An Introduction to Nature Journaling
When many people start thinking about nature walking, they inevitably come across mentions of nature journaling, with references to the importance of the types of paints and pencils and paper to use…. It is all very technical and enough to put anyone off! But in this lesson, I want you to completely forget about all of the technical stuff and instead discover what exactly nature journaling is and how you can start your own nature journal – without all the technical itty-bitties.
What is a Nature Journal?
So, what exactly is a nature journal?
Essentially, a nature journal is a way to record your thoughts, feelings, findings and observations out and about in Nature. Anything that catches your imagination, things you notice, things you find and things you want to remember… they can all go in your nature journal.
What goes in a Nature Journal?
Examples of nature journal entries include:
- Record of first of the year sightings (e.g first butterfly, bee, flower etc)
- Landscape sketches
- Close-up sketches
- Nature walk details (e.g. where the walk was, the weather, type of walk, observations)
- Record of lunar cycles
- Weather record
- Scrapbook pages (e.g. grasses, flowers, feathers, leaves)
- Plant records (e.g. sketches, bark rubbings and leaf rubbings for a tree)
- Poetry and inspired essays or notes
- Nature study notes
How to use a Nature Journal
When it comes to using your journal, you can use any medium you wish – pencil, ball-points, felt-tips, crayons, pastels, charcoal, paints, collage… you are limited only by your imagination. Yes, particular paint or pencil sets might be better than others and some might insist they and only they must be used. But remember – a journal, like a diary is a personal record. Unless you are journaling professionally and intend selling your sketches etc. none of this technical stuff matters. Likewise, you do not need to be an expert poet, author or artist! Everyone starts somewhere, and even matchstick plants and animals are a good and personal start.
Also, when it comes to choosing your actual journal – just go with what you are comfortable with. You may use special canvases and textured paper if you wish, but plain old jotter pads, blank pages, lined pages, graph pages… paper bags, envelopes…. anything you have at hand or can easily purchase will do when you’re beginning.