Nature Sketching

Early this morning I drove to our City Park, one of my favorite places for hiking, sketching, and just communing with nature. There are several different shelter houses, some which have hiking trails leading from them into the woods; others don’t have trails but do offer lots of things to see.

My visit today was to Shelter #7. I took along a sketchbook and a few pencils. The grass was still quite wet with morning dew, so I couldn’t really sit down and sketch unless I did it at the shelter house.

I wanted to get a closer look at Mother Nature, though, so I walked through the wet grasses and took photographs of a lot of things I’d like to draw or paint. Afterward, I returned to the shelter house and got started on a sketch, using one of the photos as a reference.

Park 3

I don’t know what this plant is, but I loved seeing its colors. I’m drawing it in graphite now, but will probably finish it using my Prismacolor Premiers. The initial sketch was made with an H pencil, and is too light to photograph and show here. I’m hoping someone who reads this might be able to identify this plant for me. Later I plan to go back to the park and take additional photographs of it and try to get information.

Taking photos with my little smartphone – a cheap one — in the early morning light doesn’t produce very good results. Here are a few shots I took. I really would like to use most of these for my art work.


There was a time in the not-so-distant past when I would never have considered drawing or painting from any of these reference photos. My drawing skills, however, have improved a lot, and I’m excited by these pictures. I want to see what I can do with them.

I love hiking the trails and walking through the woods at our park. There are so many interesting little things to see. I’ve always loved nature, but now, as an artist, I’m seeing the beauty of the earth in a different way and appreciating that beauty more than ever before.


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