Nature Sketching


Charlene Collins Freeman is teaching a nature sketching class to a group of adults who range from “I’ve never drawn anything since third grade” to “I paint and draw every day.” Every week they meet for several hours and learn about other naturalists and the multitude of approaches to keeping a nature sketchbook. They learn about sketching and painting flowers, trees, leaves, birds and anything else that they are curious about in nature.

Here are some pages from the sketchbooks of the students. If this inspires you to grab paper, pen and head outside, here is a quick exercise from Charlene to get you started.

Ask yourself “What is happening outside right now?” It can be outside your window, your backyard, in a park, anywhere. List seven observations… Date, time, season, temperature. What do you feel? Warm sun on your skin? Wind in your hair? What do you smell? Fresh mowed lawn? Rain hitting hot asphalt? What do you hear? Birds chirping, a wind chime in the distance, kids laughing? Write down your observations. Then do a little sketch of something that catches your eye. Something simple or something complicated. It’s up to you. Paint it if you’d like or leave it black & white. Enjoy connecting with nature. Turn the page.

Welcome to keeping a nature sketchbook!

Charlene Freeman