Thursday, April 26, 2012

10 Ways to Vary Your Nature Journal Layouts

My kids and I love to nature-journal, but get tired of doing the same layouts and ideas over and over. Here are some of the ways we like to mix it up a little!
1. Explore your shapes. Experiment right in your nature journal.
Don't worry about perfection, just start sketching.

I had only pink and red pens with me, so that's what I used.
2. Study anatomy

A morning glory is just as amazing and beautiful on the inside.

3. Go close CLOSE up. Examine the details.
Use a zoom lens, and draw what you see.

4. Journal it up.
Mix your observations with your art.
What did you see and where? What are the weather conditions?
How do you feel? How is this special to you? What are your plans?
Record the moment.
(There is a great observational checklist here)

5. Don't forget your own backyard.

Here, my 1st grader sketches a daylily that he planted himself.
Front and center, he knew exactly what he wanted on his page.

There are no excuses for not drawing.
If you have dirt and grass, then you have something to illustrate.

6. Don't forget the bugs.

7. Add elements. Press flowers, leaves, clovers, etc.
8. Try a day-by-day, or hour-by-hour format of what you see.
{and around this point, my images are going crazy, getting out of place, because Blogger and my browser are refusing to play nice. Bear with me, and take deep breaths, like I am, if you start to feel lightheaded.}
9. Offer a "Guest Page."
Grab a friend or family member, and swap journals for half an hour, when you're down by the creek. You end up with their unique style as a part of your book, and you give the gift of your own artwork at the same time.
10. Do a Theme Page
For example, "Birds" or "Leaves."


Soaring High said...

These are really great ideas!

Julie said...

Wow! Your nature journals are works of art. I only wish I could draw as well as you!

Gabriele said...

What a great idea to have a nature journal! I remember my aunt (who is 78 yrs old today) having such a journal aprox. 35 yrs ago. Will try to see that ;)
I have one question: what kind of pens do you use for your drawings? They seem to have such a "clear" outline. I mean e.g. the first page here with the mushrooms, the snail... in brown or the robots on one of the posts before...

Thanks for your inspiration here, I love it :)