Nature Drawing in Progress: American ginseng in October

Two years ago I made a nature drawing of American ginseng in October, with yellowing leaves against the dark backdrop of the Wild Ozark forest.

Repeating the Same Nature Drawing

Since that time I’ve learned a little more about certain techniques I can use with my pencils, specifically blending, and so I wanted to re-draw the picture so I can enter it into a contest.

Usually I like to scan each step as I go along with a drawing, but for this one I forgot. This one picks up at the blending of the background stage.

Background First

You can see in the image that most of the drawing hasn’t been blended, only the very bottom part.

Although I have some color on the leaves and plant itself, I have barely begun on that part of it and have a lot more color layers to add before blending for that part begins.

Nature Drawing by Madison Woods. Background stage: Beginning the blending.
Background stage: Beginning the blending.

 

 

 

Needs More Detail

Once I finished blending the ground background, I decided I wanted to add some more form to the surroundings. So I added a christmas fern, one of ginseng’s habitat companions. Now it balances out the empty woods surrounding the main object.

Looking at it from Different Perspectives

When I scan each step, I’m doing more than just recording a step in the process.

When I look at the picture in another format, like on the computer or the small screen of my phone, I can see things I didn’t see in the original.

The first image I posted showed me that the background was too empty.

The next one showed me where I have spaces that are too light or need *something*.

"Ginseng in October", a nature drawing in progress. Ground floor background blended.
Ground floor background blended.

At the base of the fern and on the lower levels of the background above the floor, it needs to be darker and I’d like some vague suggestions of more fern to the left.

Here it is again, with the background blended, after I added darker lower levels and a bent fern frond to the left.

Background finished. "Ginseng in October" nature drawing in progress.
Background finished. “Ginseng in October” nature drawing in progress.

Foreground Next

The next step will be the dried leaves at the bottom. Those two dead leaves are the foreground. Once I get those done, I’ll start working on the ginseng plant.

Halfway There

Here it is again with the dead leaves done, and the background finished. I’ve just begun working on the ginseng now.

Ginseng in October, in progress

I really like drawing autumn and winter leaves. Here’s the dead leaves, closer:

Zoomed in on the dead leaves.

Signing off for today. So far, this has been several days of work. Today was the first day I spent the entire day on it, though.

Tomorrow I should be able to get this wrapped up and I’ll post the finished scan …

And here’s the finished drawing:

Ginseng in October by Madison Woods. Prints available.

The first drawing

I didn’t know about blending at all yet when I drew this first one. But that really didn’t matter at the time to me, because I drew it in situ, and it was only meant to be a journal entry. It was late in the afternoon and dark in the woods, and finding the plant to begin with was unexpected.

ginseng in october
Ginseng in October, the nature journal entry

I’m glad I have it now to go by, since I didn’t get any photos of the plant that year. Now I can’t find the same plant at all.

The Blending Process

The blending takes a long time. It’s tedious and it makes my arm and eyes hurt if I don’t take plenty breaks. So just finishing the background alone could take several days of steady work at blending.

I’m not sure if there’s an easier way to do this step or not. I saw on one tutorial video that the artist used mineral spirits. Well, I tried that and it didn’t blend very well at all. Perhaps we used different brands of pencils.

The Tools

I use Prismacolor. The only set I have right now is the Premier Soft Core and a colorless blending pencil. I need a set of the VeriThin, but that will have to wait until after the taxes get paid for this year.

The paper I’m using is a water-color paper for Epson printers. It comes in very large sheets that I have to cut down to size. Our printer does fine work for smaller art prints, like those I use on my note cards. And this is archival quality acid free paper. However, for larger than 5 x 7 prints, and especially those I sell as “art”,  I use Scott’s Frame and Art (Scott Imaging)  in Fayetteville.

Stay Tuned

I’ll post updates to the work as I make progress. Let me know if you have any tips!

ETA is the end of the week because there’s a deadline involved for the contest I want to enter.

If you’d like a print, stop in and see me at the Downtown Rogers Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, now open year-round!

Here’s their FB page and ours:



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching – Day 17 “Grape Fern and Fall Leaves”

Wild Ozark Nature Sketching Day 17- "Grape Fern and Fall Leaves"
Wild Ozark Nature Sketching Day 17- “Grape Fern and Fall Leaves”

It gets hard to find a subject to draw that doesn’t include dead leaves at this time of year.

I at first wanted to draw this pretty beech leaf nestled on a darker sycamore leaf, but decided against it in favor of the grape fern instead.

I never did find the creature causing the noise under the leaves. Perhaps it was a sound I could only hear with my back turned, because every time I turned around to try and see it, the noise would stop. As soon as I returned to sketching, the sound returned.

When I was finished with my drawing I did spend some time near the ground trying to find the source of the sound, but it was for naught. I never did see anything, and it never would do whatever it was doing while I was looking.

Perhaps it was only my imagination? I’ve found caterpillars chewing my tomato leaves by sitting nearby and listening until I’d narrowed down the location. I’ve found springs by following drip noises as water made its way down mountainsides.

I don’t think I imagined it. I just didn’t spend enough time investigating.



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 14

At this time of year it’s even harder than usual for me to make a quick trip to town and back. If I bring my camera with me, it’s a guaranteed impossibility.

Today I had to stop for photos of the Felkins Creek valley as the sun was setting.

Wild Ozark Nature Sketching Day 14-Evening Light on Hillsides
Nature Sketching Day 14-Evening Light on Hillsides

 

Thank you for visiting and sharing this moment in space and time with me 🙂



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 10

Eventually I’d like to be able to draw a large tree well enough to create our Wild Ozark logo. Today was the first attempt. It was a bit overwhelming as I looked at all the leaves and tried to figure out how I could possibly include them all.

I believe this is a post oak, one of the white oak varieties. The acorn from yesterday’s nature journal entry is from this tree. Not all of the acorns are that black-purple color, though, and I don’t know what causes the variation.

Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 10 - Old Post Oak
Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 10 – Old Post Oak

Welcome to my nature journal! One of my sincerest hopes is that if you’ve stumbled across this website, that you’ll visit every day to see what little aspect of nature has found its way onto my page.

Thank you for visiting and sharing this moment in space and time with me 🙂



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 9

Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 9- Rolled Grape Leaves
Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 9- Rolled Grape Leaves

I didn’t mention it in the journal entry because I ran out of room, but I also saw a wasp carrying a mantis head. I’m assuming he won that trophy in a battle, but he could have also collected it from the ground I suppose.

On another occasion I watched a red wasp cut away a section of rolled leaf like the one pictured. After extracting the caterpillar from his little hidey hole, he carried it off.

So as much as I dislike being stung or bitten by certain insects, they do serve a large role in the balance of life here at Wild Ozark and everywhere. I try to keep that in mind.


Welcome to my nature journal! One of my sincerest hopes is that if you’ve stumbled across this website, that you’ll visit every day to see what little aspect of nature has found its way onto my page.

Thank you for visiting and sharing this moment in space and time with me 🙂



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 7

Today’s sketch was a practice in focus. So many distractions tried to throw me off task. The first problem was the dogs. For the past six days they’ve listened and stayed home when I headed out. Today was just too much for them and they caught up with me just as I was finding my subject. So the whole time I had to maintain some attention on them to keep them from coming too close. Turbo managed to sneak up and nearly laid right on top of the fern at one point.

Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 7 - Christmas Fern
Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 7 – Christmas Fern

Welcome to my nature journal! One of my sincerest hopes is that if you’ve stumbled across this website, that you’ll visit every day to see what little aspect of nature has found its way onto my page.

Thank you for visiting and sharing this moment in space and time with me 🙂



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 6 – “Lobelia Inflata”

Today I went out on foot, backpack loaded with my towel and cushion to sit on, sketch journal, and pencils to do my daily entry for the Wild Ozark Nature Journal.

Once I found my subject, this aging Lobelia inflata plant, I settled down to tune in with my surroundings. Turned out that the towel and cushion weren’t very effective at masking the fist sized rocks underneath. So after some adjustments I was able to get semi-comfortable.

Unlike the past drawings (except the first one), where I tried to minimize the background, this one I chose almost specifically *because* of the rocks stacked behind the lobelia plant. The first was also chosen because of the rock.

I love rocks. I love collecting them, especially the ones with fossils embedded. I also like sitting on them. When I find a rock to sit on, I like to just listen. When you sit alone in nature you’ll hear a lot of sounds. At first you’ll hear the loudest, closest, or most prevalent sounds. But then you’ll start to notice the other more subtle ones that are usually overlooked by people in a hurry on on a mission to get from point a to point b.

A creek trickling in the distance, maybe just a drip-drip-drip from a slight elevation drop before the water goes back beneath the sands and rocks during a dry spell.

Insects drone and buzz, sometimes annoyingly close to ears and eyes. Sometimes it is even more annoying when the buzz suddenly stops, because usually that means it has landed…on me.

Squirrels overcome their irritation and alarm chirps and resume normal chatter and chirrs. I know that’s not a real word – WordPress has informed me of that with the red underline. However, I don’t know how else to describe that particular utterance they make.

Anyway, I liked the rocks stacked behind the lobelia plant and so today I decided to make them more real and less just shadows behind the subject.

It takes more time to do it that way, but today I had more than the allotted hour to make my entry. As the light faded and the details of the leaves became harder to differentiate, I had to speed up and get it finished.

Wild Ozark Journal Day 6- Lobelia inflata
Wild Ozark Journal Day 6- Lobelia inflata


About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 2 – Asters Along the Driveway

Today’s nature sketch is of the purple asters that were growing along the driveway. Each day I try to make an entry with a pencil drawing.

Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 2- Asters along the Driveway
Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 2- Asters along the Driveway

 



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 1- Rock and Leaf

Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 1 - Leaf and Rock

Wild Ozark Nature Journal Day 1 – Leaf and Rock

Welcome to my nature sketching journal!

Join me for daily journal entries and nature sketches. I’ve started this project for a few reasons. One, to motivate myself to get more exercise by walking up and down the hills around this place in search of entry topics.

Two, I wanted to begin drawing again. It’s something I used to love doing when I was younger, but I haven’t touched a colored pencil or sketch pad in more than a couple of decades.

One of my sincerest hopes is that if you’ve stumbled across this website, that you’ll visit every day to see what little aspect of nature has found its way onto my page.

The most recent nature sketch and post immediately follows this first one if you’re on the main page, so you could also start there and go backwards in time by just scrolling.

Or if you’re on a single post, you can read in any order by using the “previous” and “next post” link at the bottom of each page.

If you’re reading this on a mobile phone, use the menu icon to find the whole journal or the journal index page.

My Nature Journal from Wild OzarkIf you think you’d like to start your own nature sketching journal, take a look at the one I made just for that purpose. You can get it from Amazon or from me directly through our Wild Ozark online shop.

Thank you for visiting and sharing this moment in space and time with me 🙂



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods