Nature Journaling Supplies ~ Revisited!

I recently shared with you my updated nature journaling supplies.

Already I have fussed around and changed them! It was more the method of organisation than the supplies themselves, but seeing as I love to look at how others organise their supplies, I thought it would be fun to share mine.

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First off here is my new daypack; the other was very old and tatty. This is a child’s pack, so not too big, which is great as it is always tempting to pack more stuff.

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Water for painting with

A tiny atomiser filled with clean water for spraying over my paints to get them nice & juicy before I begin to paint.

A genius, foldable pouch for pouring your water into (I stand the bottle in the pouch, to avoid the water blowing away on windy days!)

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First Aid kit

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It contains:

Antiseptic spray

Sun cream

Bite / sting lotion

Antibacterial gel

Bug repellant (I made this myself, it is just a blend of essential oils in a coconut oil base)

Plasters

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Small sandwich box (to collect small nature treasures)

Hand wipes

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A large pencil case stores the following:

Watercolours

Tissues for blotting

Paperclips to hold open my journal

Tin of supplies:

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Prismacolor pencils in white & black grape (useful for sketching and asking highlights / shadows)

4B pencil 

2B pencil 

Platinum carbon ink pen My favourite pen! Oh, how I love this one! Reliable, waterproof, deep black ink. Never lets me down.

Derwent watercolour pencil in blue grey I have added a nice new one to my kit. Smashing for sketching, then painting over with watercolour. Gives a lovely effect

White gel pen Perfect for adding small highlights to finished watercolours.

Cross mechanical pencil (not quite the same as mine, but similar) Fantastic, as it never needs sharpening!

Versatil round pointed brush Great for tree branches & fine details. A smashing, well-priced, synthetic brush.

Da Vinci 1503 size 8 watercolour brush A beautiful brush, with an exquisite point. Pretty much the only brush I use in my journal.

An old brush. Used for splatters & scrubbing out colour. It is also sharpened at the other end, so I can use it to scrape out colour when dried, or scrape in twigs etc.

Ruler. Useful for measuring specimens out in the field.

Birthday candle. Perfect for keeping white highlights in your watercolour, due to its resist properties.

Penknife For cutting wee plant specimens.

Kneadable Eraser. These are smashing! You can shape them to the smallest point to erase tiny details, or add highlights to a pencil sketch. Knead after use to avoid build up of colour from the pencil.

Cut up credit / key card. Again, useful for scraping in twigs and so forth.

Tiny chunk of sea sponge Useful for creating texture in foliage, rocks etc.

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Water colour palette. Mine is a Schmincke, to which I have added Winsor Newton & Daniel Smith paints. My current colours:

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NB. I have removed the Napthamide Maroon & replaced it with my much needed Raw Sienna.

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Field Guide This is a smashing guide that we have used on and off for years.

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A journal – this one is My newest journal, a Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook which I am using to practice new techniques and such. A smashing journal, the paper is wonderful; it takes a wet wash beautifully & has a nice tooth, but still works well when writing in ink.

I also use:

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My regular nature journal.  I am currently using the Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook in medium (A5). The paper is a decent weight, and very smooth, however the paper is really too thin for watercolour, so I have found that once I have completed my painting & it is dry, I miss a page, & glue them together, so I get a double weight of paper.But I like the journal a lot, and am enjoying using it.

UPDATE: I actually really love this journal, and having finished this one, I have moved on to another, but this time I am not glueing the pages together. It isn’t perfect; if I use a particularly juicy wash, it bleeds through the page, but I love the crisp white of the paper & it holds up to most of my pen & ink and watercolour washes.

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My Calendar of Firsts. A Moleskine diary, the paper is, as always with the Moleskines (except the specialist water colour book) not great for watercolour, but I am used to how the paper takes the wetness of the media & this book is doing exactly what I need it to do; record what is happening in nature in simple sketches. The fact that it is such a ‘casual’ book makes it easier for me to sketch in hasty sketches; I don’t feel bad about messing up!

I hope that is of some interest! Please do share your own supplies & packing tips in the comments!

Happy exploring

Lynn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calendar of Firsts 21 ~27 March 2016

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My Calendar of Firsts for this week:

  • The first Bumblebee of the year flew past the window!
  • A huge ‘Lenten Moon’ hung heavy and golden in the sky
  • Lots of frogspawn in the pond, plus Rose found 9 toads (but mysteriously, no frogs! Perhaps they have finished spawning already?)
  • The opposite page in my journal this week is a map my big girl Elianna made for Rose; it is a treasure map to find her Easter eggs 🙂

My ‘colours’ for the week, along the top left hand page, where simply the blues and greys of this week’s sky.

Self-Education

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Happy Easter!

“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.”  

Charlotte Mason

Calendar Of Firsts 14 ~ 20 March 2016

 

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Calendar firsts

My Calendar of Firsts this week:

  • Rose found a Mussel shell by the canal
  • Unfortunately, we found lots of litter too, so collected it up, and put it in the rubbish bin on the main pathway.
  • Frogspawn in the boating pond!
  • More frogs were spotted this week, too.
  • A beautiful hate sun, shining through the trees on the Vernal Equinox

My ‘colours’ for the week, along the top left hand page, are the pretty blues of the bright sky, with hints of gentle pink that were all around me in the natural world this week.

Nature Pen Friends!

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Many moons ago we used to be pen-friends with a home educating family in the US. On a few occasions we exchanged items for our nature tables.

I was remembering these parcels fondly and thought it would be a smashing idea to arrange a ‘Nature Pen Friends Swap’. I will announce the sign up procedure on the blog; sign up week will be 17th to 23rd April. The following week, I will send you your pen-friend’s details, and you and your child can get busy, hunting for nature treasures from your special nature spot.

Once you have collected your nature finds (minimum of six items), put together your box of nature treasures to post to your nature pen-friend. What an exciting opportunity to learn about nature from another part of the country, or even the world! (During sign ups you will be able to indicate if you are able to post internationally.)

You will need to find out what you are able to post to your Nature Pen Friend. Most countries will have very strict guidelines about what can go in and out of the postal system.

Restricted Goods UK

Restricted Goods International

Prohibited Goods UK

Prohibited Goods International

The last day for posting will be the 21st May.

Once your parcel arrives, you would contact the family that sent to you, to let them know your goodies have arrived!

If you have a blog, or are active on social media, please do share in the Exploring Nature With Children FaceBook page.

If you think you may be interested, please leave me a comment below; it would be good to have an idea of how many people are interested. Also, may I suggest subscribing to the blog, so you do not miss the sign up!

I will give full details of the sign up process when I open sign ups on the 17th April.

 

 

Nature Journaling Supplies

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I have recently reorganised my nature journaling supplies; I changed a couple of things, and replaced a couple of battered items. I thought it would be fun to share with you my current set up.

I have moved everything into this handy travel bag by Winsor & Newton, as the bag I was using previously was no longer working for me.

The travel bag comes with some supplies I don’t use, such as a Cotman palette, watercolour pad, and two brushes. This is a great set for someone new to nature journaling.

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Here is the bag when opened out. It also has another couple of storage sections on the reverse side. I love all the pockets! So useful.

In the left hand side mesh pocket, I keep the following items:

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An old muslin cloth from when the girls were babies. Very useful for wiping my brushes on!

A colour wheel. Something I always intend to use, but never end up doing! Helpful for colour mixing, or perhaps planning colour schemes for watercolour paintings.

Ruler. Useful for measuring specimens out in the field.

Birthday candle. Perfect for keeping white highlights in your watercolour, due to its resist properties.

Clips. Fantastic for keeping journal pages open on a windy day.

Penknife For cutting wee plant specimens.

Water brushes Great for painting on the go; the barrels are filled with water, which you squeeze to gradually release a supply of water into your paint, so no need to carry an additional water supply.

Kneadable Eraser. These are smashing! You can shape them to the smallest point to erase tiny details, or add highlights to a pencil sketch. Knead after use to avoid build up of colour from the pencil.

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The other side of the travel bag includes a water bottle and a genius, foldable pouch for pouring your water into (add a small, clean rock to the bottom when painting in the field, to avoid your water blowing away on windy days!)

Spray bottle I use an old, travel sized facial mist bottle, refilled with water to spray my watercolour paints to get them nice and juicy before I begin to paint.

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My current pens and pencils:

2B pencil that came with the travel case.

4B pencil 

Micron permanent ink pen

Pentel brush pen I have to say that I never actually use this. One day!

Platinum carbon ink pen My favourite pen! Oh, how I love this one! Reliable, waterproof, deep black in. Never lets me down.

White gel pen Perfect for adding small highlights to finished watercolours.

Derwent watercolour pencil in blue grey I have added a nice new one to my kit. Smashing for sketching, then painting over with watercolour. Gives a lovely effect.

Cross mechanical pencil (not quite the same as mine, but similar) Fantastic, as it never needs sharpening!

s3

Water colour palette. Mine is a Schmincke, to which I have added Winsor Newton & Daniel Smith paints. Look at the entry in my journal below for my current colours.

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Da Vinci 1503 size 8 watercolour brush A beautiful brush, with an exquisite point. Pretty much the only brush I use in my journal.

Versatil round pointed brush I rarely use it, but it does come in handy sometimes for fine details. A smashing, well-priced, synthetic brush.

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Field guide I am carrying this New Holland pond guide at the moment, as our two favourite places for nature study have ponds. Great little guide book.

Month -by-month Stargazing 2016 A concise guide to the northern-hemisphere night sky.

Nature Journal I currently have three journals on the go, so choose whichever is appropriate, and tuck it into my travel case as I head out of the door.

s7

My newest journal, a Stallman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook which I am using to practice new techniques and such. A smashing journal, the paper is wonderful; it takes a wet wash beautifully & has a nice tooth, but still works well when writing in ink. You can see here my current palette set up.

J3

My regular nature journal.  I am currently using the Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook in medium (A5). The paper is a decent weight, and very smooth, however the paper is really too thin for watercolour, so I have found that once I have completed my painting & it is dry, I miss a page, & glue them together, so I get a double weight of paper.But I like the journal a lot, and am enjoying using it.

cal3

My Calendar of Firsts. A Moleskine diary, the paper is, as always with the Moleskines (except the specialist water colour book) not great for watercolour, but I am used to how the paper takes the wetness of the media & this book is doing exactly what I need it to do; record what is happening in nature in simple sketches. The fact that it is such a ‘casual’ book makes it easier for me to sketch in hasty sketches; I don’t feel bad about messing up!

Please share what is working for you, either in the comments below, or on the Exploring Nature With Children FaceBook page.

Happy exploring!

 

 

Calendar Of Firsts 7 ~ 13 March 2016

 

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My Calendar of Firsts this week:

  • A Magpie collecting twigs for his nest
  • Broken twigs all over the park lawns due to high winds
  • Frozen puddles
  • A squirrel sitting on a small tree stump, eating nuts

My ‘colours’ for the week, along the top left hand page, are the moody greys of the skies, with flashes of yellow and purple from the flowers in the park.