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Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

4.68  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The ultimate guide to nature drawing and journaling. This is the how-to guide for becoming a better artist and a more attentive naturalist. In straightforward text complemented by step-by-step illustrations, dozens of exercises lead the hand and mind through creating accurate reproductions of plants and animals as well as landscapes, skies, and more. This book provides ...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Heyday Books (first published 2015)
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Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So comprehensive and the drawings are so beautiful. I love just flipping through this book.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I'll admit it - I haven't actually read every single page in this book yet - I wanted one more to round off my 2016 reading challenge. I just got it for Christmas but I have already perused it multiple times, used it as reference, and look forward to integrating its excellently rich content and learning from it more into the future. I am definitely a beginner nature journalist but I think it is fair to say the material could be beneficial to artists of all levels. John Muir Laws is a great ...more
Leah Markum
This book is in high demand at my library. Art books in general get checked out a lot, especially bird and botanical arts books, especially Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling. I haven't completed all the exercises yet, but I've done enough for an overall impression.

Few art books encompass most nature subjects. This one and many others have a lot of birds, sure. There's a clique for nature people who are foremost bird people. I don't specialize in birds, but I don't want to exclude them
Annie Kate
Laws is filled with wonder at the beauty of nature and encourages us to notice and give thanks. Drawing is not to produce a pretty picture but to record, to be in awe, and to wonder.

Although this author is not obviously a Christian, he reminds us of God's great gift to us in nature, the gift that shows us who he is, that answered Job's questions, that preaches without words to the whole world. How can we ignore it so blithely?

This book will be part of our homeschool as we deliberately set out
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely inspirational and phenomenal resource on nature journaling. Tons of examples, gorgeous illustrations, and, through it all, emphasis on thinking, noticing, questioning, making hypotheses, drawing conclusions...which leads to a greater awe of nature. My 5 year old and I have started a weekly nature journal and we both love asking questions about our discoveries. I am buying this today, if I can find it!
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent guide for new and experienced artists. It provides very good instruction on drawing specifically for nature drawing such that you could use this to get started making some excellent sketches/pictures when out and about. One of the best, most comprehensive and most approachable drawing books I've seen.

Of course if you want to draw anime or castles, this won't help much.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring and informative. What more could I need?
Jenny Preston
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm so inspired. Im not sure I can actually accomplish such a beautiful nature journal but I feel equipped to give it a good try.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Raynell McClellan
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool-books
I love this book! My kids have started keeping nature journals and I thought it would be cool for them to learn some drawing techniques. So far they really like this book.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Probably essential reading for whom it is essential reading, but might be of interest for those who might not think it of interest.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are many books for nature journalists, but most are examples of what the authors have done. Some learn by seeing another's work, but John Muir Laws goes much further. He provides the how to: how to describe and "see" the weather, the animals, insects, birds. And then he provides step-by-step instruction on how to draw the creatures and plants among us. This book is worth far more than the price; it is a textbook that is fun and easy to read. John Muir Laws says he is dyslexic; the notes ...more
Dena Shunra
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveforever
In her book The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron talks about "priming the pump" - spending time with art that inspires you in ways that bring you into the headspace of that art, so you can get through there to your own art.

John Muir Laws does this for me. His sketches, sketchbooks, videos, and gentle presence have been inspiring my nature journaling and growth as an artist since I came across them, years ago, when I was looking for guidance about drawing leaves.

This book is particularly special: I
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Nature lovers
A necessity for any budding naturalist and good for children and their parents. The curiosity kit is a fun concept.

Every profession has its recommended methods of keeping records and while I've admired the journals of naturalists and ornithologists, I've never considered the underlying principles. This book covers this in great detail, not just the how to draw, but also the what and why behind your records. Even if you have no intention of keeping a journal, if you enjoy nature hikes, using the
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a tremendous resource for those wanting to learn how to draw the things they see in nature! This is not a "kid's book," but is accessible to anyone with some drawing savvy and the desire to learn more, perhaps age 10 and up. It's hefty, chock full of inspiration and instruction, and could serve equally well as a nature study how to and an art how to.
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A thick book covering all aspects of nature drawing and journaling from what to take along on your trek to how to capture nature in all of its forms. Interestingly as a side note, this artist struggled with dyslexia and has met with great success in his field.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic source of inspiration and instruction. I read it front to back but will definately be dipping in and out of it again and again. Many clever little technique pointers and also fun project ideas. So good!
Alfred Baudisch
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drawing-art
This is probably the best drawing book out there. I finished reading it, but at the same this is not really "finishing reading" and shelving it, it is a book to always have at hand when you are drawing.
Nancy Lewis
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
Really beautiful illustrations. I can only hope to use the suggested techniques to refine my current journaling abilities.
Laura Vogt
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Jul 17, 2019
Pat Loughery
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Oct 23, 2016
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Apr 18, 2018
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Aug 09, 2018
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Lisa Nelson-Jones
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May 08, 2019
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Oct 06, 2016
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Sep 22, 2017
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John Muir Laws is a naturalist, artist, and educator who has dedicated his work to connecting people to nature through art and science. From an early age his parents instilled in him a deep love and respect for nature. Over the years, that love has grown to a commitment to stewardship and a passion to share the