Keeping a Cape Cod nature journal

I love this time of year for sketching and painting. It can be a little chilly to be outside and exposed to the elements but I have found that if I bring my smaller sketchbook I can work pretty comfortably in the car.

I travel light and just bring a few things with me. I have a tiny little set of watercolor paints that comes in a tiny plastic box. The whole box fits in my hand. I bring a pen that has a very fine point and permanent black ink that won’t run when I put a watercolor wash over it. My favorite new toy, however, is the waterbrush. It has the water right in the handle! I have never bought one of these but I recently joined a sketchbook group online and everyone was raving about using these brushes so I bought one. Now I wonder how many years of sketching I have lost by not having one of these. There’s no need to carry water. I still need to carry my trusty cloth or paper towel to test colors and clean the brush but it has lightened up my load a lot.

013Sitting in the car and drawing or painting is not always comfortable but on cold and blustery days it is a LOT more comfortable than working outside in the elements.

I have been using a small Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook which I can open up and either use flat for a panoramic view or I can use the two pages as two entries.

019I am also keeping a bird journal in a separate sketchbook filled with fine drawing and watercolor paper. It is handmade and I bought it as a special holiday gift for myself.

018I like these sorts of sketching times because I can add notes, sightings, etc. or anything else I want to add. Bad poetry has been known to happen….

011 012Some days this past week have been pretty warm and today I actually sat outside to paint some of the many crocuses that are finally blooming in my yard.


For me, looking back in these journals will bring me back to these hopeful spring days out on the beach and in the garden in a way that a photograph never can.