As long as I can remember, I have drawn, sketched, colored, painted and in general taken great joy in piddling in different mediums in my feeble attempts to be an “artist”. It took me years to learn that as long as I was happy with my creation, that was enough. I have finally lost the need for perfection or approval. I am happy when I can capture the essence of a bird or a landscape or a human figure. I guess that makes me an impressionist. Whatever I am, it matters not. I derive great pleasure from sketching my birds and revisiting those pages in my journals to revive the memories of their sightings.
So just what are the basics for drawing, sketching or painting in a bird journal? A short list might include the following:
- Sketching pencils – 4B and 2B (higher the number, the softer the lead)
- Pencil sharpener
- Mechanical pencil ( an optional item, personal preference)
- Strathmore Drawing Pad (many different sizes so once again personal choice)
- Strathmore watercolor paper – 90# coldpress (this is a medium weight paper)
- Strathmore watercolor paper – 140# is a higher quality and therefore more absorbent
- Windsor Newton Water Colors – get student quality (really cheap ones will frustrate you but professional quality are not needed for learning)
- Water soluble wax pastels. (Aquarellable)
- black sharpie
- Stabilo pencil
- Charcoal pencil
- A couple of watercolor brushes
- And of course, some type of journal
The list could stretch on and on. Experiment, try new products/papers. It doesn’t take long to find your “go to” favorites that help you capture a memory in a birding journal. Paste in beach passes, restaurant receipts, print a photograph and lay it into the journal. Make your journal yours and build memories along the way.