Nature Sketching and Painting: Creativity Inspired by the Outdoors


The beauty and awe of the natural world surrounding us can be easily missed in today’s fast-paced world. However, different educational approaches support a closer bond with the natural environment. Nature painting and drawing is one technique that blends imagination, observational skills, and scientific research. Nature is one of the most beautiful, textured, vibrant, and adaptable art mediums. Suppose you’ve searched the Internet for fascinating facts like the Amazon Forest or the Atlantic Ocean. In that case, you’ll find that the results offer fantastic data and photos that will motivate you to make art. In truth, nature served as the inspiration for ancient people’s artistic creations.

Not everyone could search the woods for a purposeful life, à la Thoreau. But many of us can take a few relaxing days off to escape into nature and unwind during the summer. For decades, artists of various kinds have flocked to national parks and distant locations, from amazing outdoor photographers to the rich history of the transcendentalists. Because nature offers us such a significant number of inspirational phenomena, examining nature in art can take on infinite forms. Nature-inspired art can take many different shapes and have many different functions. Because “nature” is such a vast subject that covers a wide range of things.

Tips to Start on Nature Sketching and Painting

Photo of a Man Sitting while Painting 

Drawing landscapes is a favorite pastime for millions of artists, who like depicting everything from gardens to mountains to meadows. Although you can always count on nature to give you lovely subjects, producing genuinely captivating landscape sketches takes some work and direction. With these suggestions, you’ll be able to better your art and talent while capturing the wonder and beauty of the natural world. Let’s make some outstanding art.

1. Be Selective of Your Subject

If you live in a rural area, nature always surrounds you. It’s acceptable to be selective about your subject because of this. Instead of drawing something simply because it’s easy, explore the area to locate a scene that grabs your attention. Because he was not afraid to try new things, Vincent van Gogh created a sketch of a wheatfield with cypress trees that is both lovely and fascinating. Suppose you frequently feel overwhelmed by the abundance of beautiful sights. In that case, it helps to make a rough decision about your topic before you leave the house. That could be “a close-up of plants near the beach” or “a forest scene with several trees.” You won’t get distracted as much, and selecting a particular point of view will be more straightforward.

2. Learn About the Subject First

It would help if you paused and thoroughly examined the scene before you begin drawing. Then, describe it vocally or on a scrap of paper in one or two sentences. Something like “I see a calm, dark blue lake, framed by a group of lush, deciduous trees, with smooth, brown hills behind it, and a few fluffy white clouds in the sky.”  These are fantastic for figuring out how to depict those components and focusing on potential points of interest.

3. Use Your Creativity

One of their best features is the ability to adjust outdoor scene sketches quickly. With landscapes, your audience frequently cannot determine if you have been faithful to reality or have adjusted, unlike with other subjects like buildings or portraiture. You can move branches or whole trees if there are obstructions. You can add a stream to balance your masterpiece or prune a hedge if it stands out too much. And nobody will know—not even your audience.

4. Utilize a Viewfinder.

Choosing which portion of a vista to depict in your drawing can be challenging because nature is so broad. There are so many options for beauty. To select a specific area of a view that will function well as a sketch, utilize a viewfinder. Viewfinders are tiny, mobile frames you can move around and hold up to discover the ideal arrangement.

5. Try different formats and perspectives.

While most of us will automatically see a horizontal style for a lovely beach or forest image, other forms will frequently work just as well. Try using a vertical perspective to show only a portion of the landscape or use a square or even an extremely long perspective to provide some variety. Instead of the typical “eye level,” an unusual perspective might be from a low vantage point, like when sleeping on a blanket, or from a high vantage point, like sitting on a hill or in a ranger’s raised hide. A close-up of those mushrooms sprouting from a lone tree stump can be just as fascinating as a wide-angle photograph covering a significant portion of the landscape.

6. Decide on your focus early.

You should choose the central point for your work and appropriate points of interest before you even begin drawing. If you do this, you’ll find it simpler to create a beautiful composition. The main attraction, the component to which you’ll devote most of your time and energy, is the focus point, what you want to stand out as the first thing they see. That may be a stunning sky at sunset, a massive, luxuriant tree, or a swath of vibrant flowers. While playing minor roles, points of interest are nevertheless apparent. A drawing may have multiple exciting details, but typically, only one is the focus.

7. Your work should be balanced.

Views of nature can be bustling, especially when there is vegetation present. An English country garden, for instance, can be a bit much on the eye, let alone the time it would take you to draw it all. It might be very colored and bushy. The 30/70 rule is the ideal strategy to prevent all the pieces in your sketch from visibly blending. The overall concept is to create an innovative composition that is also aesthetically beautiful by dividing a drawing into 30% of one type of element and 70% of the other. You may complement a 70% detailed drawing with a 30% crude sketch, and so on.

8. Bring Depth to Your Work

To the human eye, there aren’t many distinct convergence lines that simulate visual depth in a standard landscape view. To avoid the sketch appearing flat, you’ll still want the viewer to understand that some parts are closer to them or farther away than others. The most straightforward approach to do this in a natural picture is to use aerial perspective, a trick of the eye that makes distant objects appear lighter, bluer, and less distinct. Another entertaining technique is to frame your artwork, for instance, with a branch or an area of long grass. They will appear directly in front of the spectator if you sketch them huge and on the very margins of the piece.

9. Reduce the Clutter

Too many artists become preoccupied with the finer points of landscapes. Adding laborious detail is necessary in some instances, but these are typically at the end of the painting. It is frequently much more effective to draw attention to specific components of the picture and leave the rest up to the viewer’s imagination. Simplification is used to direct attention away from the dark foreground and through the trees into the bright background. A painting with too much detail in the foreground will likely appear overly dynamic.

10. Blend Up Different Variety

Copying what nature does and using a lot of diversity are two of the most exciting things you can do to make your landscape sketches look more attractive. It would be wasteful to apply a single technique—or even one medium—across all your sketches, given the variety of colors, patterns, and forms you have used. Try combining techniques, such as stippling, hatching, and smudging, the next time you feel a little daring to portray various elements of your picture. Consider drawing with chalk, pencil, and watercolor all at once.

Guide on Choosing a Subject to Paint or Sketch

Man in Green Long Sleeve Shirt Painting 

Drawing is an excellent way to convey feelings, share stories, or make people smile. And what’s remarkable about art is the virtually limitless scope of what you may produce. There is never an exact duplicate of any component. Above all, creating art is simply enjoyable. Read on for advice on picking a suitable subject for drawing and a list of things you can draw to help you get started and feel inspired if you’re stuck and need help deciding what to draw for art class.

1. Think About Your Areas of Interest

Your work will reflect your emotions if you are passionate about the subject. However, it’s also normal for an artist to grow tired of a subject after a while, so try to change things up occasionally. Consider experimenting with several methods or mediums while working on a series of drawings. Alternately, step away from your canvas. Take a stroll, and you might return to the drawing board with new, more imaginative ideas.

2. Making studies or sketches will help you plan your painting.

Making studies and sketches of the painting is typically the initial stage for painters. Draw a few streamlined diagrams depicting the locations of the light and dark masses and their interactions. While some artists create precise drawings, others use wash drawings or plain, simple lines to get a broad concept of how the arrangement would look. Your personality will determine how much time you spend planning your painting so you know precisely how it will look. If you are more instinctive and bouncier, you might only need a quick sketch before you get started.

3. Discover Inspiration in Daily Life

If you’re struggling with ideas, consider seeking motivation daily. Pay attention to your surroundings and watch for anything that catches your notice. This could be anything from a stunning sunset to an intriguing fabric pattern. Once you’ve located an inspiration, strive to work that inspiration into your painting. For instance, if a specific color scheme inspires you, attempt to incorporate it into your painting. Try to find a method to include a specific subject that inspired you in your painting.

4. Walk Around

When you’re stuck, the most significant thing to do is walk and see what captures your attention. When you start looking around, you might be amazed by the many exciting things to paint. Look closely at the hues, forms, and textures you encounter to see if anything sparks your imagination. Take pictures or draw sketches of anything that catches your attention; they can be helpful in the future when you’re attempting to recall what you saw.

5. Take Inspiration from Your Environment

Once you’ve understood the various mediums, it’s time to start looking for inspiration in your surroundings. Nature is abounding with gorgeous subjects. Nature is an endless source of inspiration for painters, whether it be a landscape view or a close-up of a flower. Find ways to include items that capture your attention in your painting by keeping an eye out for them. Look closely at the hues, forms, and textures you encounter to see if anything sparks your imagination.

Importance of Painting Nature

Man Painting Mountains on a Canvas 

Since nature may be found anywhere, so can art. Nature is everywhere, whether in our backyard, playing with the kids, a park, the beach, or even just waiting for the bus on the sidewalk. Children and adults can both express their creativity through nature. Nature’s materials like leaves, sticks, bark, stones, seedpods, nuts, berries, petals, sand, or shells are used to create artistic works of art. Everything in nature can be exploited. Therefore, the options are unlimited. 

1. Promotes Mental Wellness

We can divert our attention from our difficulties by painting. It also allows us to express our pain and give it a name. This enables us to recognize our emotions and improves our capacity for expression. This is particularly important for persons who utilize visual expression to attain catharsis, such as those who suffer from anxiety, mental illnesses (like schizophrenia), or people going through an emotional imbalance like a breakup. Adults who take painting lessons overcome their anxiety about facing their vulnerabilities, gain perseverance, and are inspired to produce something exclusively theirs. This personal project is exceptional and incredibly fulfilling.

2. Improved Decision-making

Making decisions is the lesson I’ve learned the most from painting from life, especially outside. There is no time to waste when plein air painting or travel sketching on location, especially in the early or evening light. Since everything is changing so quickly, all I can do is act. There will undoubtedly be advantages and disadvantages to this, as with anything. I wish I had made different decisions in many circumstances and paintings, but life is what it is. I have to make a choice and, when appropriate, draw lessons from it because there is no way I can ever know the best course of action.

3. Enjoy the outdoors and feel alive.

Painting outside is a terrific way to spend time alone in the great outdoors. Outside painting offers numerous advantages. My imagination is kept alive by the constant change in surroundings, and I frequently get new painting ideas. Painting outside allows most painters to escape from their daily routine. It offers an opportunity to unwind and vacation from a demanding job and schedule. Painting outside is also incredibly beneficial since it reduces tension by getting the mind off problems and onto something creative.

4. Intelligence, Emotional and Spiritual

Making those feelings flow via painting helps establish harmony between the heart and the head, which allows us to experience happiness, love, empathy, and calm. Feelings are a part of our creative universe that we all carry inside. Even in the chaotic and stressful world we live in, regular use of the tools of visualization and relaxation that painting provides can reach the emotional, physical, energetic, and spiritual well-being of the being. Drawing and painting call for patience and caution; they teach us to wait, listen, and appreciate silence, or, to put it another way, to have peace, prudence, and respect for others and ourselves.

5. Promotes Mobility and Short-term Recovery

People who spend several hours painting or producing anything reach a purer space and are in a very focused mood; they dissociate from their surroundings, and time passes without their awareness. Physical discomfort vanishes almost as if one were to leave their body and travel to another dimension. One area of the brain is aware, while the other draws out the unconscious during this focused state, Alpha. This is a state that can be reached by meditation, prayer, music, aromatherapy, and being in love, including having an orgasm. Pure energy is passed to what is being made, resulting in additional creation, and unlike other pursuits, we can engage in it for hours without growing weary, in pain, or experiencing any negative effects.


A unique method to connect with nature while promoting creativity, observational abilities, curiosity, and mindfulness is through nature journaling and sketching. It allows people of all ages to forge intimate connections with the natural environment around them while fostering their artistic expression. Therefore, grab your sketchbook and enter nature’s classroom because there is so much to discover there. When art and nature are mixed, people can explore the natural world, find deeper meaning in their lives, and form bonds with one another by understanding and appreciating one another’s artwork. 

Throughout history, several types of art have been produced using nature as a muse or source of inspiration. Nature may serve as an inexhaustible source of inspiration and a significant motif in many different types of artwork. In addition to many other advantages, people rely on trees for their clean air to breathe, shade to keep calm, and beauty to provide joy and relaxation. People can rethink their relationships with trees as they view these monumental art pieces. On the other hand, trees need people to take care of them to grow and share their advantages, especially in a changing environment.