Drawing with Children chapter 5 gives a list of art supplies to try and in this entry I am going to help you through choosing pencils to use in your nature journal.
Pencils are easy to find and easy to use. They are small enough to fit in any backpack along with a nature journal. I always carry drawing pencils with me when we take our hikes and they are the “staple” of my nature drawing kit.
I have two ways of carrying them. If I am carrying my big backpack and have room to fit it in, I carry my Art Bin filled with various kinds of drawing pencils, a good metal sharpener, a few erasers, and a drawing tortillion.
If I am traveling light, I put a few pencils, my black ink pen, and a few old crayons in a Ziploc bag and carry them that way. Don’t laugh, it works.
Here is a photo of what I am describing. I actually pulled these out of my backpack so they are just as if I were ready to take off for a hike. I must admit that I rarely just take along pencils. I almost always end up throwing in some colored pencils or watercolor pencils. I couldn’t find a single example from my nature journal where I only used a drawing pencil. I use them to sketch things out roughly on the page and then put on a little color.
So what kind of pencils do you want to try? Most homeschoolers have a ready supply of the good old stand-by #2 pencils. This will do fine to start but for a variety of line you might want to try a different pencil that is harder or softer than the #2.
Mona Brookes suggests:
one #H (hard lead gives lighter line)
one #2B (the “B” is the softness)
one #5B or #6B
She also recommends starting a sketch with the #H, adding in some shading and detail with the #2B, and then going back and putting on the darkest shadings with the #5B or #6B.
Personally, I love to use the #4B and the #6B. When I am really into a sketch, I love to really make the darks dark and it is much easier to do with the #6B. If you really want to splurge, try a woodless pencil…it feels so good in your hand.
Pencils are relatively inexpensive so you can pick up a variety and add them into your art box. If you are on a budget and want to work on your drawing skills, then try just using pencil and eraser and you can get beautiful results. I have added a few of my own drawings to this blog post to give you some encouragement in using a variety of pencils in your nature journal as well as in your daily sketching.
Here are the rest of the Lessons:
Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.
You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.
Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:
The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.
Supplies Needed for the Lesson Above