Author Archives: Leanne

Jr Nature Sketch Club at The Robert Bateman Centre

Join me as the sketch artist for a 10 week session of sketching in nature with the Robert Bateman Centre! Starting on May 7th, 2016 and running every Saturday for the next 10 weeks we will be exploring the eco-systems of the Wild Bird Sanctuary Project on Vancouver Island. 

Children will be guided through 10 unique eco-systems and learn about the wildlife and habitat of local flora and fauna including the re-wilding of habitat in urban settings, nature’s patterns and processes: cycles, networks, nested systems, flows, development and dynamic balance and understanding species at risk.

Our goal is inspire observation and appreciation of the natural world, to foster a desire to protect wild habitat and to help children and adults connect and engage with the natural world. 

For more information or to sign up go to: or call (250) 940-3630



Nature Drawing and Journaling

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling:


This comprehensive guide to nature drawing journaling contains basic to advanced level instruction on:

Ways to use your journal to enhance curiosity, creativity, and sharpen your naturalist’s eye.
Simple techniques to improve your visual memory and help you draw what you see.
Lessons on how to use graphite, pen, watercolor and gouache for fast field sketches.
Lessons on how to draw wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, landscapes, seascapes, and skies.
Full color, 302 pages.


The Children and Nature Movement

Richard Louv is the recipient of The Audubon Medal and author of national bestselling book, ‘Last Child in the Woods.’ He continues to write and research on the children and nature movement which is growing exponentially. In the following article, he discusses this movement and how we can all do something to be a part of it.

Children and Nature Movement by Richard Louv


Playing in Nature

On April 25th to May 3rd, 2015 it will be “Unplug and Play” week. It’s the perfect opportunity for families to connect with nature this spring by getting outdoors to unplug and play. A hike in nature inspires creativity with endless possibilities to play, explore and discover what muses each individual person!


New Muse


This fall I found myself longing for a new studio muse. Below is a photo of my new addition…Simba bunny. He fits in beautifully with the family and has a lovely disposition!



The Nature-Inspired Cabin

Another trait of mine throughout my creative career is the desire to live and work in quaint, nature-inspired cabins and cottages. My work was truly inspired by nature when I moved into this 700 sq/ft cabin on the bottom 14 acres of Central Saanich’s Dragonflyhill Vineyard where I lived and painted in this eclectic cabin for 4 years. The Barred Owl family that lived these trees that would often come for evening visits and spring was heavenly listening to the local frog population serenading. I was surrounded by lush westcoast forest, small ponds and roaming sheep.  Life was magical in this cabin and I was truly grateful for the synchronistic events that brought me to this family farm.

Dragonflyhill Studio

Pastel Surface and Subject Matter

The very first colour medium that my great grandma taught me was chalk pastel. As I started using this medium more and more, I discovered different effects from using various surfaces and subject matter. It was a great medium for learning how to render soft fur and skin in portraits of people and pets. Using a surface such as Canson paper with a bit of tooth and grit allowed for more textured effects on subject matter such as landscapes but also required more spray fixative for hold and was especially fragile under glass framing. I discovered my favourite pastel surface in my 20’s that had the sturdiness of a board, good hold, smooth texture and full acid free archival properties. It was a framing product called suede matboard that came in a multitude of colours in large 30″ x 40″ boards. Below are 3 pastel samples as they evolved throughout the years using velour paper, canson paper and suede matboard. The first one was done over 20 years ago on dark brown velour paper.

wise woman pastel 1993

Pastel on dark brown velour paper

Beacon Hill Park Lookout

Pastel on grey Canson paper

West Coast Landscape

Pastel on grey Suede Matboard