Field Sketching with Lore Ruttan

Join Atlanta based artist Lore Ruttan for a mid day session of field sketching at Beech Hollow Farms. Lore will lead the group in an exploration of the natural history of the area and help students learn a variety of techniques for accurately and beautifully recording their observations on paper. Students will be given instruction in the use of field sketching materials and will be given assistance in completing one or two field sketching assignments during the session. Lore has taught field ecology and natural science illustration at Emory University and at the Highlands Biological Station in North Carolina. She presently runs a business as a science illustrator and teaches art at the Galloway School in Atlanta. All levels of experience are welcome. Lore Ruttan’s website here.

Required Materials

Field Sketching Book of your choice:  Good field sketchbooks have blank sheets of moderately heavy paper and most importantly can stay open all the way. You don’t want to be struggling to keep the book open while you are drawing. Ideally the paper can take a little water but you won’t need actual watercolor paper. I would recommend not smaller than 5” x 7” and not larger than 10” x 12”.

Good Pencils:  My favorite pencils are Staedtler 2H and Prismacolor Turquoise HB. I like to have a few of both. Mechanical pencils using 2H or HB lead are also really nice for field sketching.

Erasers:  Pink pearl eraser and/or a white plastic eraser. The pink pencil cap erasers are nice if they are actually pink pearl but cheaper ones can leave colored marks on your paper.

Sharpener with a container to hold shavings.

One or two black, fine point, felt tip pens, e.g. Pigma Micron or Faber Castell pit pens.

Small set of colored pencils.

A minimalist set would include True Blue, Yellow and Magenta. My favorite brand is Prismacolor. Besides being really nice to use, you can buy them individually and assemble your perfect set. Ginger root and Lime peel are great additions for botanical illustration.

Lightweight pouch or box for your supplies.

Optional Materials

Watercolor pencils instead of colored pencils.

Small watercolor paint pan set. There are many lovely sets out there including Winsor-Newton but I will also show you how to make a less expensive set up.

Pentel Aquash Water Brush. These are wonderful for field sketching since they have a reservoir for water.

Paper towel or rag.

White gel pen or small tube of white watercolor, e.g. titanium white.

Felt tip that bleeds, e.g. Pilot Razor Point or Paper Mate.