Illustrating Nature: A Creative Exploration

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Course overview

Course type
Paid course
4 hours
18 lessons
Available on completion
Course author
Laura McKendry

Approaching a blank page with an open mind and a playful spirit can become a catalyst for inspiration, leaving behind self-doubt and the fear of making mistakes to make noticeable progress. Laura McKendry’s approach to illustration is founded on curiosity and experimentation, creating striking pieces ranging from fine art prints, to greeting cards, gift-wrap, homeware, and more.

In this course, Laura shows you how to experiment with watercolor, ink, and other mixed media of your choice to create three pieces inspired by the natural world. Discover the techniques she incorporates into her work to expand your creativity and find your own unique way to represent nature.


Illustrate the natural world with an experimental approach using watercolor and ink

Laura begins the course by telling you about her background as an illustrator, sharing her influences and work that inspires her. She then tells you about her course and explains what you are about to learn.

Start off by experimenting with different materials. Begin with ink, learning different techniques and Laura’s own methods before developing your own. Then, see how watercolor paint can be used, how it moves, and how to mix it. Learn how to combine colored pencil and watercolor. Experiment further by using any materials you have at home to create color palettes and making different types of strokes and shapes with your mixed media.

In the next unit, Laura shows you different ways to turn drawing into a habit for creative exploration. See different exercises for overcoming your fear of the blank page and warm up your drawing hand before getting started. Learn why Laura believes that drawing outdoors can benefit your work and find a place outdoors to sketch birds and the surrounding nature. Discover different ways of drawing flora and fauna using photos and videos as references, without sacrificing the movement and dynamism of your work.

In the final unit, bring together all the tricks and techniques you’ve learned. Combine watercolors, ink, colored pencils, and other mixed media to draw the nature around you. Get some final tips from Laura and finish the course by creating a set of three images.

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