You don’t have to be able to go outside to put pencil or pen to paper and sketch the natural world. Illustrator Julia Rothman shares some of her how-to tips.

Hi everyone,

There are so many moments when we find ourselves waiting. In those moments, I try to be always observing. Drawing has led me to explore the world in a deeper way. It might do the same for you.

Since some of you have some extra time while you are staying home and social distancing, I thought it would be fun to offer a few simple step-by-step guides for drawing a frog, a bird, and a butterfly. My anatomy diagrams can help you identify some of these animals’ features as you work. IThese guides are just starting points. You should try sketching directly from nature, if you can, or by looking out your window if you’re homebound. I encourage you to post your drawings and hashtag them #drawnatureanatomy so I can share them online.

Drawing has always been a calming escape for me. I hope you can find some enjoyment in trying it out.

Sending virtual hugs.


[Download the How to Draw a Frog PDF here.]


[Download the How to Draw a Bird PDF here.]


[Download the How to Draw a Butterfly PDF here.]

Illustrations and how-to text excerpted from Nature Anatomy Notebook © 2019 by Julia Rothman. All rights reserved.

Julia Rothman

Julia Rothman is an illustrator, pattern designer, and author. Her illustrated column, Scratch, is featured biweekly in the Sunday New York Times. Clients include Target,… See Bio

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Nature Anatomy Notebook

by Julia Rothman

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