Two stumpy tailed skinks visited our compost pile this week. It was a warm summers day and they didn’t mind us at all. They were content munching away at a tomato. This is not surprising since they like to eat fruit and plant matter.
The lizards inspired us to pull out our nature journals. We sketched the skink and chose different ways to do this. Little Miss 9 searched Kirsty’s Art Venture site for a watercolour painting and promptly became busy sketching and painting.
I sketched the lizard in pencil and added a touch of yellow to enhance the spots on the Blotched Blue Tongue lizard. I also labelled the anatomy of the lizard. I did not ask Miss 9 to complete this extra step as I’d like her to enjoy nature journaling without giving her too much ‘book work’ which may destroy her love for it.
Once our artwork was completed we researched its physiology, behaviour and ecology. We took a few notes and added it to our sketches.
I’m all for saving time by integrating subjects so while we were busy with our Lizard study, we read ‘Lizard,’ a poem by Linda Lee.
I also wondered what skink art we’d find on the internet. We found a piece by David Daymirringu named the ‘Two Blue Tongue Lizards’ to observe.
To consolidate all we learned we watched a YouTube video called ‘Reptiles’ by Educational Video for Kids.
I keep a nature journal with my children as it inspires and encourages them to join me. My art skills are totally hopeless, but I realised it’s not about the perfect sketch or watercolour painting. It’s the process of observing nature intently with a renewed focus.
I’m optimistic though, as I know I’ll improve with practise. The same is true for anyone who thinks they can’t draw. If this is you, give it a go. Don’t expect perfection. It will come with practise.
Do you keep a nature journal? If not, what’s stopping you?
Have you seen a skink lately? I’d love to hear your experience. Where did you see it and what was it doing?