You don’t need to know anything to start a nature journal. In fact, it’s probably better if you start fresh without preconceived ideas. You can have any level of drawing skill (including none at all) and live anywhere (including a town or city).
What you do need is curiousity and the willingness to sit and observe. I live in a flat but I still find great joy in sitting and watching the solitary birdfeeder that I have near my kitchen window.
You don’t need to know anything to start a nature journal. All you need is curiousity.
The type of journal you use and how you use it, is a matter of personal choice. Watch our video playlist on Youtube about making journals here: How to make a journal playlist.
To get you started you’ll need a very basic ‘kit’ ready to take out with you on your rambles in nature. When you’ve decided on which journal you’d like to use, all you need is the following:
- Black fineliner pen
- Watercolour pencils / watercolour set
- Bottle of water
Armed with your basic kit (it could be just a notebook and pencil), all you need do next is look for wonder and beauty. Be curious. Previously unnoticed mysteries are everywhere. Start with questions and document what you find. Your journal does not need to be pretty. Think of drawing as a series of diagrams with labels and then the fact that you may find them ugly doesn’t matter.
You will find that the more you do this, the more your nature journal is treasured. Observation takes practise and it’s fun!
My name is Diane and with my friend Liz, we have taught many workshops and courses over the last few years. We are offering a series of nature journal workshops at the Nene Wetlands Nature Reserve managed by the Wildlife Trust. You can find more details here: Nene Wetlands Nature Reserve