Outdoor Activities

Nature Sketchbook Journaling at the Audubon Society at Pomfret

Nature Painting at Pomfret Audubon Society

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to draw or paint the nature scenes you stumble upon, the Nature Sketchbook Journaling session in Pomfret is for you.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often seen something in nature that I wish I had the ability to capture as art. Whether it’s while taking a hike at Sleeping Giant, staying up way too late to watch the sun rise, or just walking through the parking lot on my way to work, there are just certain scenes that a photograph can’t capture as beautifully as a sketch or painting.

Alas, like most people, I was not gifted with a natural talent for creating visual art. Still, I wonder sometimes if it’s something that can be learned.

I recently stumbled upon a class offered by the Audubon Society at Pomfret which offers to show participants the ropes of nature sketching and painting. While I haven’t taken the class myself, I’ve heard good things about it. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at drawing or painting nature, then this might be just the thing you need to get started.

Nature Sketchbook Journaling

In the class, you’ll be outdoors sketching and painting scenes from nature using pencil, pen, and watercolor. The instructor, Roxanne Steed, will show you how to simplify your scenes (cutting out the clutter that doesn’t impact the image itself) and teach you some basic drawing and water color techniques.

Because nature is never still, speed is usually of the essence (that bird won’t stay perched just so on that branch forever!). That means that capturing your scene needs to be quick: either while the subject is still intact, or while it’s at least still fresh in your mind.

By taking the class, even if you’re not a professional, you’ll improve your creativity, get a chance to observe nature, and record the day in a meditative setting.

What to Bring

Though the class is relatively cheap (see Visitor Information below), you do need to bring your own supplies with you. These include a pencil and eraser, a permanent, waterproof black drawing pen, a travel size (or children’s) watercolor set, a watercolor brush, a watercolor sketchbook or journal (since normal paper will buckle as it absorbs the paint), a water bottle (since you’ll be thirsty, and to rinse your brushes), a small plastic cup or container to rinse your brushes in, and a camp chair or small stool if you think you’ll want to sit while sketching/painting.

That’s a lot to bring, but you likely have most of it in your house already. And, actually committing to buying the supplies will give you incentive to actually follow through on your plan of being more creative! Worst case, if you realize it isn’t for you, you can donate your supplies to a school or library, or let your kids practice their skills.

Visitor Information

Where: 218 Day Road, Pomfret Center
When: January 14, 2017, 1pm to 4pm
Cost: $20 for non-members and $10 for members

About the author

Timothy Stobierski

Tim Stobierski is a Connecticut native and a freelance writer and editor who has worked with a number of publishers including Taunton, Abrams, and Yale University Press. He has written for Grow Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Hartford Courant, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other publications. His first book of poetry, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer was published in 2012 by River Otter Press.

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