Watercolor Quick Sketch in the Garden

5 19 11 Daisies in a Pot

I have been sharing my hopes for a colorful “artist’s garden” to sit and sketch in over the summer. I am impatient for all my flowers to start growing but I was inspired this morning by my colorful blooming flowers on the back deck, waking to the sun and warmer temperatures totally lifts my mood and urges me to step outside.

The hummingbirds were darting in and out of the feeders hanging from the eaves on the back of the house and the bees were buzzing among the flowers. It was peaceful. I brought my new favorite art supplies and my nature journal to do a quick sketch and watercolor. Honestly this page took me about twenty minutes start-to-finish, including deciding what to draw and finding a comfortable spot to sit.

Gerbera daisy journal (3)
I made a quick sketch with my Prismacolor marker and didn’t worry too much about exact proportions or numbers of petals. I think that is the difference between art and taking a photo….if you want an exact representation you really should just take a photo. I was going more for capturing my mood and the vibrant color.

Gerbera daisy journal with field watercolor set
I used my little field box of watercolors. I shared this set of watercolors with some friends at a nature study presentation a few weeks ago and they were amazed at how small and light this little box is in real life. I am going to start carrying this in my daypack when I hike so I can add some quick color to my nature journal when I am out and about. It even includes a small brush and a vial to carry some water if you need it. (I rarely carry water for watercolors when I hike since I usually have a water bottle or there is a stream or creek to scoop up some water for my art.)

The paint colors are so vibrant! I filled in the sketch with some watercolors with a sort of  “sketchy” style where I don’t worry too much about filling in the edges perfectly and if I color outside the lines that is okay too.

Watercolor Daisy Nature Journal
I came back with my Prismacolor marker and just outlined the petals again to sort of clean up the edges. I added a date and a caption to complete my page.

gerbera daisy journal (1)

This is my first garden sketch in what I hope will lead to a whole book full of colorful sketches.

Here are the links to the supplies. The watercolors are a little pricey but these paints seem like they are going to go a long way….lots of color for a little amount of paint. The Prismacolor marker set is one that I reviewed awhile back. There is such a great variety in this little set and I have been using mine weekly and have yet to use any of them up. You can read my review HERE.

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  1. I would like the Koi watercolors.

    Thanks for the opportunity.
    Amy @ Missional Mama
    Flyin Peru at yahoo dot com

  2. I just started nature journaling this spring, and tried my first watercolor page earlier this week, of the Lunaria growing in our garden. I used a similar technique to yours, starting with a black pen. It’s a simple way to get nice-looking results. I’d love a small watercolor box for the field!

  3. Wow, what a great giveaway! We would love the watercolours, since we already have that exact set of Prismacolour markers–and love them!

    Thanks for the chance to win. :)

    ljbourque at gmail dot com

  4. I would certainly use either, but I would especially love the watercolors. Such a handy size for taking along! — Kathy at http://www.needleandspade.com

  5. I would love to win the Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box


  6. Very neat!! We can never have enough watercolors, but the marking pens are so cool! Mmmmmm … I guess the pens.

    Thanks for the opportunity!


  7. I keep trying to get my little ones into nature journaling…but I suppose modeling for them would be the best way…do as I do…I’d love those watercolors to get me started. jlandeck at gmail dot com.

  8. The watercolors! The watercolors! They are beautiful! We only have Crayola watercolors, and a waterbottle…needless to say, watercolor painting doesn’t happen in the field.
    But This! THIS! This set is spectacular, Mrs. Barb!!

  9. I am inspired by you to just do it! To just break out the pencils and map pencils and sketch away! I love your gerbera daisy!

    I would love to win the Koi Watercolors. :o)

    [email protected]

    Shannon :o)

  10. your sketch is beautiful! i still have trouble being spontaneous with my sketches, you are so inspiring.

    i’ve been telling my husband that i need to get a watercolor field kit for ages, but just never got around to it.

  11. Oh, we’ve been taking nature walks and attempting some watercoloring with prismacolor watercolor pencils… but I would love, love, LOVE to have such a sweet little watercolor kit to take along as we improve!

  12. I love your blog. I learn something new from pretty much every post. I’d love to win the Prismacolor markers. Thanks for the giveaway.

    williams3129 at comcast dot net

  13. Seriously, you not only inspire us in nurturing and teaching our children, but you inspire us as mothers…as women! I’m linking to this brilliant bit of Mother Culture on the Educating Mother Facebook page!

    Thank you, thank you!!!

  14. I have been enjoying your blog for some time now and have bought the Handbook of Nature Study on account of it. I really love that book and your blog is the best. We recently bought blank field journals to begin our sketching and painting with. I am a reluctant artist but would love to become one. Either giveaway would be a lovely gift.

  15. What gorgeous watercolors! Beautiful painting.

    I just stopped by to tell you that, but if my name happened to be drawn, I have a kid who wouldn’t turn her nose up at that Prismacolor pen set. ;-)

  16. Your blog is so inspiring! I’m hoping to get out into the woods with my kiddos this summer and spend more time journaling. I would love the Koi watercolors! Thanks for the chance!
    maria at dirtundermynails dot com

  17. Both would be nice to have but I would LOVE the watercolors!

  18. That is beautiful! I would LOVE the watercolors. Thank you for the post and, well, the blog. :)

  19. Barb, you always inspire me. I love what you said about the difference between a photograph and a painting. That is something that my perfectionist kids and self needed to hear. Thank you so much!

    I think I’d like the markers…no the watercolors….no the markers. (I’m not very good at making decisions either!)

    Okay. The markers. We just bought some watercolors we’re playing with, so I think I’ll go with the markers until we get more comfortable with what we’ve got. Yes, the markers. :)

  20. Watercolors please! Thanks for the chance to win. Great sketch.

  21. I’d love to win the Prismacolour markers. I’ve been eyeing them at the store.


  22. too hard to choose. you pick. they both look great! And I”m putting them both in my wish list on amazon too. :)

  23. I would love the the markers! I just bought my boys nature sketch pads, so we’d have a lot of fun with them :) [email protected]

  24. Our four girls and I would use either. Hmmm. I can’t decide – you could choose for us if we happen to win :)

  25. Oh, I would love either… but if I have to choose, I would say the watercolours too.

    what a great giveaway

    hstovold at gmail

  26. Tough choice but I’d love to be entered for the watercolor set!

  27. I love your gerbera daisy!

    I would like either the markers or the watercolors, but if I have to choose, I’d pick the watercolors.

    Thanks so much for the opportunity :)

  28. I love the Koi watercolors!! Thanks for the opportunity to win them!

  29. I am encouraged by your blog to get out and nature journal at least weekly with my 5 little homeschoolers. We love using watercolors in our journaling, but have only been adding them to our entries once we’re home. I’d love to throw my name in the hat for the watercolor field set!
    A big THANK YOU for your motivating entries!!
    firthfamily at yahoo dot come

  30. I love the bright colors you got with the koi. I still have some water color pencils I am fond of so I am not really commenting to join the give-way, just to say I am inspired by your inside out graden ideas this summer. I love flowers and I love drawing and ainting from nature. Thank you fro sharing your passion and emjoyment with us

  31. I would love to win the watercolors. Thanks for the inspiration! Carrie
    [email protected]

  32. Love the watercolors!

  33. I love how you lead us, step by step. The vibrant colors and the joy of your time to sit outside and notice the flowers and hummingbirds! It’s impossible not to be inspired.

    (And the watercolor set is lovely.)

  34. Thank you for hosting this giveaway. I’d love to start my own nature journal, and the watercolors sound fabulous. Thanks.

    alisha dot hagelberg at gmail dot com

  35. hello barb, what a lovely giveaway. we like the watercolors. i need to put together a nature post and we need to get out and sketch together. it’s been awhile. the girls have been busy with end of year dance recitals and music recitals. (and performances!). i love your sketch. thanks for sharing it :)

  36. How beautiful and what neat supplies.:) I heard about your Outdoor Hour from a friend’s blog. On my first visit here you have a giveaway. What a blessing.:) If I were to win, we’d happily use either. Thanks & I look forward to reading more here!

  37. What a great reminder that a sketch doesn’t have to take all afternoon. A reminder that I needed.

    As for the giveaway?
    Watercolors, please!


  38. What a wonderful giveaway! My daughter and I would love the watercolors. Thanks for the chance!

  39. I’d love the watercolor set. And I’d really like to know specifically what you use for your nature journal when you include watercolors.
    I’m very excited about starting a nature study with my kids this summer.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. We are new to journaling and still need lots of help. We would love the watercolors.

  41. Love your sketches! Would love those watercolors!!!

  42. I would love the Koi watercolors! Thanks for a fun giveaway! :)

    lisaolson80 at gmail

  43. I would like the koi watercolors! Thanks for a great giveaway! :)
    lisaolson80 at gmail.

  44. Well, after seeing your beautiful painting I was headed over to amazon.com to buy the Koi watercolor set . . . then I noticed your giveaway and thought I’d better wait and see if I am the “lucky” one who wins a set! : ) Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring and gorgeous work with the rest of us.
    Carrie F.

  45. You make it look so easy! this post is very motivating. Thanks so much for sharing.

    The watercolors would be wonderful. Thanks so much for being so generous!

  46. Thanks for the giveaway! We’d love to try the Koi watercolors.

  47. Neat, neat, neat! I would love to win either ;) I would love the watercolor sketchbox.
    Thank you for the opportunity :)

  48. I would love to have the markers for my husband. He had a nice set until Grandma let the kids color with them… He’s been wanting a new set but won’t buy them for himself. Tomorrow’s his birthday and this would make a perfect belated birthday gift for him.

  49. I have been so blessed by your blog. It is what I would love to do…I even took pictures of our hike on the Battle Road, Mother’s Day. I love trees, and there were so many interesting trunks and everything is just beginning to bloom here in Boston! I would love to begin (again) to nature journal and sketch/color in it. You are so generous to offer a gift to your followers! If I were chosen, I would choose the watercolors, because the more convenient, the more likely I would be to actually follow through with doing it! Thank you. Warmly, Corrine in Boston
    lotsofgreene (at) gmail (dot) com

  50. That’s just so neat and inspiring. I’d love the opportunity to win the watercolor pocket box set. Thanks!

  51. I absolutely love your blog! We have just started using your ideas for our Nature Journals. Thank you for leading us to explore more of God’s beautiful creation! I think the watercolors are beautiful!
    April B.
    frugalmama4u at gmail dot com

  52. Thanks so much for this opportunity. Our art supplies are severely lacking, and I know my kids would love to have either. If I had to choose, I’d go with the watercolors.

    You truly are an inspiration. My family has always enjoyed the beauty nature has to offer. You remind us every day that we should embrace it, learn from it, protect it, and share it! Thanks for all you do.

    [email protected]

  53. Oh, my, it would be so fun to win that lovely little box of watercolors! I love how inspiring the gerber daisy post is; I might be tromping outside to try my hand at our seedlings or the baby cosmos I just planted. Thank you for sharing your joy!

  54. My girls would just love those watercolors! Beginning Memorial Day, they’ll be spending a lot of time in the Santa Cruz Mountains watching birds and enjoying nature. Thanks for all the nice posts!

  55. I love the idea of an artists garden! Lovely sketches. I would take the prismacolour markers!

  56. First, I love that gerbera daisy ~ it is so vivid and bold and they are one of my favorites!

    Second, I would love the chance to win the Koi Watercolors. I love the idea of a set you can carry with you!

  57. Oh, this post just makes me happy (and not just because of the giveaway!)–I LOVE the flower you painted!

    I’d love to win the watercolors!

  58. Oh, your gerbera is beautiful, it inspires me to get out our nature books again! I would love the watercolours!

  59. What a great giveaway! I’d love to win the watercolors!


  60. Here’s hoping!! Thanks for the chance at this great giveaway.

  61. My youngest of 6 is an avid birdwatcher and would love to have the watercolors to enliven the drawings of her feathered friends! “Little Sister” is 10yo and her nickname is from the book “Laddie” by Gene Stratton-Porter, which if you haven’t read yet, you will LOVE! All of her novels are a naturalists walk through the swamp, the forest, the garden and you will see, smell, hear and feel nature as you read.
    Thanks for doing this giveaway, it’s fun!
    [email protected]

  62. I would love to win the Prismacolour markers!


  63. what a fabulous idea!! if I don’t win these, they will be going on my christmas list!!

    Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box

    ngremore at gmail dot com

  64. I would love to win the Koi watercolor set. We don’t have any watercolors and I’m planning on spending the rest of spring and summer focusing more on our nature studies. This would be a great addition. Love this giveaway! Thank you for an opportunity to win.
    scysgrl @ gmail dot com

  65. I love the flower!

    I would love the Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box – what a great thing to have. Thanks for the chance,

    myyearinhaiku at gmail dot com

  66. Oh how lovely! We are recharging our nature journaling this spring having has some issues with sketch books not accommodating wet media.

    I would love the pocket field sketch box watercolors. So fun!

    My kids LOVE to paint while out on a walk. Amazing results!


  67. Would love the watercolors. Thanks for the post–I love your painting!

  68. I am just starting homeschooling and we are just starting nature journaling. We would love either gift.

    [email protected]

  69. I am encouraged and inspired by your blog, it is one of very few I read. I read this one to my kids, as we are in the beginning stages of nature journaling. My middle daughter said, “Mom, will you comment please? I would like the watercolors!” So there you have it. Thank you for sharing your beauty with us.

  70. Oh how generous! I would love the pocket watercolors.

    Love your blog!

  71. Thanks for the great tips and ideas. I have bookmarked your blog so it is one of my browser windows that open up automatically when I go online — love it!

    We are loving combining art and nature study. But the best thing is, every time my son and I go into the garden to sketch, he says, “I just LOVE doing artwork with Mami!” THAT’S what it’s supposed to be!

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