wild flowers on top of bank with blue sky

Creative Challenge| Sketching Nature


Slip your concertina book (or your sketchbook or visual journal) into your pocket, grab a pen or pencil and step outside. On a practical note, take a clipboard (or similar) to lean on if you have a soft backed sketchbook and something to sit on if you prefer not to stand.


To spend 15 minutes sketching from nature

Purple alium flower in front of irises and other flowers. text overlay "Sketching from Nature Slamseys Creative Challenge


Go outside into the garden, a park or a field. Visit a forest or moorland, the seaside or a river. If you can’t get outside, use houseplants, fruit or vegetables.

field corner filled with poppies and mayweed

Stay still for fifteen minutes and sketch what’s around you. Even if you think you can’t draw! You’re just trying to capture an impression. The act of putting something onto paper makes you look properly, helps you memorise it and perhaps notice the unexpected.

Relax and look at colours and textures, light and shade, shapes and angles, size and surroundings. Use all your senses and immerse yourself in the place. Lie on your back and watch the clouds. Pick a leaf and trace around the outline or make rubbings of textures. Take a flower home to press. Make notes about details and your thoughts. Take a few photographs at the end so you can add to your sketches later.


If you have more time

sketch and collage of knapweed, pressed buttercup

Add colour to your sketches with coloured pencils (I like using water soluble ones), paint or ink.

Add more detail to your sketches, perhaps using your photos or other reference material.

Make a collage in your sketchbook or stick in pressed flowers for future reference.

Use your sketches to produce a piece of work.

Read this post about going out to sketch and finding a creative buzz.


Have fun!

Do let us know what you’re creating in this year’s Challenge. Leave a comment below (with a link if you’re sharing online) or tag @Slamseys in Instagram.

2 thoughts on “Creative Challenge| Sketching Nature

  1. Enjoying this year’s challenge very much although I’m following the prompts rather erratically. You did say there were no rules though! Hope you are surviving this week’s heat ok. It’s really oppressive today in Oxfordshire especially when enveloped in a painting / printing apron! E x

    1. I’m so glad you’re joining in so enthusiastically 🙂 and pleased you’re following the prompts erratically as it rather fits the theme of going wherever you like with the challenge. Rain this morning briefly but still way too hot.

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