People often ask me how I find the time to have a regular practice of going outdoors and playing in my nature journal. It’s as if I need to justify taking some ‘me time’ in this busy and over-stimulating world.

So, listed below are just a few of the benefits reaped from sketching and journaling in the outdoors.

Nature Sketching’s Many Benefits :

• Benefits our mental health, allowing time for quiet contemplation, meditation, and mindfulness of your surroundings, and improves our ability for sustained concentration.

• Benefits our physical health, giving us a great excuse to spend time exploring the outdoors, whether it’s a stroll in a local city park or a hike on a favorite wilderness trail.

• Provides a much-needed break from our technology-filled, often stressful life.
• Deepens one’s observational skills, balancing out the use of all five senses.

• Provides a valuable record of your experiences in your sketchbook; more personal and cherished than simply a smartphone full of photos.

• Results in pride of accomplishment since one is creating instead of consuming content.
• Strengthens hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills which are especially beneficial for children.

• Uses more parts of the brain, balancing our ‘left’ and ‘right’ sides of the brain regions.

• Can be a pleasurable shared activity, enjoyed by all ages and abilities that serve to strengthen and enrich family and friendship bonds.

• Teaches one about the subject as you observe it, regardless of the results on the paper.

• Provides a great reason to sketch with the children or students in your life, especially those that are studying outdoor subjects like biology, • geology, or meteorology.


Recommended Reading

I highly recommend this excellent article in Scientific American magazine, Rediscovering the forgotten benefits of drawing.