Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Field Journal - Sketchbook

Daniel Webster First Visit May 30th

I want to apologize up front for the poor quality of my scans today. The book I am scanning has gotten wet, and to be honest I am not sure my home scanner is the best option for scanning book pages in the first place.

I have been carrying this book around with me on most of my walks for several weeks if not all summer, but yesterday was the first time I actually opened it to make some notes and a couple of sketches. It was a fairly nice day yesterday sunny, warm, though very muggy so I decided to head over to the Daniel Webster Sanctuary for my weekly visit. Monday is my usual day for visiting but it was pouring rain so I didn't go.

While I was sitting in one of the hides around the pond, I was noting changes from the last time I was visiting and though I need to document this. I happen to have the blank book with me (I have been meaning to do this all summer) so I opened it up and started.

I am not a plein air artist, the bugs get to me, and I don't want to haul paints, brushes and water around, I have too many colored pencils to make it practical to bring them so I will be using just plain black ink. A waterproof Micron is my preferred tool. I will try to do some field sketches but I always bring the camera and will sometimes supplement those images with sketches from my photos.

The top page is a combination of a sketch I made yesterday and others I made at home last night from photographs made on that first visit. I wrote in the journal what I can recall seeing as prodded by reviewing the photographs.

Green Heron

The page above is to mark the visit when I saw the Green Heron. I didn't do much else that day other than sit in the hide watching and making photographs. The sketch is from one of my photos.


The visit documented above was notable for seeing some yellow warblers, at least I think that is what I saw. I tried making a photograph but the birds were feeding on berries in the bushes so not really visible and my camera lens isn't powerful enough to make a good photo under those conditions. I noted that the pond water level was getting very low and watched the dragonflies. On my way out of the sanctuary I saw this rabbit eating grass at the edge of the car park. I made quite a few photos and used one to do the sketch above.

Above are the pages that I actually wrote in the field yesterday. The top drawings on the left of the turtles and dragonfly were done on site. The bottom sketch of the geese feeding in the field was done last night from a photograph I made.

Now that I have actually gotten started doing this, I will try to keep it up. The Daniel Webster is the perfect place to use because with the two hides I have a spot to sit out of the sun, observe nature, and write or draw.

Above is a photo I made yesterday at Daniel Webster. They mow the fields to keep the trees from growing back and turning the fields to forest. Most of what grows in the fields are grasses of various types, you can see them turning golden in the above photo.

One last photo for today. To date, this summer, my best photo of a Monarch Butterfly, made at the North River Sanctuary yesterday afternoon.

That is it for today, if you enjoyed the views into my Nature Journal check out Sketching in Nature, a blog by various artists around the world and their drawings of nature. Per usual comments are always welcome.