Camp & Draw: Making a Nature Walk Journal Page

by C. Wu

Even if I’m just walking around the neighborhood pond, making a nature journal entry about my stroll makes it feel a little more like an adventure.

Materials:
Sketchbook: A4 Zap Book / Clairefontaine
Pencil: Pilot Color Eno / Pilot
Pens: Pigma Micron / Sakura
Markers: PITT artist pen big brush / Faber-Castell, Copic Ciao and Copic Sketch / Copic

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I go out on a walk around the neighborhood pond, taking pictures and collecting leaf samples.

Back home, I start by using my colored mechanical pencil and a pen to draw a thumbnail of my layout. Journal entries look nice titled, so I decide on writing “Le Lac” (“the lake” in French) since it’s in the name of the street around the pond.  I also write some notes on what I want to include.

I move to my sketchbook, and use my pencil to transfer my layout. I keep the sketches loose and unrefined.

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I start inking with my Microns, in the sizes 02 and 05. As I ink, I switch to adding detailed guidelines in green pencil if they are needed. I use a combinations of the leaf samples I collected, the photos I took, and online images as reference.

I accidentally wrote something wrong, so I covered it up with a sticky note; to have more unity in the journal page, I add another piece of a sticky note.

To keep the rough journal entry feel, I don’t erase the green lines after I ink

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I start adding color with the Pitt brush pens and Copic markers. I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to color and how much I wanted to leave blank. As I worked, I decided that the coloring I had done so far would look best if most elements were completely colored.

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Once all the main elements have been drawn and colored, I work on giving the journal page a more completed look. I take a light blue marker and add blocks of color behind the main elements of the journal. I also use my pen to add some small specks to the page, used as a design element as well as to fill space.

The animals didn’t pop out as much as I liked, so I went back with my 05 Micron pen to go over the existing outlines.

I use a limited palette of mostly earth tones and greens. Colors that stick out more, like the red on the blackbird, are used elsewhere to preserve visual unity.

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And I’m done!