Wednesday 3 July 2019

A Drawing challenge for 30 Days Wild

Horse Chestnut Leaf

The Wildlife Trusts have been running an initiative in June called 30 Days Wild, encouraging people to get back in touch with nature and discover what a positive impact contact with nature has on us. I meant to take part last year but it never really happened so this year I was determined to get involved. The natural world is such an important part of all our lives and our connection to it is at the heart of my artistic practice.

Snail shell after a thrush had dinner

Found wasps nest

A swarm of barrel jellyfish washing up was an interesting highlight!

I sent off for my pack and was really excited when it arrived, complete with wall chart, stickers and seeds. The 1st June was a lovely sunny day and I was out enjoying the self seeded wildflowers in my garden. I did a quick sketch of some poppies blowing about in the wind and decided that I would tie in my 30 Days Wild observations with a creative challenge.

Poppies: Day 1


More poppies: Day 26

I started off thinking that I would make it a creative challenge; the aim being to create something each day either inspired by or made of natural materials I'd collected but in the end it ended up being a drawing challenge. This fitted in well with my (more or less) daily drawing practice and has given it a bit of a focus over the past 30 days or so.



An unusual shell

I really enjoyed doing my 30 Days of Wild Drawing (which you can see over on my instagram feed if you'd like to.) It gave me a strong incentive to draw everyday which is what I always aim to do but when it gets busy, as it was this month, my daily drawing is often one of the first things that drops, despite the fact that daily drawing is one of the things I find really helps with my well being!

Swallows and house martins flying high


Birds in the garden

It also encouraged me to look more closely at the natural world and I saw lots of small creatures and noticed details I might otherwise have missed. I like to think I'm a fairly observant person and I've always been interested in wildlife but however 'good' we are at something we can always do better and learn something new. Doing this challenge also gave me a good excuse to get out everyday and collect more treasures; mostly feathers and shells!

Trying new media

Feather: Pen, chalk pencil and iridescent oil pastels

Feather: Pen, chalk pencil and iridescent oil pastels

Trying different media: ripped tissue paper

Doing the challenge and sharing it online also encouraged me to try doing things a bit differently. For instance, one day I found two beautiful iridescent feathers on the beach. I wanted to draw them and I wanted to try and capture some of that iridescence so I dug out some iridescent oil pastels I knew I had stashed and had a go with those. I combined them with my usual pen drawing and was really pleased with the result. It's quite subtle but is an effect I would like to explore further.

Carrying on into July!

Feather: Pen, chalk pencil and iridescent oil pastels

Feather: Pen, chalk pencil and iridescent oil pastels

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