Our weather was perfect. The first day, I chose to set up in the Mary Ann Peeples Pavilion. It is a covered, open air, elegantly rustic structure with an enormous fireplace at one end. A perfect spot to set up tables, lay out reference materials, and begin introduction exercises into the wonderful world of nature journaling. A cardinal joyously sang to us all afternoon :)
I led a group of four, all of who professed they couldn't draw.
I loved watching their progress as we explored tried and true 'right brain' drawing exercises. At the end of my intro sessions, I always get to say, "Lier, lier, pants of fire! You can draw!" It just makes my day, not to mention theirs as they proudly look at their creations!
Our next bit of fun was working with watercolor pencils and a waterbrush. As you know from my previous posts, these are two of my favorite journaling supplies. First they tried every color to see what each looked like dry and then wet. This exercise gave them a good feel for working with the waterbrush also. Next, we mixed greens. The Derwent watercolor pencil sets of 12 come with a light and dark green... boring! I introduced them to the wonderful world of mixing colors. It went over big. But, all to soon it was the end of the day. I promised that the next day, they'd put into practice all they had learned in this session.
On day two, we made our way to Fiddler Crab Cove Boardwalk for some in-the-field training. I could spend everyday here, watching time go by on the marsh. There is a wonderful Live Oak that drapes its branches over the seating area at the end of the boardwalk. Toooo perfect!
To the left is the southern view from the seating area. A camera never quite captures what you see. To me that's the greatest reason to nature journal. Your personal interpretation of the scene, combined with your written thoughts, is the finest way I know to capture the true essence of the moment. It's your heart and soul come to life on a journal page. Now that's priceless :)
I chose to concentrate this day's study on how to create a landscape. When students are rediscovering how to draw, and there is limited time to work in-the-field, I find it most useful if we work on a complex subject together.
Piece by piece, we built our landscapes. They learned how to use their pencils as a tool to measure proportions and as guides for angles within the landscape. Once we had a basic sketch in place, we worked on laying in the color, paying special attention to the lights and darks of our subject matter. While we drew, we enjoyed fly-bys from Snowy and Great Egrets, a Tri-colored Heron, and a Great Blue Heron. We heard a Red-tailed Hawk call but, never could locate it.
Meet my rightfully proud student's with their landscape drawings.