Impressions of Barambah

I visited the Barambah Environmental Education Centre (about 50 km west of Gympie, Queensland) back in August. I ran a nature journaling workshop for the staff, and did some field work for a series of illustrations for a little book about the centre.

Here are some impressions of that wonderful place that I added to my nature journal:

And here’s a sneak peek at a few of the finished illustrations:

Sulphur-crested cockatoo
Soap Tree (Alphitonia excelsa)
Lewin’s Honeyeater

8 Responses

  1. Paula Schetters

    Very nice work in this series! I enjoyed your adventure into this environment. The finished illustrations are superb!

  2. Birder's Journey

    Delightful illustrations! May I ask, do you complete the sketches – and the color – while you are in the field, or do you complete them later?

    • Paula Peeters

      Hi Birder’s Journey, thanks for your kind words of praise. For this series I drew most of the ink outlines from memory, after the day’s adventures (except for the goanna at the bottom which was drawn from a photo). I had a second look at the tree leaves (first pic) and tree shape (second pic), but the rest was just drawn from my head. So what ends up on the page is my ‘impressions’, rather than a detailed sketch from real life. I add the colours later, and this can take some time. Also, I always consult a bird field guide when adding colours (and sometimes when doing the ink outline) just to check that I’ve got the markings and other details right. These can make all the difference to whether a bird is recognizable or not. And I always find it hard to remember exactly where the different markings start and end on the bird. I find this ‘drawing from memory’ approach good for lots of reasons – one is that it really gets me in the habit of looking closely and trying to observe lots of details at the time. Another is that it can make the drawing freer, looser, more cartoony, and therefore perhaps more honest and lively.