View Full Version : Keeping a Nature Sketchbook

11-02-2016, 06:45 AM
I am offering a seminar at a Forestry conference in the spring on Nature Sketchbooks. I have plenty of great material, including books from several artists who have published on the subject, but would love to solicit input from this forum.

Any tips/thoughts to share with people just beginning to keep a journal? Lessons learned about technique, media, or format?


12-19-2016, 11:40 AM
Hi Bee,

You may have already started this project, and good for you. Folks who do similar projects seem to hang out someplace else, unfortunately. Good luck!

12-19-2016, 12:23 PM
Pen-watercolor is a great way to do it, that's the way I've been keeping mine. That and watersoluble pencils, watercolor pencils, Graphitints, watersoluble graphite. If you can sketch and then swish a waterbrush to get washes to accent the sketch it's fast and powerful. Use a journal with watercolor paper and then get a water brush so you can use washable media, that's my suggestion.

I have a set of Prismacolor Watercolor pencils set up for that in a leather case, also a set of Graphitints with a water brush in the case. Very handy.

But if that's not for you, use the sketch medium you're strongest with so that it's easy, as long as it's portable. Some people do well with just a regular pencil and dry sketchbook, some will work with a pocket watercolor set and forget the linear stuff, it all varies. Use what's easy and portable for you and then keep it with you all the time.

12-20-2016, 06:43 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I've been keeping my own nature sketchbook and blog for a couple of years, but thought it would be good to hear what others use as their 'go-to' materials. I will be assembling my talk in the next month or so, so if anything else occurs to you, please let me know.

I started my journal with Derwent watersoluble pencils and Graphitint (love those!) but ended up migrating to WC and collapsible brushes as I like really intense saturated color. Funny that. But I still do use the pencils, and agree that is a great portable approach.


12-20-2016, 03:15 PM
I frequently combine pencils - dry and watersoluble - with watercolour and occasionally pen.

And charcoal is brilliant of course - sometimes combined with ink, drawing with twigs for free larger sketches