Book Review: The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

Hi there and welcome to my first ever book review! Yes, you read that right, this is my first one — I’ve never been as excited about a book before and felt that I HAD to write a review. And I read a ton, and always have. So that’s really saying something. I just feel like everyone should know about The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, and Mr. John Muir Laws in general — what a cool name, right?

I found out about the book when I stumbled on John Muir Laws’ website here. Oh whoa, so much good stuff! To say that it rocked my world is kind of an understatement. There are videos for most of the topics in the book too. For a visual learner like me this is just so awesome.

This book covers everything from setting up a watercolor palette, to pencils, to color theory and has approaches for drawing landscapes, animals, flowers, butterflies, the sky — it’s turning into my sketch bible. I love that he explains the science behind many things as well.

Favorites So Far

Here are just a few of my favorite lessons — so far! I’m still working my way through the book. I kinda jumped around to the parts that interested me most, which you can totally do!

  • Sketching clouds — oh man, I was going about this all wrong. He has some great tips — that actually work
  • Color theory — I’ve read about primary colors and different thoughts about what ARE the actual primary colors before — but he’s the first one to explain it to me in a way that makes sense. Now I get it!
  • Drawing flowers and leaves — he has videos to go with these as well
  • Strategies for drawing landscapes so you don’t get overwhelmed, plus drawing techniques to make things seem closer/more distant
  • The famous Prismacolor col-erase non-photo blue pencil — this pencil is magic! I’ll have more on it in another post soon

I could go on and on… And on. :)

Find It

You can find the book here on his website, or here on Amazon. (Full disclosure, that’s my Amazon affiliate link so if you order via the link I’ll receive a small commission at no charge to you.) Amazon also has the nifty “look inside” feature so you can see more — I wasn’t sure how much I should share here.

I just had to add that I’d love to meet John “Jack” Laws someday. He just seems like an amazing human. He’s so generous with his knowledge and a great teacher, too.

Hope this book review helps someone as much as it’s helped me! xo

PS. You can follow my sketching adventures here on Instagram.

11 Replies to “Book Review: The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling”

  1. Deborah Kaye says:

    Thanks for the review of a great book. I checked it out on Amazon. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book preview show so many pages! Wow!

  2. Oh thank you for this!! I love your review and makes me want to purchase this myself!!

  3. Hi there Lisa,
    I would love to go sketching with you some day. Lets make it happen. Perhaps the next time you are on the west coast or I am in Austin. I really appreciate your support. I have been looking over your site and love what you are doing. Happy sketching!

    1. You just made my day! I’d love to meet up someday! Thanks again for all that you do.

      1. I’m coming with Lisa when y’all sketch! I received this book for Christmas, and I’ve been working through your exercises on work flights. I’ve learned to much! Like Lisa, I am carrying this book everywhere and reading all I can! Thank you!

        1. I would love to go sketching with both of you!

  4. Beverly LoPinto says:

    Hey Lisa–thanks for the book review. It sounded so good I went and got it on Amazon. I just got it today and It’s really great! You have really inspired me to start sketching, especially watching how well you’ve been doing. I’ve taken some botanical drawing classes and really loved it. The process of observing nature is so special and I really like John Laws approach. Maybe this will be the start of something new.

  5. Beverly LoPinto says:

    Thanks to your review, I did end up purchasing this book. It really is wonderful. I love how he goes into so much detail on how to observe. I’ve taken botanical drawing classes and always loved observing nature–it brings a deep sense of satisfaction. I’ve been so inspired by all your Instagram posts and it’s inspiring me to get out my dusty sketchbook and jump in the game. Thanks always for your inspiration.

  6. This looks really useful! Found you through your review for the Case for Making watercolor class you took. Ordered this book through the local library. Thanks for all your work and sharing.

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