Any nature sketching enthusiasts out there?

What’s in your field sketching kit?
What’s your favorite subject matter?
Any books on field sketching you particularly like?
Post an image of a recent sketchbook page.


Here’s one of my sketchbook pages, drawn at Zoo Atlanta. Batagur borneoensis, the Painted Terrapin.


ok. i agree. Research Grade!


it’s oblique to the topic but i’ve posted some sketches here.
i used to do more of it, it’s fun.


Sort of but not quite.


I don’t take my sketchbook out with me live in a place it’s too wet and most are too quick to get a look at so camera saves me by capturing the moment I can work on later

These elephant’s were in a zoo don’t have these in the wild


I don’t do much plain sketching but I do paint in watercolors and soluble pastels (cretacolor!) while in the woods, at the ocean, a river, catskill summit, wherever, if I have enough energy to lug my supplies. Not much for strict representational art… I get close yet still heavily “interpreted.” My goal with the art is usually not to “document” but rather to remember the experience of something I see. Documentation type recording I mostly do with a camera (also do art with that too I supppose!).

I really like this Cathy Johnson book:
The art is so soothing and it’s a book I think useful at different skill levels both for watercolorists but also for anyone looking to document nature in the field with whatever medium.

I frequently use a mason jar of water and a small 80s-era make-up type organizer/caddy that’s basically a small version of a art supply top-opening portable case. I like aqua brushes with built in reservoirs for a slimmed-down kit. I carry high quality pencils, water color pencils, micron pens (must have for any application in my view), eraser, sharpener, straight edge, sponge, soluble oil pastel, and concentrated liquid water color or a tiny dry color case. I use a variety of things out of the recycling for palettes. I usually have weird texture tools too and a bamboo pen I scratch with.'I prefer small 5x7 watercolor blocks when in the field and of a heavier weight.

I like plants the most I’d say. Most of my art and field sketching/painting is of plants. I like to interpret Peterson bird drawings in my own way sometimes but not in the field.

Since I do sell my art I don’t want to create the impression of not following iNat guidelines on self-promotion but here’s a quick little American Oystercatcher piece that’s already homed and thus not for sale. Now I can’t remember if it was done in Cape May, NJ or Cape Cod, but it was one of those.


I know it’s not sketching, but I make moulds of sea creatures, cast them in glass and then use them in my art glass projects. I got into INat when I was trying to ID some shells I was collecting for this purpose.


What’s in your field sketching kit?

I keep things simple. Out in the field I usually just carry around a sketchpad and a no. 2 pencil.

What’s your favorite subject matter?

Living things, be it human animal, nonhuman animal, plant, or microbe.

Any books on field sketching you particularly like?

Not aware of any, but maybe I should look into that…

Post an image of a recent sketchbook page.

(Unfortunately not based on live models.)
The elephant is still a work in progress. Its posture is loosely based on this observation.


For my supplies, I try to go as light as possible. Sketchbook, watercolor field kit, water bottle, 1/2 cut water bottle for a water well, a few brushes, pencil, and a micron pen.
I love sketching anything in nature, either landscapes, wildlife, or up close botanical. As many of you know, sketching releases stress and it’s fun to get away from society and hang out in the woods! When I’m busy and cannot hike or sketch for weeks at a time, it really gets to me.

Happy hiking and sketching everyone!