The beginning of February saw a start to this year’s Nature Journal. It’s a 9×12, 70lb ppr sketchbook purchased on clearance at Barnes & Nobles. Yes, I’m cheap and not ashamed to admit it. But, I like the B&N sketchbooks for their smooth ppr and sturdy covers, so I would have paid full for it. I thought the cover was pretty and reflected nature as about as good as any of the others up on the shelf.
For the opening spread, I just picked up my pencils and started to create an imaginary scene. If you look closely, you’ll see a blue heron, a mallard duck, and some other ducks in the distance. I might add some others as the year moves. We’ll see on that. The important thing is getting started with something. Playing with a technique that involves laying down graphite, spreading it around, erasing in spots, and then repeating the process over and over and over to achieve the look you want. Very time consuming, but well worth the effort.
Each spread takes me several days, even up to a week or more to complete. That’s why I don’t include some of the details suggested in the journaling book I got for Christmas. I do that in my quick sketcher that fits in my back pocket. I could do this sketch in a day, but I must be about my work as a housewife and caregiver. So, it’s family needs first, and art as I have the time.