John Muir Laws
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Gold Medal, 2016 Foreword INDIES Book Award. A potent combination of art, science, and boundless enthusiasm, the latest art instruction book from John Muir Laws is a how-to guide for becoming a better artist and a more attentive naturalist. In straightforward text complemented by step-by-step illustrations, dozens of exercises lead the hand and mind through creating accurate reproductions of plants and animals as well as landscapes, skies, and more. Laws provides clear, practical advice for every step of the process for artists at every level, from the basics of choosing supplies to advanced techniques. While the book's advice will improve the skills of already accomplished artists, the emphasis on seeing, learning, and feeling will make this book valuable even revelatory to anyone interested in the natural world, no matter how rudimentary their artistic abilities.
John Muir Laws’s guide to drawing birds is itself winged, soaring between a devotion not only to art but also to the lives, forms, and postures of the birds themselves.
Here, artistic technique and the exquisite details of natural history intertwine, and drawing becomes the vehicle for seeing. As Laws writes, "To draw feathers, you must understand how feathers grow, overlap, and insert into the body. To create the body, you must have an understanding of the bird’s skeletal structure. To pose this skeleton, you must be able to perceive the energy, intention, and life of the bird."
This how-to guide will perfect the technique of serious artists but also, perhaps more importantly, it will provide guidance for those who insist they can’t draw. Leading the mind and hand through a series of detailed exercises, Laws delivers what he promises: that "drawing birds opens you to the beauty of the world." An Audubon Book.
The first-ever comprehensive book devoted to helping educators use nature journaling as an inspiring teaching tool to engage young people with wild places.
In their workshops, John Muir Laws and Emilie Lygren are often asked the how-tos of teaching nature journaling: how to manage student groups in the outdoors, teach drawing skills (especially from those who profess to have none), connect journaling to educational standards, and incorporate journaling into longer lessons. This book, expanding on the philosophy and methods of The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling puts together curriculum plans, advice, and in-the-field experience so that educators of all stripes can leap into journaling with their students. The approaches are designed to work in a range of ecosystems and settings, and are suitable for classroom teachers, outdoor educators, camp counselors, and homeschooling parents.
Full-color illustrations and sample journal pages from notable naturalists show how to put each lesson into practice. Field-tested by over a hundred educators, this book includes dozens of activities that easily support the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards—and, just as important, it will show kids and mentors alike how to recognize the wonder and intrigue in their midst.
As a naturalist managing the field studies program at the California Academy of Sciences, John Muir Laws noticed that novice birders often distinguish birds by color and size rather than species. This inspired him to create Sierra Birds: A Hiker’s Guide, a unique book that assumes no prior birding knowledge on the part of the reader. Color-coded keys eliminate the time-consuming frustration of thumbing randomly through a guide, and a cross-index is also included for more advanced birders. All this in a format that is simply organized and perfect to read on a smartphone or tablet. A first-rate naturalist, Laws is also an accomplished artist. His illustrations are lively, colorful, and accurate, and drawn to represent species in the manner in which one generally sees them in the field.
Praise for John Muir Laws
“For those of us who live in California, there are few resources that top the books by John Muir Laws. His Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada and his Pocket Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area combine beautiful illustrations with exacting biological information on birds, beasts, and plants.” —Sierra Magazine
In this groundbreaking and meticulously field-tested guide, the rich variety of Sierra life—trees, wildflowers, ferns, fungi, lichens, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, and insects—comes alive.
Easy-to-use features include:
- Intuitive organization, color tabs, and simple keys
- Similar-looking species side by side
- Over 2,800 full-color illustrations
- Range maps of species that are otherwise difficult to distinguish
- Index of common and scientific names
- Lightweight and compact—ideal for backpacking
Impressively detailed and comprehensive, the guide includes:
- More than 1,700 species
- Descriptions of behavior, adaptations, and interactions between species
- Species and topics not found in most guides, including aquatic life, spiders and webs, plankton, plant galls, bark beetle galleries, animal tracks and evidence, seasonal star charts, weather patterns, and cloud formations