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Challenges of nature journaling

One of the challenges of any nature journaling for the purposes of learning is finding a balance between enjoyment and enlightenment. So far I’m achieving both, but not without some conscious decision-making. This has not been a passive sketching project. There are thousands of species of ferns, from many different groups – many I’ve never…

Ferns: a continuation of a visual journal

I have an appreciation for the diversity and charm of ferns, but I’m not a botanist, so defining their form isn’t always easy – understanding their taxonomy and phylogeny even less so, but that matters less to me than the act of journaling. My homage to ferns is mostly meditative, and it is lovely to…

More bovines, plus some wonderfully weird goats

Living bovines (from the family Bovidae, subfamily Bovinae) come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them could be mistaken for antelopes, which occupy a seperate subfamily (Antilopinae) within Bovidae. From musk ox to ibex and barbery sheep, members of the subfamily Caprinae, on the other hand, are unmistakable and just a bit more difficult…

Bovine appreciation

I have been busy with painting doors and walls, and making concoctions on with a newly installed cooker so there hasn’t been a lot of time for art. Nevertheless, I managed to find a little time at night for journaling; I decided to draw something simple, but enjoyable – sketches of bovine heads in coloured…

What tinnitus tastes like

I produce a lot of monochromatic (sometimes two-hued) artwork, such as in the top three recent entries in various sketchbooks. Mostly, I think this is just aesthetic preference, with a side order of apprehension over colour-coordination. I have always had an unusual relationship with colour, mostly because what makes sense to others doesn’t necessarily make…

Fern journal continued

Here’s another two pages from the fern journal. I’m loving this journal and can’t wait to see it filled. Right now the ferns are fairly easy to draw, but harder ones with more more complex leaves are coming, especially ferns with tripinnate and bipinnate-pinnatifid leaves. Each new fern brings with it more knowledge and confidence,…

Doodling matters

I have a small confession: I am self-conscious about doodling, but I really want to do it. I can approach many illustrations or paintings with a degree of confidence, but the thought of making a page of doodles makes me balk. Not because I am prejudice against doodling, but because I was convinced I couldn’t…

Soup and sketchbooks

It’s a cool and rainy Easter weekend here in south-east Queensland. Perfect days for soup, sketchbooks, reading and getting cosy with canines. Each day I try to add a little more to one of my many sketchbooks. Most of them are themed; they all have purpose, and much of the time my mood dictates which…

Sketch to understand: Ferns and more ferns

I’m only on the second two page spread, but already I’m thinking this might be a multi-volume project. There is so much to learn. Sketching ferns is time-consuming, even for the less complex leaves, but very enjoyable and quickly becoming a favourite side project.

Sketch to understand

I’m a huge fan of ferns and sketchbooks in equal measure, but I am often hesitant to draw or paint ferns as they can be quite delicate and complex, not to mention diverse. I recently started a new pen and ink drawing involving ferns, but was finding my lack of confidence was a barrier to…

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