See the Books | Meet Irene Brady | Booklist | Great Links
 NatureClips Clipart | Campsite Critter Guides | Interpretive Arts Portfolio

Illustrating Nature--Right-brain Art in a Left-brain World...
Illustrating Nature
Right-brain Art in a Left-brain World
...a generously illustrated, complete guide to nature illustration, from beginning sketching to a professional career.

buy now
The perfect gift for the budding artist -- or YOUR "artist-within."

This book is for beginners, professionals,
and anyone gone sketching who wants to draw what they SEE.
  • start at the beginning and progress at your own speed
  • draw in your sketchbook or journal with skill and serenity.
  • or polish your current skills into a professional career.
This extraordinary book
is your ticket to the natural world. But you don’t have to trek to a far off wilderness to get there.
It’s all around you to enjoy every day – from the ladybug on the windowsill,
to the milkweed in the sidewalk crack, to the frog croaking in the back yard.
Adults can begin immediately learning skills step-by-step,
that will enhance their personal journaling – or make that career in art more than just a dream.
Kids think this book rocks. It's easy to use and they discover and learn techniques
right away that are fun and easy -- and will impress their friends and family.
Teens can achieve success on their own using the abundant, illustrations and instructions.
Fox Grape...


And don't miss the great review in Eclectic Homeschool Online by Robin McDonald.

from Library Journal, November 15, 2004 Issue

"Brady packs this manual with the wisdom gathered from her many years as an illustrator for the Botanical Museum and the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, as head of the Graphics Unit at the National Fish & Wildlife's Forensics Lab, and as the author of ten nature books...To help readers, Brady provides specific and remarkably successful exercises and techniques, developed for her [university] classes in scientific illustration and tested and retested with a wide variety of ages and skill levels. Highly recommended."

from Reviewers Choice Reviews (Sissy Jacobson), January, 2005

"This book is written and illustrated in such a way that it can be used by children in classrooms or in homeschooling, teens, and advanced artists who feel they could use that extra touch in their work. Along with the art, one learns to look at nature in a whole new light, which also makes this an excellent guide for field studies and nature walks. Students learn to look below the surface of nature, take pictures, and gather specimens to study and sketch back in the classroom.

The list of art supplies begins as simple as pencil and paper, increasing to different types of pens and inks, paper, and technical pens. Instructions are simple and concise but never boring. I plan to lend this book to my daughter who is an artistically talented fifth grade teacher. She may be able to use it in her classroom.

I have bought many books in the past, trying to learn to sketch, but there is nothing out there to compare with the talent Irene Brady brings to her field. If you are interested in art as a hobby or as a teaching tool,
I highly recommend this book."

from Homeschool Horizons Magazine (Heather Reynolds) March 2005

"Have you been looking for an art curriculum for you or your child? Then look no further. Better than anything I have ever come across, this book goes beyond the basic how-to art book. From the first lesson onwards, you will find yourself creating. Be inspired by highly accomplished nature artist Irene Brady. Filled with her gorgeous nature sketches throughout this book, you will easily follow the clearly laid out directions. This book can easily be followed by a child as young as 10, with the direction of an adult. Ideally suited to the homeschooling environment, and will be the highlight of your nature study year."

from Fearless Reviews (M.Polonsky) December 5, 2004

"Author/illustrator Irene Brady believes that everyone can draw what they observe, and she’s out to prove it. What began as a scientific illustration class grew into a vision for teaching art in such a way that students cannot fail to delight themselves and vastly exceed their own expectations.

. . .this is, above all, a naturalist art primer. But it should go without saying that it is not one iota less imbued with wonder and mystique than a more “inclusive” art curriculum might be. Brady’s own precise and lively illustrations, her strong knowledge of anatomy, and her intimacy with textures, tones, design, and subtleties of shape all add up to a uniquely warm and rich learning and art-making journey. Brady’s voice, also, is inviting and sure, and her cornucopia of exercises is lovingly well-conceived. Perfect for children and blooming artists of all ages. Includes an extensive index, career tips, suggestions for projects, and other extra goodies.

from Heartland Reviews, Bob Spear, Publisher and Chief Reviewer, at www.heartlandreviews.com

"This is a superbly rendered art book that can be used to teach graphic arts techniques and concepts to people of all ages. The author is a highly accomplished nature artist who has illustrated for museums and national magazines. She provides drawing exercises that incorporate both hemispheres of the brain. This would be an excellent school or home-school text, as well as an excellent self-help guide to budding artists. We rated it five hearts."

arrow point from BellaOnline, Meg Grooms, Homeschooling Editor, at www.bellaonline.com

"...The lessons laid out in this excellently organized book are exactly what I look for in an instructional book. The author bridges the gap between concise and informative beautifully! She provides enough encouragement and instruction to let you fly on your own in your own time. While the program is designed mainly for older students and adults, it can easily be adapted for use in a homeschool program with children of any age. After reviewing this book I plan on joining in on lessons with my children, even my toddler!"

from Independent Publisher at www.independentpublisher.com

"A generously illustrated, complete guide to nature illustration from beginning sketching to a professional career, Illustrating Nature ~ Right-brain Art in a Left-brain World is capable of taking the aspiring artist to the highest artistic level he or she strives for, regardless of current ability. Tested and forged in both the fiery furnace of perspective tips college classes and the family atmosphere of home-schooling — under the intense scrutiny of students of all ages — each step in this book has been fine-tuned to meet the needs of the most demanding would-be artist."

from Readers Preference Reviews, Harold McFarland, Editor, at www.readerspreference.com

"...this art instructional book deals with trying to see things and draw using the artistic side of the brain instead of the analytical left side. Subjects covered include sketching, texture, tone, line art, drawing techniques, design and layout, drawing fur, eyes, and other parts of animals, and botanical drawing. The appendixes include multiple projects, field sketchbook and portfolio creation, and career tips if you want to pursue illustration as a career. In addition to the common techniques you typically find in an art instructional book there are dozens and dozens of field notes specific to nature illustration work in the field. These make the book a best choice for anyone who wants to engage in nature illustration. Illustrating Nature is recommended for drawing in general and highly recommended for nature drawing techniques."

Southern Red Oak
from Acorn Naturalists, Resources for the Trail and Classroom, Jennifer Rigby, Director, at www.acornnaturalists.com

"Illustrating Nature successfully bridges the gap between technical art manuals and nature journaling books. With generous samples of media, Irene Brady shares her remarkable insight into those techniques that transform an adequate – or even inadequate – illustration into a superlative one. She offers the reader a cache of tools that help balance the demand for scientific accuracy with the desire for creativity. The end result is an ability to capture an image on paper quickly and effectively – an image that illustrates as well as inspires.


Dr. Stewart Janes, Professor and Chairman, Department of Biology, Southern Oregon University says: “Illustrating Nature – Right-brain Art in a Left-brain World, is far more than a textbook — it’s an open door into the artist’s world for every person who wants to learn how to draw.I will be recommending this book to all my Environmental Ed students as a fundamental cornerstone in helping them become effective communicators through their drawings and sketches.”

Diane Harris, Homeschooler, says: “For homeschoolers looking for a fascinating and unique book combining art and nature for people of all ages, Illustrating Nature – Right-Brain Art in a drawing a fir cone Left-Brain World, is a perfect blend of the two. The well-crafted text makes art and science a fascinating adventure for students and their teachers. It offers an exciting approach to journaling and nature observation with lively, interesting exercises and projects that will initiate a life-time of learning and pleasure. I heartily recommend it.”

Danny (11) and Lydia (10) Kiesecker, Wauconda, WA, say:This book is the best thing to happen to my sister and me in homeschooling...Whether you want to draw a fish, a flower, or make a sign for your driveway, any kid can use this book to get started. We like how well our projects turn out using Illustrating Nature."

Tree Kiesecker (Dan & Lydia’s mom) says: “There can be no better source of info for the homeschooled student in illustration than this offering from Irene Brady... the book has definitely made them want to go beyond the edge of the paper!!!


Perched Sparrow...
     Irene Brady currently teaches college-level scientific illustration at Southern Oregon University, and has led illustration and sketching workshops for both adults and children. Award-winning author and illustrator of ten nature books (published by Houghton Mifflin, Scribners and others) and numerous nature articles (in Ranger Rick, Cricket, Mushroom, and Audubon Magazine, etc.), her work has been praised by The New York Academy of Sciences, the National Science Teachers Association, the Children's Book Council, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others.

contact us

Distributors: Quality Books, Follett Library Resources, Brodart Co.
Acorn Naturalists, Books West, Partners West


All images, graphics, and text on this website
COPYRIGHTED © by Nature Works. All rights reserved worldwide.
Only clipart images found on the NatureClips clipart site,
may be used without written permission from the artist.