Sunday, February 11, 2018

Nature Journaling

I know what you are thinking......nature journaling in Canada, in February???

but I really think this is a time when we crave it.  I wake up dreaming of birds and green. Where is the colour?

So in the midst of our snowy winter some nature journaling is needed.  We always have access to reference photos, museums, and the zoo is also an alternative.

Now this is not a paid endorsement I am just so blown away by these books and his blog I needed to let you know.

For Christmas I asked for these 2 amazing books.

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling  and The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds.

There is so much information packed into these books I could not believe it....amazing.

But then I thought surely he has a blog or website and I found the treasure trove:

Here is the link to his blog archive.  He teaches a lot, videos his lessons and puts them on youtube.

I watched his whale sketching videos and then went to the Whales Tohora exhibit at Telus Spark.

Well not only has my whale drawing improved (look out Maui here I come :) but I absorbed so much info about whales from his video I had the staff member at the exhibit listening in as I described details to my daughter while looking at the big whale chart.  ("He was impressed, Mom")

For me I like to watch his video, sketch out notes while watching and then add extra details from the books.

Then I try to use what I have learned in practice.

Now I probably won't be out journaling in the wild until we get a chinook but I have lots of reference photos and I'm finding this a good warm-up to the rest of my painting day.

For you teachers out there please check out his blog and videos, he often has kids in his audience.  There is so much information he details about his subject matter while teaching you how to draw it.

See you next time.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Valentine Lovebirds

I have been meaning to do this project for a long doesn't have to be Valentine themed but with the heart at the bottom I couldn't resist.

I also did a Hen and chick one.  You could do several, a long line of birds.


- corrugated cardboard
- paper towels strips
- book page strips, ( just check your library for discarded books)
- white glue and water
-acrylic or liquid tempera paint
- air dry clay
- heart cookie cutter
- coloured sharpies
- string
- felt hearts


Draw some basic bird shapes on cardboard and cut them out.

Mix your glue and water in about a 1 to 1 ratio.

I used the book page strips to cover the cardboard shape on both sides.  I used some of the paper towel strips to build up the wing area. I covered this with more book page strips.

I like to work on wax paper.

When finished leave them to dry.  You may have to turn them over to help dry the back or prop them up.

Out of air dry clay I cut some heart shapes.  Use a skewer to poke a hole at the top for hanging.

Leave to dry turning occasionally.

When dry paint red.

When the birds are dry you can cut off any excess strips that are hanging off the side. You can also use sand paper to sand off those little bits.

Before painting I punched a hole at the top and bottom of the bird.  I used a ruler to make sure I had them in line.

I primed my birds with gesso.

I then painted and decorated them.

You also can use coloured sharpies to decorate.

I had these felt and sequin hearts from the dollar store so I glued them on the heads of the birds.

Finally tie on your strings.

That's it.