pencil. So I will add some off these little veins. - If you leave just a little area off white where, uh, the light hits the berry, then he will have a more three dimensional effect for you painting. So that's helpful to to make it look around. Okay, I really like this sofa. I think that this one could use a little bit off color. So I'm just going to do what I said earlier so that I will leave. I will add just a little bit off, pained over my lines. So and since I'm already waiting, I can show you the effect that you can achieve when you add water to this watercolor pencil . So just like this, you have a nice and now I think I'm going to have to do them all. So it's just very little water on my brush. So you still have a little bit off the texture off the pencil. You can see that the color is really intense. Now, you could even try to dip the tip directly into water. And no, I havent wrap this in a while, but I think you can also apply color just by dipping it in. And then making a mark doesn't work as well, though, so you might want to stick to the other technique. I think finally, this down dear has dried. And I'm just going to take my pen. But my little reference here. So I know where these little, um points Ah, on. And just by adding these little exports, you have added contrast to your painting, and that helps to feel more balanced overall. Also, these little doc parts they are usually at in the middle and at the end, off the Barry. So this helps to give a sense of direction. Okay, so I think I'm finished with this page, and I'm very happy about how it turned out. Obviously, you can't Could write somewhat tex around. This may be what kind of a day it waas when you found these Berries or more about where you found them or what? You could use them for it. So I I know that at least these ones and the rose hips can be used for teeth. So that's always a possibility. Or maybe just some perceptions and thoughts or feelings that you had when you were drawing these. So, um yeah, I hope you enjoy seeing these different techniques that I showed you, and I hope that has given you a few ideas about how to draw Berries in your nature sketchbook. 10. Create your own sketchbook page: So this is what finished spread in your nature sketchbook might look like. If you focus on things that interest you, then the questions will come and the sketching abilities and the drawing abilities will come to. So you just have to keep doing this and just believe that you can do this drawing as a skill and you you just have to do it a lot. And, yeah, keeping NHS sketchbook like this is a very cool way to sort off, built your skills and build your habit like this. So I hope this has helped you. And, um, yeah, by all means. If you I want to share your sketchbook pages, then please do so and the project gallery. And I'm really, really looking forward to seeing your projects, and you're sort off adventurous in nature. 11. Final thoughts: So I hope you've enjoyed this class about starting a nature sketchbook. Remember, in nature, sketchbook is a great way to document your time outside and connect more with the sinks. Thinks you see by noticing details. And you don't have to be great at drawing or painting to start one. But I guarantee you you will get better at drawing. The longer you keep sketchbook, this is the key. To get better at drawing, you have to be drawing and keeping. NHS sketchbook will help you to build that habit. So we've explored the basic tools off nature sketch booking, and I hope you will build a habit off this from this starting point. I'd really love to see some off your sketchbook pages, so please share them in the project gallery. Make sure you follow me here on skill share to get notified about new classes. And I also left to hear what you think. So I'd be happy if you left a review for this class. And remember, you can do it if you do it, so make sure to get out there and draw a lot. Thank you very much. I hope this was a useful class for you. And I hope to see you in the field and here on scale share. Thank you.