Jean Mackay - Drawn to Nature: A Sketchbook Series (Online); Thursdays, September 15, October 6, November 10 & December 8, 2022

Date: Thursdays, September 15, October 6, November 10 & December 8, 2022
Time: 3:00-5:00 PM Pacific Time/6:00-8:00 PM Eastern Time/11:00 PM-1:00 AM London Time
Level: All
Medium: Ink & Watercolor

Supply List – right-click or option-click to download

Sketching nature is a powerful tool for connecting to the wider world around us. This class will focus on multiple approaches to capturing nature-related subjects with an eye toward deepening our understanding, appreciation, and connection to the places we live or visit. We will work primarily in ink and watercolor, the most portable and versatile mediums for field sketching, and focus on a variety of subjects to help you build your artistic skills while experimenting with different layouts and techniques.

Sign up for one or take all four of these ink and watercolor workshops! Each session includes a 2-hour Zoom lesson with Jean and a private class group message board for students to share their work and give and get feedback.


Thursday, September 15: Field Notes
This session will focus on capturing and learning about the natural history of your subject with simple sketches and watercolor washes, as well as notes, research, questions, call outs, and closeups. We’ll use mushrooms as our subject, but this technique is one you can use with any nature-related subject.


Thursday, October 6: Poetry of Nature Sketch
A nature journal is not just about nature—it’s also about you. It’s about what you see, what fascinates you, and what you want to express. This session will explore ways to capture the essence of your subject with a detailed painting paired with a quote or poem that expresses what’s important to you. We’ll choose a fall subject, like colorful leaves, dried grasses, and late-season flowers, for this session’s focus. 


Thursday, November 10
: Explorer’s Sketch
Imagine walking along a trail, or the roadside, or at the beach, sketchbook in hand…you don’t know what you’re going to find. Something catches your eye—you sketch it quickly—then move on. Another thing strikes you and you sketch it on the same page, continuing until your page is full. During this session, we’ll use a collection of objects found on a beach and focus on how to capture a sense of discovery on a single page. This technique works well anytime you are exploring and want to sketch multiple subjects connected by a theme.


Thursday, December 8: Sense of Place Sketch
Learn to use a flexible grid format to capture key elements of a particular place. This technique is especially useful when traveling or anytime you want to convey a sense of place with multiple small sketches, such as landscapes, maps, plants, wildlife, or simple color swatches and words. Choose your own place and reference photos for this class or work from images provided by the instructor. 


Jean Mackay is an artist, educator, and naturalist. She has been keeping an artist journal for more than nearly 20 years a way to study and share the beauty and diversity of nature, as well as to record the art of everyday living. Working in all kinds of settings, from tide pools to farm fields to her own backyard, Jean’s journals reflect a keen eye for detail and profound sense of wonder. Jean teaches at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine and at the Art School of Columbia County in New York. Her blog, Drawn In, shares the ordinary, yet extraordinary things that she encounters close to home and farther afield.


About Our Online Classes:

  • This class is taught live via Zoom. To take this class, you need a microphone and camera enabled computer OR an iPad /smart tablet OR a smart phone (android or IOS) and a strong internet connection.
  • Interact with the instructor and other participants, watch live demos and receive feedback and instruction. You will have access to a class chat forum on our website where you can share work, comment and ask questions.
  • Class will be recorded and recordings expire 60 days after the final day of the course.
  • Participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and class details 5-7 days before the class starts (don’t forget to check your junk folder). Zoom link will also be posted in the class message board. Check your confirmation email for a message board link. Find out how to access the class group message board here. 

Choose all four or purchase sessions individually

Jean Mackay
Jean Mackay
Jean Mackay
Jean Mackay
Jean Mackay
Drawn to Nature: Fall Sketchbook Series
September 15 - Field Notes
October 6 - Poetry of Nature Sketch
November 10 - Explorer’s Sketch
December 8 - Sense of Place Sketch

Sign up for all 4 at once and save $40.  If you sign up for some sessions individually and then want to sign up for the rest later, please contact Martha for a discount coupon code.