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Nature sketchbook workshop

This past Saturday, I co-taught a class in nature sketchbooks at Mount Pisgah Arboretum with the marvelous Kris Kirkeby. We focused on shading, composition, and tips & tricks for getting work done fast when the weather is shifting! (The weather shifted in a fortunate way, I'm happy to say--though I got positively drenched heading to the workshop early in the morning, by the time we finished our lunch break and hit the trails, the sky was blue with just traces of ornamental clouds passing by. Couldn't have asked for better!)

I don't have a lot of great sketches since I was focusing on the talky-talk stuff, but I thought I'd share a few the doodles that I did whack out through the day:

We had a written-out list of attendees, but I found it much more useful on the trails to refer to these silly sketches to make sure we were all still together.

Kris had a wonderful exercise in composition, where folks teamed up and arranged a bamboo stick, a large magnolia leaf, and a rock in various ways against a mat to learn about drawing the eye around the page. Extremely clever and fun.

On the trails, I lead the class in an exercise that I dubbed the "punctuated mosey": I'd periodically call a stop and have folks draw whatever was at their feet, at eye level, above their heads, and then zoom out to draw the big picture. We started off with just 10 seconds to jot down what you could, then eventually worked our way up to longer sketches. This page shows my 1 minute and 2-minute adventures (since I had time on those to sketch as well as keep an eye on the stopwatch!)

I'm pleased to say that the Register-Guard newspaper did a lovely article about the class as well. You can read it here, and don't forget to click on the "photos" tab at the top to see some great images.