Only three days ago, almost three feet of snow covered everything outside. When nature shows its strength, I’m also reminded of its beauty. One way I’ve been passing the time is with a new nature drawing book called The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, by author and illustrator John Muir Laws. As someone who has previously studied art, but never became an artist, I have a great fondness for learning realistic drawing. Creating a representation of the natural world requires a mathematical understanding of the world, a knowledge of proportion, and skilled drawing techniques. While reading this book, I found that it was very successful in teaching a non-artist how to draw nature realistically.

Nature Drawing Book Review

As I worked my way through the book, I was pleased with how much content it had. The book contains about 300 pages, all filled with helpful, interesting information. Months ago, when I gathered items for my Christmas gift guide, I learned that coloring books for adults are a common trend. Instead of coloring mindlessly, take up a craft that requires building a skill, like drawing. Learning to draw is rewarding, and with the help of a good book, it is not difficult to practice.

Some of the best parts to read in the book for me were the tips on how to build the thinking skills necessary of a drawer. For example, I enjoyed reading the section called The Joy of Curiousity, which focused on how to become someone who searches for mysteries, in order to allow yourself to make new discoveries. This section was particularly poetic and beautiful. The author, Laws, pointed out how typical it can be for adults to hush children’s questions. To become someone who draws, you should train yourself to ask the right type of questions, rather than only thinking about the answers. Asking yourself a variety of questions will help you create a more detailed drawing.

Review of The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, written and illustrated by John Muir Laws - Theresa's Reviews -

While the book helped me learn to build a childlike interest in nature and in drawing, I was excited to work on drawing with my daughter Samantha. She is very creative and could spend all day drawing. In the book, we discovered numerous tutorials all outlined in simple steps. Following the steps was simple to do. I found that I could teach Samantha some basic drawing skills with the help of the book. The writing provided ample narration to help explain why we made certain gestures or shapes on our paper.

With the snow keeping us in our house for days, this book provided us with much entertainment. In the moments when I wanted Samantha to be entertained without screen time, I could give her this book and instantly capture her attention. She adored just looking at the pictures. All of the illustrations were made with an incredible amount of detail. The illustrator’s skills are very impressive. It is a rare combination to find someone skilled in creating art and in teaching it. In this book, Laws is successful in showing his expertise and in demonstrating how readers can develop drawing skills.

Review of The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, written and illustrated by John Muir Laws - Theresa's Reviews -

Some of the book was too advanced for me to get to right away. Using graphite and watercolor will require more dedication on my part, as I will need to purchase supplies for an art kit. In the meantime, I enjoyed the simplicity of the quick tutorials on creating realistic shapes. One of my favorites was how to simplify the shape of a flying bird. When I was little, I made M shapes in the sky to show that birds were flying. This book provides clear explanations on how to create realistic flying birds.

Although I have not yet utilized the book to its fullest potential, the different levels of difficulty that the book contained were one of the major advantages. As I build different skills, the book will continue to challenge me and show me new information to learn. Although I will start out just learning to make simple shapes that are the right size, I hope to build towards the more complex watercolor skills over time.


I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion!

About The Author

Theresa has been writing since 2010 in magazines and online. Her lifestyle and parenting expertise has been featured in publications, including ShopSmart and Scholastic. She earned an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt as well as a BA in History from Flagler College, and she is a certified teacher.

Related Posts

4 Responses

  1. Rachel G

    Really cool book! My youngest sister has always had trouble with handwriting and pencil control–last year I suggested that she start drawing daily, following a drawing tutorial book we had, to learn drawing technique and better control, and it’s actually had the intended effect of helping her with her handwriting. It’s an awesome skill to learn!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.