Sketching the Birds!

Months ago I told myself that one day I wanted to be able to sketch birds from life. I think that day has come!

A little rough and wobbly, but here it is! I can sketch and paint birds from life!


Whenever I’m at the un-farm, I do a lot of landscapes and views from the veranda. It’s fun but was getting repetitive. I tend to do the same view of grass, trees, and mountain from the same spot each time.

Then in April we set up the new spotting scope for the first time and I realized how great it would be to sketch the birds from the scope. If only I could figure out how!



My first attempts were in pencil. I couldn’t imagine how I’d be able to do an ink sketch with watercolor.img_0331

I was excited about sketching birds. Something different from the same old landscape sketching! I also tried walking around and sketching from binoculars. It was fun, but challenging! Just getting the basic shape of the bird was tough.


And then I learned about John Muir Laws and nature journaling. Thank you Irene of I See Birds for telling me about the Nature Journal Club!

The answers to all my bird sketching questions and MORE were in the John Muir Laws website! I love the idea of using sketching to observe, record, experience, remember, and learn more about nature. It’s really not about making pretty pictures. And I even saw that view from the veranda with fresh eyes!


I draw and work in my nature journal for three reasons: to see, to remember, and to stimulate curiosity. – John Muir Laws


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