01 March 2012

A Step Beyond "Just" Drawing

Transforming a sketch into a field journal entry
Supplement to 'Nature Drawing in Quebec City' series

A field journal entry combines words and sketches in a way that records both what you see and your curiosity about your subject. You can turn any sketch into a field journal entry by including some basic information (time, date, location, weather, etc.), and by making some detailed observations to accompany your sketch.

Nearly any drawing or sketch can become a field journal entry, particularly drawings done "on location" while looking at your subject.  Nature-related drawings or drawings of living things, landscapes, and cityscapes lend themselves particularly well to field journal entries.

I have outlined below several extensions which will help you integrate any drawing or drawing exercise into the larger practices of nature drawing, location sketching and/or field journaling.

Field Journal Extensions
  • Make a mark next to the sketch you feel is the best looking, the one you might hang on the wall.  Do make a selection, even if you don't feel any of the images are of this caliber.
  • Make a mark next to the sketch you feel most accurately represents the details, character, and essence of your subject.  This may or may not be the same drawing as the one you chose above.
  • Focus on the sketch you identified as most accurate.  Write 3 words or phrases which enhance or provide further details to the sketch.  They may "compensate", or they may make mention of color, etc.
  • Next, record 2+ questions about your subject.  Exclude name questions, such as "What is it called?".  These questions should strive to make connections between you, the subject, and its natural environment.
  • Take a shot at answering your own questions, based on what you know.  Afterwards, look up the answers, and make note of how they compare to yours. 

Consider using these extensions with either of the following fruit.root.leaf. nature drawing exercises:
Click on a link below to view full exercise description.

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