This week’s journal assignment was to sketch a cornfield, cornstalk, or ear of corn
The weather has been pretty extreme this week. We had our first major wind storm of the year and it knocked a tree into a transformer, which subsequently blew up in a huge flash of green light, then set the tree on fire and knocked out the power to our city. Needless to say, it wasn't a week that lent itself towards nature journaling. We did have one nice day, when we joined friends at a local farm. It was a perfect opportunity to sketch a cornfield, except that we were too busy having fun instead of sketching our surroundings.
So instead, we sketched some calico corn that we had out on our nature table. Sola stuck with the yellow and white calico corn, but I decided to try sketching the most challenging variation. I am finding that I feel much more comfortable when sketching in black and white. Recently John Muir Laws wrote a blog post about choosing colored pencils, in which he states that
More is not better. You will not be happiest with the big 150 pencil set. With this many pencils, you spend most of your time searching for the right green out of twenty, or trying to put it back in the right place. research on choice also shows that you are also less satisfied with your choice, wondering if you picked the right one (Greifeneder et al 2009). If you have about 24 pencils, you grab what works and start drawing. You can mix the colors you need by combining pencils with soft strokes.
I wish that I had read this post a few months ago, before I bought our large set of pencils, because when I try to sketch with color, I do exactly what he mentions, waste too much time trying to find the right color. At the same time, I have most certainly not mastered blending well enough to capture all of the colors I observe. So, I find that sticking to black and white allows me to focus on form and shading without the stress of matching colors. Sola, on the other hand, cares only about the color of what she sees, and much less about the form or shading.
Next week’s assignment is to sketch our tree for the month.
We’d love for you to join us in our weekly nature journaling “assignment”.
If you would like to join us, you can read this post to learn more about the whys and wherefores of our weekly nature journaling assignments.
If you do decide to join us, please post a link to your blog post, Instagram photo, Facebook post, etc. showcasing your “assignment”.
I hope that you can find time to get out into nature in the next week and maybe journal while you’re at it.