Library Blog

Art: Taking Inspiration from Nature

Book coverIf you’re still spending a lot of your time at home, why not take advantage of the nice weather and learn some new skills by trying out some art inspired by nature? Nothing beats spending time outside, so while you’re out there in the back yard, take a look at the plants and animals around you for ideas. If you’re a beginning artist or need a new idea, Hoopla has many titles to help you get started, with step-by-step guides to learning new art techniques or crafting something from supplies you might find in outside. Here are a couple of short booklists for artists of all ages.  

Children’s Books:

Encourage kids to take their doodles up a notch with 20 Ways to Draw a Tulip And 44 Other Fabulous Flowers, which shows many of strategies for beginning artists to draw different flowers.  

Children interested in animals might want to try Ranger Rick’s Wildlife Around Us Field Guide & Drawing Book: Volume 1, to learn something about both animals and art! For a more straightforward tutorial, Learn To Draw: Forest Animals & Wildlife teaches how to draw 20 different critters.  

All-Ages Art:

For traditional 2D art techniques, you may be unsure where to start. Try looking at illustrations to help you figure out how to begin and what to observe out in nature (where plants grow, how animals move).  

Art Nouveau Animal Designs And Patterns show a more stylized approach that was popular from the late 1800s to early 1900s. If you are less interested in realism, this could be an interesting genre! For a more contemporary style with mixed media, check out Geninne’s Art: Birds in Watercolor, Collage, and InkIf you want a more informational title that mixes art and science, try Nature Anatomy to learn about what you’re drawing or painting! 

When you’re ready to try creating art of some of the subjects you’ve observed, you can use these books as guides for drawing and painting techniques. You may want to start with The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Animals. Once you master that, you can try a new style with The Creature Garden, a step-by-step guide to drawing different animals in a folk-style. Meanwhile, Illustrating Nature covers all kinds of natural subjects, from mushrooms to butterflies. 

If you’re more interested in plants, The Art of Botanical & Bird Illustration and Botanical Illustration: The Essential Reference will show you how to illustrate beautiful botanical prints in a more traditional style. Draw Like an Artist: 100 Flowers and Plants shows readers techniques for drawing realistic flowers, while Drawing Trees does the same with, you guessed it, trees! Alternatively, try Trees with William F. Powelljust one title in the How to Draw & Paint series. 

If you want to venture into mixed media, try Painted Botanical Collage For more guides, be sure to look at what other subjects are offered! 


No matter what kind of art you choose to pursue, you can always take your supplies outside to enjoy the weather—as long as it’s not too windy or rainy!