On my wander today, I came across the perfect place to sketch, on the root of a Beech tree covered in moss. Earlier, I had been thinking about those who might prefer to sketch the things they discover on their walks, the little things. So today was about noticing the little things.
Nature will bear the closest inspection. She’s invited us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insects view of her plain.Henry David Thoreau
I nestled down with my art materials and decided to draw whatever I found within reach beneath my feet. It was quite fun to do. I sketched them all first and then coloured them with watercolour afterwards.
First into the hand was the beech nut casing which was open and an interesting shape to draw. Next, I discovered a small Beech nut which had not matured properly. Recently a twig had fallen down with the buds waiting to uncurl. The buds of the beech tree were long and thin. Someone years ago said to me that beech tree buds look like panama cigars, it’s always stuck in my mind. I find little bits of information always help me to remember tree identification. I do the same with flowers with snippets of folklore.
Next, I discovered a pine cone which had been chomped on by a squirrel. It looked like a corn on the cob which had been devoured. It had a reddish tinge, the top stems remaining, which caught my eye. Things you find might have clues how you identify what it is. You can use identification books to build your knowledge over time, or go on a nature walk with someone with knowledge of nature.
A decaying beech Leaf was last into my hand. The cells had started to break down in a few areas. It’s amazing to think it started a different journey as Autumn started, making its way to the ground. Even in Spring time it’s still here for me to draw and for you to see.
I added decriptions under each sketch and then painted each one using my Windsor & Newton travelling paint set. It goes everywhere with me and is small enough to fit in a pocket. I also use a pentel water brush,so I don’t have to carry an extra pot of water with me.
Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature around you enables you to have a stronger connection to your surrounding landscape. You will start to notice the little things. Have a go the next time you are outdoors and try sketching a few things you discover.