Small Steps to Sketching

Small Steps to Your First Sketch

You have a journal, and a pencil, and you’ve spent time connecting with nature. Brilliant! Now for drawing. This is the start of a wonderful adventure.

Just breathe, relax, and remember - it’s only marks on paper.

Make it easy for yourself. Start with something which has a clear outline and simple shape – like a leaf.

Observation is the key to drawing, and nature lovers have a big advantage - we spend a lot of our time looking at things other people miss!

So first, say hello, and get to know your subject!

  • Take your time.

  • Don't forget to breathe - and relax! This is supposed to be fun!

  • Look really closely at the shape and texture.

  • Notice all the little details, like any marks and blotches.

  • Don’t rush.

  • Think about it.

  • Have another look

  • Slowly, trace around the shape in the air with your pen/pencil.

  • Do that a couple of times......then….

 Go for it!

Now, put your pencil to paper and slowly draw the outline, following the edge of the shape; just like you did in the air.

Take your time.

Stop if you need to.

Try to look more at the leaf than at your paper.

You did it!

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Try drawing it again in a different position. Then add some details - like the central vein or some nibble holes! Just go for it!

Ask yourself, ‘How do I feel about this leaf now I’ve studied it so closely’? You may find it interesting.

Congratulations! You’ve begun your journal; and recording the wonder!


Try this for a week. Just 10 minutes a day.