Before photography, one of the
only ways to capture and
record natural surroundings
was to make drawings or
“studies” of objects from the
To accurately record
something for future
categorization and study,
plants, animals, and insects
are drawn in meticulous
detail. Each feather, leaf
vein, or bit of bark was drawn
as close to the original as
In this ink study the
represented with dots
and lines. You get a
real sense of the
surface texture of the
This drawing shows
how the leaves grow
on the branch, the
form and texture of
seed pods and the
intricate texture of the
Notice the different lines
used to describe the
leaves, petals, and
This drawing is not a nature study, but it is based on
drawings of flowers. The details in the textures are
precise and descriptive.
The detail on the bark in
this study is beautiful.
These studies fill the entire page examining
different parts of the plants.
Using line and texture these drawings are both
The jagged edge of
the leaves is well
observed in this
Astounding detail has been
given to the surface of this
The textures in the shells help define the form and
surface in these drawings.
Divide your white paper into six equal
squares using your ruler (not by folding
Carefully look at the objects you brought
to class. Use each of the six squares to
zero in on a specific area of each object.
Using your pen and ink wash,
completely fill each square with a
different observed texture.
Notice that leaves have different
textures on each side, as do insect
wings and shells. If you cannot find six
different textures in your objects then try
swapping with your neighbor half-way
The final assignment with your objects is to create
a page of nature studies.
Nature studies are as scientific in their execution
as possible. When drawing each object try to
capture the details accurately, drawing all
textures and forms.
Using your ink wash and pen and ink you will
draw all of your objects on one page, varying the
size so that the entire page is used. It is fine to
slightly overlap your objects and draw the same
object more than once from different angles.
We are still focusing on contour line, with the
added depth of texture and tone.