Fun Drawing From Nature

by Monica du Plessis
(Cape Point)

What could be a better way to practice than sketching objects from nature? Drawing is considered one of the best mental exercises.

It also is an effective way to practice your fine motor skills. So now, you have pencil and a sketchpad in your hands. You get excited to start on something, but you have one problem- a subject to draw.

There is a wide variety of objects and concepts to choose from and you get confused where to start. Let’s ease your worry; for now, we can narrow the focus in one certain area of subjects in drawing.

Nature sketching is a brilliant way to improve your powers in observation and practice a keen eye. You can decide from flowers, animals, still life and landscapes. Flowers are one of my favorite subjects to draw because of their intricate beauty. Perhaps you can start simple like tulips or hibiscus. Then you can draw flowers with more complex structure like roses, foxgloves and orchids.

Animals are another favorite category among artists. Insects, such as ladybugs, butterflies and beetles, are tiny but challenging to draw.

Another lovely start would be drawing the animals you’re most accessible with. Why not make a sketch of your pet dog, cat or fish? And when you want to be more adventurous, begin to search around. Explore. If you
are worried about drawing subjects, that move a lot, you could take a picture of them first. Or, you can try sketching them when they are sleeping or resting.

In making nature sketches, it is a practical way to start drawing using a single color first. Sketching in monotone will help you identify and define lighting and shading on the object. However, when you’ve grown familiar with your subject already, why not use more colors? Nature is a wide array of hues and tones that an artist should not settle in grayscale. Colors bring nature subjects to life and life to your sketches as well. Moving on to creating multi-colored works helps you broaden and strengthen your artistic abilities.

If you have trouble on how to draw a specific type of object or subjects, asking help from another artist is a preferable idea. But you cannot always avail to find someone who can personally teach you. Nonetheless, there is still a way to obtain assistance. What could be a better source than the internet? You can access free tutorials on drawing and painting techniques online. Want to learn how to draw roses? It’s just a Google away.

No matter where and when, one of the finest places to pull off an inspiration comes from nature.

Article Contributed by Monica du Plessis
January 2013

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