Create a Sense of Place in Your Watercolor Nature Journal



General Description

There’s nothing quite as stunning as the landscape of the Lakes Basin area. Sketching and painting the land gives a sense of place to your journal pages. Learn to quickly render miniature landscapes as well as close-ups of flowers, rocks and water using a handy and comprehensive kit. We will begin the workshop with color mixing a full range of vibrant colors from a limited palette of pigments. Each day we will take a 1-3 mile hike to different locations. The evening before we will work with small photos to gain comfort with sketching and painting the setting of the following day, and each morning Kristin will give demonstrations on-site before you get started. There will also be an emphasis on page layout and adding notes and prose to your pages. 

$55 kit fee required. Poetry included.


Date of Period




July 14 - 19, 2019



Kristin Meuser


Kristin Meuser has been painting the land in various mediums for over 35 years. Several years ago her love of nature lead her to the Sierra Nevada Field Campus where she studied nature journaling with Jack Laws, watercolor with Andie Thrams and writing with Sarah Rabkin. Her career as a graphic designer gives her journal pages a sense of structured variety and a delightfully cohesive overall effect. She has been teaching watercolor nature journaling for the past 5 years privately and at art and retreat centers in California. She now splits her teaching time between California and the Las Vegas Valley. Her work is found in private collections; it has been shown regionally, and has been represented by the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. For more information, visit: On the Trail Nature Journaling Or contact Kristin @

Class Schedule

Please plan to arrive at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus on Sunday afternoon in enough time to settle in before we meet at 5:00 p.m. near the dining hall to get acquainted. Class will formally begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Demonstrations on how to render scenes characteristic of each day's destination will take place both on campus and in the field.

Supplies and Other Useful Items

A light and portable field journaling kit is key to keeping a nature journaling practice alive. The kit is REQUIRED (if you have taken my workshops before and have a kit, please bring it) and includes a simple palette with eight pigments that you’ll learn to mix into a full range of harmonious colors. You’ll also be provided a journal, a waterbrush, and other tools. The kit is available when you arrive at my cost of $55.
1. Messenger-style bag to hold art supplies (available through
2. Close-focus binoculars (also available through
3. Lightweight 3-legged stool (available at REI for about $22) – this type of stool creates less of a footprint and is lightweight and portable. You may also want to bring a small foam pad.
4. Field guide (see Laws Field Guide below)
5. Wide brimmed hat
6. Time piece to bring along on outings
1. Warm sleeping bag
2. Flashlight
3. Camp chair
4. Bring your own tent or use tents with beds provided at the field campus
Although days are generally warm, or even hot at lower elevations, be prepared for temperatures as low as freezing at night and the possibility of rain. Variable weather clothing that may be layered is best. Bring long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, warm sweater and jacket, t-shirt and shorts or skirt, tennis shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and a warm hat and gloves for cold weather or night activities. And don't forget your swim suit for warm afternoon dips in the lakes.
1. Day pack
2. Sunscreen
3. Insect repellant
4. Alarm clock
5. Water bottles
6. Plastic containers for packed lunches
Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
Laws Guide to Drawing Birds, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
Drawing a Tree, Bruno Munari, Edizioni Corraini, Italy
Discovering Sierra Trees, Stephen F Arno, Yosemite Natural History Association
How to Draw Animals, Jack Hamm, Perigree
Drawn to Nature, Clare Walker Leslie, Storey Publishing
A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place, Hannah Hinchman, Norton
Local Color, Mimi Robinson, Princeton Architectural Press