Today I’m thrilled to offer Pikaland readers a peek into Jill Bliss’ new journal from Chronicle Books! Titled Drawing Nature, the journal is filled with basic tips and techniques from Jill on how to capture nature between its pages. Jill’s style is one of the most unique one out there – colorful flowing patterns of dots, lines and shapes have become her calling card amongst her renderings of nature.
Drawing Nature: A Journal by Jill Bliss
Hardcover: 192 pages
A MINI INTERVIEW:
Hi Jill, can you tell us the inspiration behind the book?
Teaching others to draw throughout the years led to formerly teaching a series of nature drawing workshops here in Portland during the summer, which lead to the making of this book!
Your art is primarily inspired based on nature — can you share with us why it inspires you so?
Because it has everything in it! And I suppose it’s just what I know best having grown up on a farm.
Could you share your process of making art with us, and what are your thoughts when you put pen to paper?
I try to have an open mind when i draw. I may sometimes have a rough idea of what I want the drawing to look like when I’m finished, but generally I start in a specific place on the page with a specific thing and the drawing just builds from there! The process is more fun that way, and I learn and discover much more!
What advice would you give budding artists who are looking for ways to incorporate nature into their work?
Just do it! Nature is all around you – you can always find a leaf, a rock or a twig to study and draw! You don’t even have to find a “pretty” thing to draw – you can learn a lot, and learn to appreciate, mundane or boring things by taking the time time to study them and faithfully draw them!
Jill’s book starts out with an introduction into drawing – the hows, whys and the hows, which will help those who needs a little more justifications on the need for sketching, drawing and seeing things with new eyes (I’m sold on the idea already, but it’s always nice to be reminded time and again!)
A brief and illustrated section on tools makes up the subsequent chapter, and finally the best part of the book – the how-to section. Jill breaks it down for you – taking you step by step into loosening up your hands and also guiding you to see things differently, thereby allowing you to put what you see onto paper in a relaxed, conscious manner. And onwards and forwards the section goes – from flower, to leaves, and branches until you are able to put them all together within the journal, which has plenty of pages for you to experiment on your own. Inspiring notes dot the footer of journal pages, and images of Jill’s own drawings are slipped in to inspire sketchers and doodlers as well.
While I rarely reveal my works enough over here on the blog, I do admit a penchant for drawing trees. I do them up mostly with ink and pen, and they’re mostly black (because I had only black ink at the time.) I prefer free-hand drawing, tracing the contours of my subject matter with my eyes and letting my hands guide their way onto paper; and I rarely start out with outlines of any kind, unless it’s a commission for a client. Which is why Jill’s book is such a treat — it has opened my eyes to experiment with more color into my plain ol’ black and white images, and to transform them with markings, patterns and pure unfiltered, raw lines that will add character to almost anything that I see. And that is one of the most valuable lesson I’ve learned from Jill’s book — how to see.
To celebrate the launch of Jill’s journal, we’re giving away ONE copy of Drawing Nature to Pikaland readers! Just leave a comment stating your favorite flower, plant or tree, and we’ll pick out a random winner in a week’s time.
UPDATE: Commenting has now closed, thanks so much for participating. The winner of this giveaway is Nancy as chosen via random.org!
That’s it for this week folks! Have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday!