Take time to really notice the natural world around you by sketching the details of plants. Botanical illustrator Sarah Jane Humphrey shows us how.
As part of our Make Time with Seasalt and Pukka partnership, we’ve been exploring ways to manage stress. Doing something creative is a great way to become absorbed in a gentle activity, especially when combined with getting outdoors and tuning into the world around you. We asked Seasalt Friend, botanical illustrator Sarah Jane Humphrey to share her tips on drawing more mindfully.
Sarah says, “Mindfulness and botanical drawing, sit hand in hand. Taking a moment to focus on your breath and become fully present in your drawing, allows you to leave your busy mind behind. The beautiful part of this exercise is that you don’t need any previous artistic experience. As children we are all proud creatives but as time goes by, confidence and the ability to experiment without passing judgement can dwindle.
With a few simple steps, you can learn to love drawing and use it as an escape. I enjoy sketching outside, in amongst the wildflowers or overlooking the sea, this helps me connect with nature, and become grounded.”
To begin, put together a small drawing kit. I recommend:
• Fine liner pen
It’s always good to find a comfortable spot to sit and draw. If you are at home and trying this in the garden you may like to make a cup of tea. In my workshops, I always offer everyone a steaming pot of Pukka tea. We enjoy Peace or Tulsi Clarity, which are both perfect for calming and focus.
Whenever I begin a new drawing, there is always something that catches my eye. So take a moment to look around and choose a plant or flower to focus on. Observe the finer details of your flower and really take your time on this, before putting pencil to paper.
It is so easy to draw what you think you can see. It’s only once we truly observe that our drawings become accurate. Make time to explore all the shapes and angles within your flower and reproduce these in your drawing. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you progress!
Once you’re ready to begin, use a pencil or pen to draw your flower, trying not to shade. Keep the lines as crisp and precise as you can. This is called a line drawing. Focus on the small details and once you are happy you have them all in place, you may like to fill in the colours with ink or watercolours. The most important part of this exercise is to enjoy the process. Focus on the mental clarity it gives you and don’t worry about the end result.
Finally…Don’t forget to breathe! It’s easy to hold your breath when you’re concentrating, so gently remind yourself to relax and savour the time spent drawing.
For more from our Make Time with Seasalt & Pukka partnership – including creative ideas, nourishing recipes and meditations – sign up to become a Seasalt Friend and we’ll make sure you don’t miss a thing.