jill bliss’ drawing nature journal + guest series


I’m thrilled to start this week with a special guest series from one of my favorite artists, Jill Bliss. I’ve been following Jill’s work since I started D*S, and I feel like I’m instantly transported into the forest every time I look at her drawings. Based in Portland, Jill is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty, and she chose to make those nature-inspired drawings the theme of her latest book, The Nature Drawing Journal.

Whether you’re a seasoned artist or new to nature drawing, Jill’s journal was designed to teach you how to draw natural objects, improve your drawing skills and inspire you with fun techniques that aid in your own nature drawing.


Jill described this new manual/journal/inspiration/drawing book (it’s so many things wrapped into one) as a true labor of love and that passion really comes through for me. Jill has always been someone I associate so closely with nature that it seems like a natural (no pun intended) progression to see her focus an entire book on that theme. Whether you’re surrounded by nature or have to scrounge for a bit of greenery (hello, my neighborhood), Jill’s journal will definitely inspire you to grab some pencils or watercolors and spend a little more time outdoors. And considering my skin is approaching a color best described as “translucent,” I think a little outdoor time wouldn’t hurt me. You can pick up Jill’s book (192 pages, printed with soy-ink on FSC-certified paper) right here for $17. The first 50 copies will be signed by Jill, so if you’d like to grab an autographed version, be sure to place your order soon.


In honor of Jill’s new book, she’ll join us every morning this week with a new drawing she’s done around her hometown of Portland, Oregon. This morning, she’s sharing the drawing above and her thoughts about it below. Thanks again to Jill for sharing some beautiful reminders that spring is right around the corner. xo, grace

From Jill: I’m not sure what kind of bush this is, but the flowers are awesomely fragrant! I just had to bring some back to the studio after my morning run yesterday. The sun was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds, and the weather is finally warmer here in Portland!

  1. january says:

    aw beautiful! i love looking through other people’s sketchbooks. it’s so personal, it’s like an secret peel into someone’s creative brain.

    january, x

  2. Esti says:

    The books looks great! I’d love to have it and check all the amazing art she does :)

  3. this is wonderful..would be a perfect gift for my daughter..thanks for sharing..xx meenal

  4. Amy says:

    I wonder if that could be a daphne? They do smell wonderful.

  5. Karin Neff says:

    I’ll bet its a daphne –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_(plant)
    It’s one of my mom’s favorite bushes — she would make us stop and smell the flowers every time we passed one when I was growing up.
    What a lovely way to start the day, thanks!

  6. Kristina says:

    Just ordered my copy…can’t wait to see/play/draw!

  7. jessica says:

    this is so cute!!

  8. Lindsey says:

    I bought a couple of Jill Bliss journals at Urban Outfitters my freshman year of college, and they were some of my favorite journals ever. I always felt inspired when I opened them up. :)

  9. Jennifer Marie says:

    I second the guess for Daphne. One of my personal favorites. The flowers have a heavy citrus scent which is heavenly and grows really well in the PNW. Been a huge fan of Jill’s for years! Thank you for the feature!!

  10. jill bliss says:

    thanks to everyone for identifying daphne!!! i need to get some for my own yard!

    i hope purchasers of this journal will share their drawings with me!

  11. Whoo hoo! I loooove Jill Bliss’s work. Something extra lovely to look forward to in the morning this week… Thanks Grace! :)

  12. amie says:

    jill- that’s definitely a daphne! they are sweet and tangy and stop-you-in-your-tracks-and-look-around-wildly-for-that-amazing-smell yummy. congrats on the book– look forward to getting it.

  13. Annika says:

    Cool! Love Jill Bliss!

  14. Veronica says:

    I love to draw even if it’s not too artistic. I’ve got a gorgeous curly willow in our backyard. Think i’ll draw that.

  15. Ashley says:

    I LOVE these sketches. Makes me feel inspired to do some of my own!

  16. Lucie Taylor says:

    Beautiful work! I love Jill’s fabrics as well. Very inspirational. I feel like going to the park and drawing right now, but sadly I’m at work. :)

  17. Katie says:

    oh hey! As I read this I realized I’m wearing a lavender Jill Bliss print shirt that I bought at Bargain Hunting here in Portland a few months ago. Love her work!

  18. Marina says:

    Hello dear D*S!

    I love Jill’s drawings and of course her new book. In fact, I did not know her!!! So… thanks a lot!

    Here it is my link and its story, I hope this time I can win Jill’s book! I just loved it!!!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/marina_aizen/5594585755/

    The moment I discovered the mint’s flowers in my little backyard I just loved it. Since I saw it, I could not resist to couple it with a braken from my little garden and enjoy the differences between them. The softness from the little mint flower and the braken’s gigantic roughness. And then, this opportunity to draw that experience… It was so wonderful! ;)

    Thanks for the opportunity!!! ;)
    <3<3<3

  19. frances Lainhart says:

    so very inspiring…..must start sketching now

  20. Barbara says:

    Jill has a very natural quality to her work that is very inspiring.
    I too love looking at other people’s sketch books and would love to have a peek at her studio. Congradulations on your book.

  21. Grete says:

    I thought it might be a rhododendron! I love seeing them in the woods.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron

  22. ann says:

    Knew I could count on you D*S to lead me to an amazing artist! Jill, your work is so refreshing….I am just getting myself a cup of tea so I can sit and browse your website for the next hour or so! Well done on the book, will definetly be on my wishlist for my birthday!

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