Best seller

Illustrating Nature: A Creative Exploration

A course by Laura McKendry
Illustrator and Artist. London, United Kingdom.
Joined March 2020
, Illustrator and Artist

Illustrate the natural world with an experimental approach using watercolor and ink

  • Best seller
  • 99% positive reviews (1.9K)
  • 40826 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Illustrate the natural world with an experimental approach using watercolor and ink

  • 99% positive reviews (1.9K)
  • 40826 students
  • 18 lessons (4h 25m)
  • 16 additional resources (10 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Approaching a blank page with an open mind and a playful spirit can become a catalyst for inspiration, leaving behind self-doubt and the fear of making mistakes to make noticeable progress. Laura McKendry’s approach to illustration is founded on curiosity and experimentation, creating striking pieces ranging from fine art prints, to greeting cards, gift-wrap, homeware, and more.

In this course, Laura shows you how to experiment with watercolor, ink, and other mixed media of your choice to create three pieces inspired by the natural world. Discover the techniques she incorporates into her work to expand your creativity and find your own unique way to represent nature.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Letting Go
  • U3
    U3. Inspired by Nature
  • U4
    U4. Bringing It All Together
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Laura begins the course by telling you about her background as an illustrator, sharing her influences and work that inspires her. She then tells you about her course and explains what you are about to learn.

Start off by experimenting with different materials. Begin with ink, learning different techniques and Laura’s own methods before developing your own. Then, see how watercolor paint can be used, how it moves, and how to mix it. Learn how to combine colored pencil and watercolor. Experiment further by using any materials you have at home to create color palettes and making different types of strokes and shapes with your mixed media.

In the next unit, Laura shows you different ways to turn drawing into a habit for creative exploration. See different exercises for overcoming your fear of the blank page and warm up your drawing hand before getting started. Learn why Laura believes that drawing outdoors can benefit your work and find a place outdoors to sketch birds and the surrounding nature. Discover different ways of drawing flora and fauna using photos and videos as references, without sacrificing the movement and dynamism of your work.

In the final unit, bring together all the tricks and techniques you’ve learned. Combine watercolors, ink, colored pencils, and other mixed media to draw the nature around you. Get some final tips from Laura and finish the course by creating a set of three images.

What is this course's project?

Experiment with different illustration techniques by using watercolor, ink, and colored pencils to create three images inspired by the natural world. You’ll also learn how to move away from the pressures that can stifle creativity and instead, find ways to encourage playfulness in the creation of your drawings.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to learn how to paint watercolors inspired by the natural world, as well as those who want to explore non-traditional and experimental watercolor techniques, ink, colored pencils and more.

Requirements and materials

Previous experience with painting or watercolors is not required to take this course; just an open mind and a desire to experiment.

You will need a watercolor set (minimum of 12 colors), brushes in a range of sizes and shapes, watercolor paper, and a cup or jar for washing brushes. You may also find it helpful to have unusual types of paper, colored pencils, a dip pen, India ink (black and other colors) and fountain pen ink, and some rubber painting tools (for use with masking fluid). You may also find it helpful to have masking fluid, pastels, and other color materials.


40826 Students
1877 Reviews
99% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Laura McKendry

A course by Laura McKendry

Teacher Plus
Illustrator and Artist

Laura McKendry is an illustrator and artist based in London, UK, who is renowned for incorporating unusual tools and materials into her watercolor and ink-based pieces. Her work can be found on greeting cards, wrapping paper, homeware, and fine art prints for clients like Artko, Impress, Jaccart, Laura Ashley, Papyrus, WHSmith, and Waterstones.

Her book cover illustration for André Alexis’ novel Fifteen Dogs was nominated for the V&A Illustration Awards in 2016. She also teaches short courses on drawing and illustration at Central Saint Martins and the University of Arts London, and runs online workshops that focus on finding ways to unlock creativity while perfecting creative techniques.


  • U1


    • About Me
    • Influences and Inspiration
    • Make Mistakes, Overcome Fear
  • U2

    Letting Go

    • Play with Ink 1
    • Play with Ink 2
    • Play with Ink 3
    • Explore Watercolour & Coloured Pencil 1
    • Explore Watercolour & Coloured Pencil 2
    • Experiment with Mixed Media
  • U3

    Inspired by Nature

    • Collect and Draw Nature...
    • ...From Life 1
    • ...From Life 2
    • …Out and About
    • …From Photos and Videos 1
    • …From Photos and Videos 2
  • U4

    Bringing It All Together

    • Illustrate with Watercolour and Coloured Pencils
    • Apply Ink Techniques to Illustration
    • Build an Image with Mixed Media
  • FP

    Final project

    • Illustrating Nature: A Creative Exploration

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus member, when you complete a course you've purchased, you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates.
Illustrating Nature: A Creative Exploration. Illustration course by Laura McKendry Best seller

Illustrating Nature: A Creative Exploration

A course by Laura McKendry
Illustrator and Artist. London, United Kingdom.
Joined March 2020
  • 99% positive reviews (1.9K)
  • 40826 students