Painting Nudibranchs

Watercolors have long felt out of reach for me. I am not a natural artist, but I learned to sketch and draw while doing my landscape degree and dabbled in nature journaling, even going so far as to take a watercolor sketching class. Despite my lack of success with watercolors, I am still drawn to them.

Recently, I began sketching in a journal with a black brush pen and had so much fun using it that I started to sketch nudibranchs. It wasn’t long until the allure of watercolors returned to me as I looked at the nudibranchs I had sketched. Nudis are so colorful it seemed wrong to leave them as simple black and white illustrations, so I dusted off my watercolor set and my partially filled nature journal and set to work.

My first attempt…

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365 Nature – Day 136

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


I’ve been lazy with my nature journal that I started in the autumn and I’m going to make an effort to contribute more sketches to it. We have some camping trips and travel coming up this summer and I want to sketch on those trips but I’ve become very rusty since I took a watercolor sketching class back in September. I’d like to develop a…

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365 Nature – Day 19

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


Nearly a month into 365 Nature and I hadn’t done a sketch in my nature journal yet. Today I decided to remedy that by sketching a Great Blue Heron I saw from Day 16 at Magnuson Park and documenting what else I saw that trip. I also got around to adding watercolor to a sketch I had done back in November of a…

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Learning to Watercolor

I have long wanted to keep a nature journal. Despite spending nearly six years with a drawing pen in my hand at school – with the exception of one class – I never had any proper art instruction. In my landscape design and landscape architecture schools, art was a crash course, something I had to do to communicate design, but not something we had any sort of training in. I was never happy with my skills as an artist and that prevented me from picking up a book and pen and jumping into keeping a nature journal.

When my daughter started preschool I had the opportunity to take a watercolor sketching class once a week for a month. Although it was aimed at botanical sketching, I knew I could carry what I learned to sketching the nature I encountered. Something about the class really clicked for me and I’ve felt a steady improvement in my artwork ever since…

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