Field sketching

To me, field sketching is about connecting with nature and allowing yourself to discover things you cannot see in a photograph. It heightens your own knowledge in learning more about the subject. During my balik-kampung session last weekend, I got to draw a pineapple plant.

How to draw on field?

I assume you have the basic tools with you; sketchbook, pencil and or watercolor (optional) before you begin.

Here’s how to start drawing :

  • Take a deep breath and smell the nature..
  • Go near to the subject and take few minutes to study the details (if the subject is a plant, it’s easy but if it’s animal or bug, they won’t stay still and you need to study the basics very fast: the shape, the details, textures, proportion, etc).
  • If you need to see little details, look very close. If your eyes are not so good, a magnifying glass would be handy.
  • Feel the subject with your hands if you need to study more about their texture.
  • Draw the basic shapes and later, the details.
  • Please refer back to your subject as often as you can.
  • Draw the shading based on what you see.

So, basically the above pointers will lead you to something like this:

pineapple plant


I don’t have the photo of this pineapple but but I do have a photo of my niece trying to ‘hold’ me on her palm. I was drawing this pineapple.


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  1. Hi Emila – One of my readers pointed me towards your beautiful illustrations.

    I noticed that you also design website headers. I need your help with the design of my blog. If you could email me, I’d appreciate it a lot. Thanks!

  2. I followed your advice and took a deep breath … I sat back in an awe -once again. First, as I looked at your post, and the second as I looked around in my backyard – Thank you came out as of itself.
    I enjoyed your lesson and I will post what was grasped by me soon on my blog art by Tomas

  3. Salam kak mila,

    Rizal tak pernah pulak buat field sketching, mungkin masa belajar dulu cikgu yang mengajar tu garang poyo sangat sampai bila nak ber lapang lapang geram. Trauma la tu.

    Tapi, tak pa, boleh dicuba cubakan balik. Kalau nak lukis di lapangan, boleh la ingat kak mila dair cikgu yang poyos tuu.. Hehehe.

    Selamat hari khamis.

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