7-Day Nature Journal

7-Day Nature Journal - student project

All seven pages plus any reference photos I used. I used a travel watercolor set, a mechanical pencil, and two different felt-tip pens.

All of my intentions for this workshop went out the window when I got severe tendonitis in my foot and leg the day before it started. I couldn't walk any further than my backyard, and I couldn't dig out all of the art supplies I was hoping to experiment with.

Instead of being frustrated, I really enjoyed the limitations. I got a much more intimate look at the place where I live and got to find versatility in the limitations of my tiny watercolor set. Overall, I really enjoyed this workshop. I notice a lot more about my surroundings now.


7-Day Nature Journal - image 1 - student project

7-Day Nature Journal - image 2 - student project

Day 1: This male cardinal is protecting his nest in a skip laurel just off my deck. I watched the chicks grow up over the course of this project. I was wonderful. The abstract pattern I made is based off the inside of a petunia sitting on my deck.


7-Day Nature Journal - image 3 - student project

7-Day Nature Journal - image 4 - student project

Day 2: This is the seed pod to a tulip poplar. We have a lot of tulip poplars in our yard, and they ended up being featured three times in this journal. Normally, they annoy the heck out of me. Those seed pods drop incredibly spiky little seed bits that stick in your feet if you step onto the deck barefoot to drink your coffee in the morning. Featuring the tulip poplar so much in this journal made me soak in how interesting they are.


7-Day Nature Journal - image 5 - student project

7-Day Nature Journal - image 6 - student project

Day 3: A potted gardenia flower that bloomed during the workshop. I like the movement of the petals.


7-Day Nature Journal - image 7 - student project

Day 4: I deviated from the prompt a bit. I was going to scribble down questions and look up the answers later. I ended up wishing I knew more about what was around me: what they were called, what blights were on the leaves that fell early, what insects were around. I decided to pick a random leaf and do some research on it. My labels may not be 100% accurate, but I know more about what the different kinds of damage look like than I did before.


7-Day Nature Journal - image 8 - student project

7-Day Nature Journal - image 9 - student project

7-Day Nature Journal - image 10 - student project

Day 5: My yard is heavily shaded, so most of my garden is shade plants. For my pattern, I picked hosta leaves and flowers, and then I color-swapped them. There was also a red ant crawling around on the leaves, so I threw him in there, too.



7-Day Nature Journal - image 11 - student project

7-Day Nature Journal - image 12 - student project

Day 6: An immature acorn, a piece of creeping jenny, and a dried tulip poplar seed pod & branch. I liked the contrasts and compliments in the colors and textures. I sketched them in a different position than I photographed them in. I had been so meticulous drawing the young seed pod that I opted to go  sketchy with bold, almost cartoony color with this drawing. It was freeing, and I love the results.


7-Day Nature Journal - image 13 - student project

Day  7: This is the one I'm most proud of, I think. I did a lot of my looking around while sitting on that swing, and every place I sketched or found objects in is pictured here. It's not all to scale, but the spirit of the place is there. It feels like my back yard. I think the tree where the 'shade garden' label is may, in fact, be a tulip poplar, rounding out the whole experience.