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How to start

Don't let the blank page stop you in your tracks!  It does help to have a general roadmap to starting, but don't take this too seriously.  You'll find that things will change over time as a natural evolution of your journal.

First, think about what you think your nature journal will be about.  What are the stories you'll tell about your nature experience?   I mention this first because it might make a difference in the supplies you choose. 

Second, think about your materials.  If you plan to do more writing, consider lined pages.  If you love watercolor, a heavier paper will bring success for heavier washes.  Feel free to check out my current kit and the materials I carry.  The right materials will help us be more successful.  BUT don't wait on everything to be perfect, just start!  We can use ordinary printer paper and a #2 pencil.

Next, engage your senses!  Go outside or select a subject for indoor study, and take to time to LOOK.  Observation time is as important as drawing or writing time!  Describe your subject to yourself or a friend.  What led you to select this?  What do you already know about it?  What does it remind you of?  Expand your sensory experience to sounds, textures, and smells.

Download a Quickstart PDF for an easy reminder and more tips on creating your page.

Start drawing or writing!  This is about telling your story, so your images and words should support that story. 

If you're new to drawing, look for the shapes you already know.  Most of us can draw circles, squares, triangles, dots and lines.  Lucky for us, there are very few straight lines in nature!  Keep it simple and practice -- regular practice is the one simple act that helps us improve our drawing.

What will you write?   That depends on your purpose.  Write your observations, thoughts, measurements, ideas, questions or poems.  Whether my words are objective or subjective, I like to include these basics: date, location, and weather information.  

your nature journal story

Document the different things you saw.

Learn about an ecosystem and what lives there.

Just a few ideas!

Mistflower (nectar) Elizabeth_edited.jpg

Describe the cycle of a species from bloom to seed.

Gather a collection of things that reflect a particular place (get permission if it's not your own yard.)

Learn about a species you don't know yet (or explore more about one you do)!

A Nature Art Journal


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