Thought I'd share a bit about a great workshop I attended at the weekend, at the education centre at my local nature reserve, Paxton Pits. The workshop 'A Brush with Nature' was hosted by the local wildlife trust and led by Sarah Morrish, and the focus was drawing and watercolour painting of natural objects from life.
The day started with a quick introduction and discussion of materials
etc. Sarah had brought along a load of yummy natural history
art/illustration books too, lovely to browse! We had a tableful of
things to choose from, some of which had been gathered on the reserve
that morning, and others which Sarah had brought with her. We could
choose from items such as autumn leaves, seed pods, feathers, seashells,
The first couple of hours before lunch were dedicated to tonal drawing
using graphite pencils. I chose a dried pitcher, from a pitcher plant.
I did this using a range of pencils from H through to 2B. It took
probably an hour and a half, and an awful lot of concentration! Was
pleased with how it turned out. I don't do pencil drawings like this
very often (I think I lack the patience) but I really enjoyed this.
After lunch Sarah demonstrated her watercolour technique, using a
limited palette of winsor lemon and quin gold, permanent rose and
perylene maroon, and indanthrene blue and French ultramarine (a cool and
warm of each primary colour). Again, patience required. I chose to try
some feathers - two barn owl feathers, and one from a jay (couldn't
resist it, it was like a gleaming
A highly enjoyable day. Sarah shared a lot of insight and tips (she also
teaches botanical art at her local college). She's based in Hampshire
so most of her workshops are run down there, but has connections in with
the Wildlife Trust in Cambridgeshire, hence the workshop here, the
first of many I hope!
A few photos of the day here
We finished at 4pm, but for me the day wasn't over. It was a lovely warm
late afternoon, so I decided to dump the art stuff in my car and head
out to one of the bird hides on the lake - and I SAW AN OTTER!! Every time I visit the reserve I sit in that hide and hope to glimpse
one, and that was the very first wild otter I've ever seen!
So a fab day all round for me!