Sketch a bird, a bee, a flower or a tree this summer. Try your hand at nature journaling

Can you draw the leaf of the camel foot tree? Or maybe you’d rather quickly sketch that ladybird before she flies away?

Encouraging children to bond with Nature, to take time and observe things around them, to feel respect and responsibility towards their environment — a small step towards it is the idea of nature journaling.

“We want children to open up and spend time with nature and feel its magic. Nature journaling brings together sketching and writing, and combines it with the practise of keeping a diary, where people capture their feelings. So here you get children’s perspective of nature. They all could be sketching the same Gulmohar flower, but each child has his or her own story to tell,” says wildlife illustrator and nature artist Sangeetha Kadur.

This summer, Sangeetha will be conducting GreenScraps, nature journaling workshops through the summer in the green boroughs of Lal Bagh where children can sketch, write poems and record nature as they see around them. “Lal Bagh has a wide variety — of tree cover, shrubbery and manicured gardens that are more at the eye-level of children and offers things for kids to observe,” she points out.

Children will be taught how and what to observe, look out for, how to observe leaves, birds, insects, basic sketching techniques required for field sketching. “In field sketching, we don’t have time to do detailed art work, so we stress on how to record quickly, but grasp all the necessary details, the colours, the proportions,” says Sangeetha. If it is a flower they are sketching, it should also be seen not just as a separate entity but as part of the tree it came from. This way, children can go back and identify it, and look up the tree in books and indulge in further reading.

Should children know drawing basics to participate? “We believe that any one can draw. Writing is a form of drawing, so if you can write you can draw too. It’s just some mind blocks people have and we hope to break that barrier.” The five-day workshops, starting today, are on till May 9, and are conducted between 7.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. before the heat sets in. It’s for children aged eight to 16. The workshops are priced Rs. 3,500, inclusive of a hardbound journal and all material. Contact 9241449073 or mail greenscraps.journal@ gmail.com