Jack Laws Painting at Glass Creek Meadow

A Day with Jack Laws

Two Drawing and Sketching Classes
At Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site
Sunday October 3, 2010

On Sunday October 3, 2010, celebrated author, artist and nature educator Jack Laws, great grandson of the R. J. Laws of Laws CA, will be at the Laws Railroad Museum to conduct a one day program concentrating on wildlife interpretation, bird sketching, drawing and painting techniques. There will be two individual sessions and a pot-luck picnic for participants to meet and talk with Mr. Laws.

The day will start with a morning session Drawing Birds in the Western Landscape. Learn to draw and sketch birds among the artifacts and structures of the museum which includes the stationmaster’s home which once was home to Jack’s great grandfather. While observing the birds of Laws, you will be taught how to sketch these fascinating creatures. As over 50 different species of birds can be found at the museum ranging from hummers to raptors there will be quite a range of subjects to pick from. Participants will be taught basic shapes and methods for capturing the form and movement of birds and animals while understanding which critical details to check when you see a bird. Attendees will master the one-minute sketch technique. Even if you do not fancy yourself as artistic, this is a great way to learn quick references for bird identification. This class is suitable for children. Bring your favorite drawing and sketching materials and something to share for a potluck lunch.

Jack Laws showing bird posture

If after lunch you find yourself wanting to know more about sketching, coloring your sketches with various media or just general art education then the afternoon session Techniques and Tricks is the class for you! In the afternoon Jack will move on to a consideration of water color and colored pencil techniques, perspective, composition, Plein Air techniques and some new thoughts color theory while using the museum’s buildings, artifacts and landscapes as inspiration. As these techniques work for all medium from pencils to pastels, acrylics to watercolor, so bring whatever medium(s) you wish to work in and walk out of the class armed with more tools to create the art you want to see.

Participants can register for one or both of these classes. Registrants of either class will be able to attend the pot luck picnic and enjoy the wit and wisdom of Jack Laws.

Download registration form here.


Naturalist, educator and artist John (Jack) Muir Laws delights in exploring the natural world and sharing this love with others. Laws has worked as an environmental educator for over 25 years in California, Wyoming, and Alaska. He teaches classes on natural history, conservation biology, scientific illustration, and field sketching. He is trained as a wildlife biologist and is an associate of the California Academy of Sciences. In 2009, he received the Terwilliger Environmental Award for outstanding service in Environmental Education, and he is a 2010 TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow with the National Audubon Society.

Cover of Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada

Laws has written and illustrated books about the natural history of California including Sierra Birds: a Hiker's Guide (2004), The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada (2007), and The Laws Pocket Guide Set to the San Francisco Bay Area (2009). He is a regular contributor to Bay Nature magazine with his "Naturalists Notebook" column. His illustrations are informed by extensive field experience and capture the feeling of the living plant or animal, while also including details critical for identification.

A Day with Jack Laws is sponsored by the Eastern Sierra Audubon Society, Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site and the Inyo Council for the Arts. Download a registration form here or contact Pete Pumphrey at 760-872-7846 for more details. Registration is limited.

For more of Jack Laws, don't miss the Eastern Sierra Audubon October General Meeting: Connecting with Nature, with Jack Laws. Wednesday, October 6th, 7pm, White Mountain Research Station.