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Nature Sketch

Adult Nature Sketch Online is an art and nature education program that encourages students from across Canada to explore and develop their sketching skills, and to inspire a  connection to nature.  

This course will cover Nature Sketch skills using a pencil, eraser and sketchbook. Students will cover such art fundamentals as line drawing, understanding shapes and shading techniques, with a fresh and fun approach that will encourage artists of all skill levels to create beautiful nature sketches. 

Working together, illustrator and nature artists Sue Macartney and Val Lawton will alternate focussing on sketching Canadian flora and fauna, and will be making general observations about habitat and ecosystems. 

As well, we will be discussing the career and art of Canadian artist Robert Bateman, with a focus on his values, his great love for the outdoors and the impact of these on his creative processes. 

Supplies needed: 

Good quality sketchbook 

HB pencil 

White eraser

Nature Sketch is an outdoor nature program that focuses on sketching and observing wildlife habitats in unique ecosystems. Guided by a sketch artist and a naturalist, this program encourages participants to connect to natural environments in their local community using a pencil and a sketchbook.

Participants will learn about their local area and wildlife using established ecoliteracy principles from Robert Bateman. The program includes 6 weeks of ecosystem outings, full lesson plans, a special Nature Sketch sketchbook, and sketching materials.

Supplies needed:

  • HB pencil
  • White eraser
  • Backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Nut-free snack
  • Sketchbooks will be provided.


Sue Macartney

Teaches in Victoria, BC.

Sue Macartney is a children’s book author-illustrator, with a professional background in graphic design and art education. She is passionate about the environment and has been exploring nature on Canada’s west coast and around the world since she was a small child.

Melissa Bracken

Teaches in Duncan, BC.

Melissa decided at a very young age her purpose in life was to advocate for environmental connection and sustainability using art. Over the years this journey has taken her down many paths, leading to a large skill set. She has strong backgrounds and substantial certification in Environmental Education, Psychology, Music, Art, Biology and Geography. Currently, Melissa is pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University and has obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Vancouver Island University. She has taught all of the above subjects and has over 15 years of experience in recreational education. In her spare time, Melissa researches ways to care for her local environment and writes environmental music.

Maggie Chow

Maggie teaches in Vancouver, BC.

Maggie has been serving the community with inspired programs and events

for artists of all ages for over 28 years. She studied Drawing and Painting in Vancouver and San Francisco; however, it was the Reggio Emilia philosophy in Early Childhood Education that has shaped her practice most as an art educator. She also has special interests in 

Place-Based Learning and Eco Awareness. She is now a full-time artist and teaches across B.C. Maggie is a member of the National Art Education Association and a founding member of Arts and Play Society, a non-profit organization that supports the Pedagogy of Play and using art and nature to create a space for social connection.

Val Lawton

Teaches in Victoria, BC.

When artist-illustrator Val Lawton was a kid, her favourite books were the ones with the simple scratchy drawings, like Winnie The Pooh, or The Twits. Since then, she has gone on to illustrate over 30 children’s picture books for such clients as the Canadian Football League and the National Hockey League. In addition to being a best-selling, award-winning children’s book illustrator, Val loves being in nature and creating art with kids.

Student Gallery

Winter 2020