jill bliss nature drawings + journal giveaway

It’s a dreary morning here in Brooklyn so I’m happy to escape into the world of Jill Bliss‘ nature drawings. To celebrate her new Nature Drawing Journal, Jill is sharing a new illustration with us every morning this week. Today she’s sharing a daffodil drawing inspired by a flower she found on her way to teach at Portland State and hoping that it will inspire you to draw something, too. From today on, Jill and I are opening up the nature drawing process to everyone- and will be picking one lucky reader to receive a free copy of Jill’s new Nature Drawing Journal.

To be considered for the free book all you have to do is pick up a pencil (or pen or paintbrush) and draw. Starting today, take the time to find the nature in your town and draw your version of it on paper. This isn’t a contest to find the most amazing artist, but rather the drawing that really captures the spirit of nature and the fun you had while drawing it. Here’s what we need:

-Upload your own original nature illustration today through Friday, April 8th and leave a link to it in the comment section of any of Jill’s morning posts on D*S this week. (You can link to a Flickr image, a blog post, a Twitpic, etc. But please do not link to a private page of any sort that we cannot see)

-Either on your illustration or with your illustration (in comment form) tell us about what’s in the drawing and what inspired you to pick and draw that piece of nature.

Over the weekend Jill and I will pick our favorite drawing/story combo and send that reader a free copy of Jill’s new book! So if you’re feeling inspired, we hope you’ll share that with us. Don’t be afraid if you’ve never drawn before- this contest is really about a celebration of drawing nature and finding the best combination of image and story. xo, grace

maison marigold

i am truly inspired to indulge my long dormat but fairly decent drawing skills..thanks for providing the initiative, grace..xx meenal

Krista @ Blue Eyed Yonder

This is going to be so much fun! I love when non-artists draw. There is something so raw and real about those works. It always bugs me that people say, “I’m not creative” or “I can’t draw”, who is to say what makes great art. All of us are given some sort of creativity, it just might mean digging around a bit to find it. Thanks for inspiration Grace!


Ooh! This will be interesting, can’t wait to see people’s drawings. I am terrible at drawing but I do love nature so maybe I will give it a go !x Mallow


I’ve been trying to find the artistic bone in my body with encouragment from a friend who directed me here. Sadly there’s very little “nature” to be seen around these parts as our world is still covered in dirty snow. But I’m going to try to enter too!



i hope you will! you could even start with trees or something simple you see around town. i have so little nature in my neighborhood, but i’m gonna see if i can do my own based on some of the small plants growing out of the concrete ;)



After yesterday’s post, all I wanted to do was go outside and draw some of the flowes and plants in my back yard. Sadly, many haven’t bloomed yet. Although I did notice that one of my favorite trees is starting to get some buds! I’ll have to go and draw some later. :)

jill bliss

the best thing about drawing natural elements is that they’re so forgiving for new or timid drawers! you really can’t go wrong! can’t wait to see everyone’s art!!!

Elisa B.

I just bought a cheap little sketchbook yesterday as I’m trying to get back into drawing. What a coincidence! :)


Yesterday, a sunny family walk around our well-groomed suburban town near NYC led us to this surprising miracle of nature. Golden yellow blossoms nestled in heart leaves. A plant I’d never seen before, growing in a deserted corner on last year’s wood chips next to a town parking lot. I think the nearness of a lovely brook influenced the picture some. It’s more of an impression than an exact botanical reproduction. Link: http://gallery.me.com/johnvitell/100026/Yellow%20Wildflowers.


What a lovely book, thank you for the giveaway! I love taking walks in nature, or sitting out in my garden soaking in the sun, and today I watched my little gray kitty Werther hiding in some bushes, trying to catch a bird (but with no luck). Among the shrubs was a beautiful maidenhair fern. It was so pretty and delicate that I was inspired to watercolor a quick picture of it. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/56176935@N06/5593388041/

Please let me know if the link doesn’t work … I’m not very technologically-inclined…


This was the perfect reason to sit down and draw and reflect upon a real & recent “front yard” encounter that I had. Thanks for the opportunity! looking forward :)


Spring is here in Portland! After moving here from Nebraska last winter and our first spring in the Northwest was amazing. I had never seen so many amazing flowers literally growing out of the ground. I often ride my bike to work, which gives me a great opportunity to stare at all the cherry blossoms and magnolia trees in bloom. I didn’t even know the names of most flowers blooming in our own yard (I still don’t know what these purple guys are called.) But now, at least I know we have Camellias and Rhododendrons! I may miss the my thunder storms of the Midwest, but the spectacular colors of all the ornamental trees, tulips and daffodils with a backdrop of cool greys and greens here in the Northwest have more than made up for the lack of drama in the skies.


Absolutely inspiring…the daffodils are beautiful. Hope I can get an illustration done in time! Thank you for the giveaway.


2 questions, could I enter a friend of mine? She did a blog recently that I think is great and sums up nature, and I’d love her to win.
Which leads to question number 2, can it be drawn in paint on the computer, rather than pen pencil or paintbrush?
Either way here’s the link to her very cute blog entry: http://anna-grams.blogspot.com/2011/03/insignificance.html


I draw mainly what I find in my own garden, and so plant flowers that I’d most like to draw. Pincushion flower (not in bloom right now unfortunately) is one of my absolute favorites because it reminds me of my other passion: sewing & making. This year I’ll be bringing in more native plants (thank you Jill Bliss for piquing my interest in natives many years ago) so that I have even more inspiration to draw. Here in Ontario we have such a wonderful variety of native flowers and I can’t wait to find and draw every one of them. At over 3000, it’ll take me a while – but I’ll love every minute of it.


I was inspired by seed germination lately and because i like to make everything a little bit more myself and give every drawing a purpose, i just made it in colors for all 4 seasons. These are postcards i will be giving to my dear friend, who loves to send cards and letters. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54018750@N07/5595247714/in/set-72157626441258056
And here is a drawing of snowdrop with watercolor pencils. Still not much spring going on here in Czech Republic since i draw that snowdrop. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54018750@N07/5595247772/in/set-72157626441258056/
Oh how i would love to win a copy of Jill´s new book to be more inspired to draw and paint. Shipping is so expensive, no matter where i order it.


As an artist, living in Florida allows me to draw nature year around. I grow orchids and one of my very favorite flowers, the gloriosa lily. Having the river and ocean nearby provides a plethora of interesting subjects worth sketching. Here are a few shore birds I sketched not too long ago. http;//andreasart.com/art/nature.html


I love all of her drawings, they are so fresh and wonderful to look at since everything is still pretty dead here in Wisconsin…. PS: Logan, I love your Louisiana spring time too! :-)


Spring is funny the way it can be sparkly sunny one day, then dark and raw the next. I drew these delicate, freshly picked yellow flowers (a California native version of a black-eyed susan, a daffodil, and a wild yellow clover) to cheer me up despite the rain. Hope they add a little sunshine to your day too!


Came across your blog by chance and just love it and also very much enjoyed seeing the entries of folks who have added on and shared here. Spring is my favorite season – a time of rebirth and color after a long, stark winter. I’d like to share my latest watercolor of a baby bunny amongst purple violets (one of the earliest spring wildflowers here), all surrounded by a pale sunny glow from my blog post of April 6, “Happy Spring.”


I am new to your blog (what a treat to find!), but not to Jill Bliss. My daughter gave me one of her journals a few years ago and I have been a fan ever since.
I was perusing the internet after I read your post and an ad flitted on the side of the screen and the only thing I remember was the wording…one stop poppy shop. It made me think of the day before in my own garden; I planted poppy seeds that I collected last season. The words on the internet ad made me imagine a little shoppe perhaps on a narrow cobblestone street in a tiny Cotswold village. The windows are a riot of color as tissue paper-like poppy flowers dance for your attention. The shoppe sign hanging out front sways in the breeze and invites you in. Inside the tiny space are neatly organized stacks of hand-written seed envelopes Dried bundles of poppy pods hang overhead while vases of fresh cut flowers lines the windows. Here is my quick sketch of inspiration http://www.flickr.com/photos/suegoetz/5598934176/

Leah P


This was fun/daunting at the same time. I typically don’t like drawing because I’m “bad at it” …how silly! Shouldn’t it be fun? I would like to turn over a new LEAF and make myself practice drawing something from nature every day. For the purposes of trying to win Jill’s lovely book, I’m going to start with the one plant that I stare at quite intensely every day. The sprouting ivy plant on my desk at work! Thanks Jill and Grace for the inspirational push. :)

Maria Swift

Hi, I love visiting design sponge- very inspirational. I do not have a website…so I am not sure how to link my photo here…I will try to drag a picture over…but if that does not work maybe you can give me a suggestion. I have been picking away at silk painting for the last ten years, water colors before that, mother-hood before that. At 55 and with a new studio in my house , kids almost grown, I am thinking of extending myself into my love of design…right now exploring various possibilities. I studied Botany in the dim past and the illustrations remind me of Botany texts with lots of dots- love the dots! So here is a pillow that I constructed. It is a painting of a Mountain Ash branch that I sketched and then painted and painted again. My daughters middle name is Rowan, which is another name for Mountain Ash.
Now I realize that I have no idea how to get my photo here…HELP!


Forgive the bad photos of what I drew, but these are some sketches of the Cherry Blossoms here in DC. They are an amazingly gorgeous sign of Spring and I’m lucky to have been able to catch them on paper since they are starting to fade right now.

I love that slowing down to draw them gives you a new appreciation. I’ve been getting back into drawing again, so this contest was good motivation.






no worries- just upload your image to flickr, twitpic or to a blog and then post the link here :)



oops, I wanted to add that what inspired me to draw it was the anticipation in watching it bloom more and more each day I walked by it. It’s that feeling of not knowing what’s going to happen next and a new beginning is what spring feels like.


My favourite tree is walnut tree. I like walnut very much.
I have three walnuts on my desk in my office. I like seeing them during the day.
We have a big beautiful walnut tree in our garden.
And we found a little funny tree under our big tree.
I have drawn this little tree.



I am in the Northern Va area and our trees are starting to sprout flowers – which are pretty and nice and all. But our focus is the bulbs we planted – every day my boys and I go to see if there is anything growing yet…(its our first time planting bulbs)…nothing…my submission is what is probably going on underground:

Lisa M.

The past few days have proven quite dreary for us fellow city dwellers in Philadelphia as well. Luckily, I had to look no further than my little slice of urban jungle for this bold little fellow. That’s right-The dandelion. A weed.

I was drawn to the taraxacum offcinale for its stubborn nature and often overlooked subtle beauty. I love looking across a sea of green to find it interrupted with bursts of yellow-as if they’re begging to be noticed and loved despite their stigma.

So this one’s for you, dandelions. Stand up and be counted! Happy Friday =]




I am feeling hopeful with the signs of Spring! I love the African daisy that is starting to appear in the garden shops…along with so many other wonderful plants. This chance to win a book has encouraged me to draw again. You can find my contribution here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61516369@N03/


I am a mother of 4, who everyday is inspired by the beauty around me through 4 sets of eyes. Your book looks so great. My boys love to draw and are always checking out books from the library to enhance their skills. Since they don’t have access to a book like yours they decided to compete as well – drawing insects in pastel. I chose the painted desert at sunset (painted quickly – see # of kids above). Thanks for giving us pause to stop and reflect on the beauty around us – a gift of spring and time together making art.


i thought i had already entered my comment but can’t seem to find it…so sorry if i’ve lost my mind and this is a repeat comment!

my drawing is of the tulips blooming in our front garden. i got my hands dirty and planted them last fall…my first go at gardening all on my own! i was nervous and anxious allll winter to see if my tulips would bloom. one morning a few weeks ago my husband went outside to get the paper and called my name so i could take a look at the fruits of my labour :). thanks so much for giving me a reason to document my little accomplishments!


Joy Kim

after failing to be able to submit my entry the last two days, of course i see this morning that jill and i drew the same piece of nature! i suppose that is what happens when you live in the same city that prides itself in being called “stumptown.”

apologies for the repetition – but here is a link to my blog that contains both my illustration and description:



Hello, what an inspiring book and giveaway! Thank you for this opportunity.

I am a Japanese native living in a kibbutz in Israel ( I know, but I was pleasantly surprised that I’m not the only one). I see beautiful nature daily, be it birds, flowers, trees, and the wonderful scents some of them release. It’s been especially beautiful for the last 2,3 months when we had lots of rain and everything bloomed. I am going to enjoy it as much as I can before we enter the smack-in-the-face hot desert heat!

Your project allowed me to notice the intricate details of the beautiful nature around me. Thank you so much!



Spring here is still in the chilly April showers stage, but I am watching my garden each day and anticipating the May flowers, one of which is a tulip called Apricot Beauty which lives up to its name by changing from pale apricots through pinks as it matures. Thanks for having this opportunity to see so many fantastic interpretations of spring from your readers. http://twitpic.com/4ihyn3


I love spring because it is a time of transformation- there are little bits of the new world that pop up..the early crocuses, the robin heralds that bop about with great purpose, and even these little sprouts I found in the green patches of moss. When I walked outside, I was drawn to this tiny bit of green among the nondescript tans and grays of winter. I love that spring comes slowly so that we have time to love and feel blessed by every new detail. Spring comes in, bit by lovely bit, daffodils and budding trees, until the whole world sighs in flowers and we all shout yes Yes YES



One of my favorite things to draw and paint are flowers. My favorite artist being Georgia Okeefe has been an inspiration to me for as long as I could remember. My husband has never once given me a boquet of flowers because he believes that if he buys me the plant I can continually see the beauty over and over again. I see the same flower in another way each time I look at them. The things that change my view of them is the smell, the time of year, how they have spread, how they surface through the earth and how they look once I have dried them. I also like to use the dried flowers for decoupage projects. Seeing a flower open is like seeing one of my children grow and change. It is a continual amazment to me and it was only when I saw the work of Jill Bliss that I realized that how lucky I am to see flowers in my own way. And thanks to her, I will now have no fear of experimenting further with my love of flowers and plants.