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Nature Journaling for Beginners

Updated on March 9, 2012

Beginner Nature Journal Page

Sample of a simple page with drawing
Sample of a simple page with drawing

How to begin Nature Journaling

Nature journaling is an inexpensive hobby for young and old alike. No special skills are needed and you can go simple or elaborate. Even if you don't have drawing skills, if you can draw a line, you can do this.

First, we'll start with materials. Simply put, you need paper and pencil. I recommend a 2B pencil and unlined paper. If you want to get a notebook or other type of journal, I recommend something small to fit in a pocket so you can have it with you at all times. Of course, if you want a larger one, that's fine too. I was able to find a small notebook with both lined and unlined paper. You can add markers (I like Microns), colored pencils (Prismacolor is a bit more expensive but blendable), portable watercolors and other art supplies, if you wish.

Once you have your materials, you're ready to get started. You can start in your yard, a public park or anyplace you want to observe nature. Think of When (date), Where (location) and What (what you are observing). You can even write When, Where & What on the inside cover of your notebook so you don't forget. You'll notice in my sample that I've commented on the weather and some of the things I noted. If there is a particular smell you noticed, you can write that down too.

Your drawings can be simple lines or full scale drawings. In my sample, I used simple lines and some hatching to represent shading. Scribbling works too. For simple line drawings, just try to look at the outside line of your subject and draw it. Squinting may help. Few details are needed with this style of drawing.

So get out there and look for insects, flowers, trees, pine cones, etc. Take pictures if you want so that you can go home and try to identify your findings. And post links to your journals...I want to see how you're doing!

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    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Palen 

      6 years ago from Midwest USA

      This sounds like a really cool idea, especially as a way for me to brush up on my drawing skills. I've got this empty journal I've been trying to find the perfect purpose for and I think a nature journal would be a really awesome idea!

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