Join the Nature Sketching Challenge!

Have you always wanted to sketch nature, but didn’t know how to start?  Do you lack the confidence to put pencil to paper? Think you have no drawing talent? Don’t know what to sketch? Perhaps you live in a city and can’t think of an inspiring place to go?  If so….I’ve got a solution!

Sign up for my free series of inspirational and action-oriented emails delivered straight to your inbox. All you need is a pencil, paper, and about 10 minutes a day.

About the Nature Sketching Challenge

This sketching challenge is designed to help fledgling sketchers, young and old to start sketching the natural world with ease and confidence.

You know who you are if you say things like “I can’t draw a straight line” or “I can only draw stick figures”. But don’t be intimated.  I believe that expressing yourself through drawing and writing is a right, not a privilege reserved for the ‘artistically talented.’ I believe that the ultimate goal of sketching should not be making a ‘pretty picture’ but should be focused on what you inevitably learn about that which you sketch as you are observing it.

The activities in this challenge are designed for anyone with an interest in nature and a desire to explore it in a creative way. It is appropriate for both adults and older children such as those with a keen interest in the outdoors and good hand-eye coordination. So feel free to invite your friends and family to take part in the challenge by forwarding this page to them.

Christine’s talent, knowledge of the drawing subjects, and infectious enthusiasm make each session so much fun. Thank you!

-Anke Roth (participant)

What’s included?

  • 14 days of sketching prompts and inspiration.
  • Video tutorials and printable guides.
  • A private Facebook community that provides a safe space for sharing your sketched nature observations, plus live tutorials, voting on techniques and subjects you want to learn about, and feedback on your sketches.

Praise from Participants

Nicole Weprin, student

Christine helped me to become more confident and excited about drawing. As a big-picture ecologist, I’ve thoroughly loved getting back into the habit of slowing down and focusing on the smaller details. I feel like I’ve become a better artist and a better biologist! Plus Christine’s videos are very approachable, educational, and fun!

-Nicole Weprin

Tabitha Stevenson, student

I’m enjoying the Nature Sketching Challenge so much more than I expected! It’s given me an excuse to take a quick break from work, go sit outside, and just be quiet and enjoy nature. And for someone who can’t draw, I think I produced a decent sketch with your instruction.

But more importantly, I really enjoyed the process! Looking forward to the next challenge, thanks, Christine!

-Tabitha Stevenson


Frog Sketch by Jeffrey Peterson

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Christine Elder’s Nature Sketching Challenge, and would recommend it to lovers of nature, at any level of experience, who’d like to making sketching a bigger part of their daily lives. Christine’s prompts are inventive and engaging, and her insistence on the value of process over product is just right. It’s been great to have a series of low-key occasions to share work with a supportive community, and I’ve appreciated Christine’s expertise, enthusiasm, and abiding generosity of spirit. Thank you!

-Jeffrey Peterson


Christy Wampler, student

The drawing challenge has been a great opportunity to learn some useful but easy techniques for nature drawing! I took a full class from Christine years ago, (my first ever drawing class!), and I learned so much! I’m a biologist though, not an artist, and I haven’t honed my skills much over the years. This challenge has given me a chance to improve my technique with short, easy to follow lessons.

Christine’s classes are like the Rosetta Stone of drawing – you learn so easily and naturally, you don’t realize you are learning a new ‘language’. It helps me to be able to make quick sketches in my field notebook when I see something I need to identify later. Whether you are looking to improve your artistic skills or your understanding of the natural world, a nature drawing class with Christine is a great tool!

-Christy Wampler

Deer Mouse Sketch by Ellen Rathbone

I work as a naturalist and have always wanted to be able to draw. I’ve taken drawing and painting classes in the past but always ended up in tears because everyone else in the class was artistically inclined.

Taking Christine’s challenge pushed me to do things on a deadline.  Her techniques helped, especially watching her do them first.  And it was reassuring to see that some of her sketches were not 100% “accurate” to the original object either!!!  Variation is fine!  And the finished product looks great – even if it’s not a “photocopy” of the original.  I think I get too hung up on “it’s not right” – I’m learning that “it’s fine” works, too. Thank you, Christine, for putting this challenge together!

-Ellen Rathbone

Rhinoceros Beetle Sketch by Anke Roth

There is so much to examine and marvel at in the natural world when simply taking the time to really SEE. This is what Christine teaches in this sketching challenge. Her talent, knowledge of the drawing subjects, and her infectious enthusiasm make each session so much fun. Thank you, Christine; I now need more shelves to house my growing collection of curiosities!

-Anke Roth