“Enthusiasm is our creativity’s fuel”

Drawing can become addictive, but in a healthy way. Also, it can turn out to be a vital need. The Spanish nature artist, Francisco Hernández, told us what’s the role of nature drawing in his life and how important it may become to anyone.


Wilder: When have you started to draw?

Francisco Hernández: I started to draw as most people, when I was a little child. I loved drawing and I had luck because my parents and my teachers always supported my motivation. Aldo, I loved going out to nature. These two passions soon became one.

I’ve studied Biology and, by myself, I improved my skills of drawing and painting nature. For ten years I worked as a conservation biologist with big birds of prey and helped in many conservation projects on wetland birds and passerines. But I never forgot my artistic side. I’ve spent many hours observing nature. In 2007 I’ve decided to dedicate myself entirely to illustration and naturalist painting, using the knowledge I had gathered on all those years working in nature conservation.



W: What does nature-sketching means to you?

Francisco Hernández: Drawing has something of a healthy addiction, a vital need. Absolutely. I love to observe, to understand what I see through colours and textures, the blur contours of objects when the air comes between them and my eye, the movements, the lights and the shadows. I love to translate all of that into the paper.

This is a kind of language and, in time, we start to create our own dialect. And for me, to be able to talk that language is a necessity. I feel lucky to be able to dedicate myself to something that I’m passionate about. Also, I believe nature is our true home, even if we live in big cities. It’s our responsibility as nature artists to always remember that the value of what we paint is not just in the beauty of things but also in its sheer existence. We are obliged to protect our environment because we need it to live in this fragile planet.


W: Do you think anyone can draw?

Francisco Hernández: I believe that our aptitude to express ourselves is something that it’s innate to all of us. And that means expressing through words and through drawings. Both are manifestations of our creativity. We express ourselves while writing, as we draw symbols on paper, which have their own meaning. Anyone who can write is already drawing. And there is always the potential to improve this skill to draw. The point is, drawing something more than words, without a purpose, connects us directly to something deeper. Look at a child while he is drawing on a paper. He is enthusiastic while he plays. In fact, enthusiasm is our creativity’s fuel. It’s very important for us to continue playing, even if we are no longer children. Drawing is a kind of play with our creativity and nature is an almost never-ending field play where any human being finds beauty, without effort.


[divider type=”thin”] Francisco Hernández has been in Vicentina Coast, in the South of Portugal, in May. You can see here his drawings and find why he loves that place.

Helena Geraldes

Sou jornalista de Natureza na revista Wilder. Escrevo sobre Ambiente e Biodiversidade desde 1998 e trabalhei nas redacções da revista Fórum Ambiente e do jornal PÚBLICO. Neste último estive 13 anos à frente do site de Ambiente deste diário, o Ecosfera. Em 2015 lancei a Wilder, com as minhas colegas jornalistas Inês Sequeira e Joana Bourgard, para dar voz a quem se dedica a proteger ou a estudar a natureza mas também às espécies raras, ameaçadas ou àquelas de que (quase) ninguém fala. Na verdade, isso é algo que quero fazer desde que ainda em criança vi um documentário de vida selvagem que passava aos domingos na televisão e que me fez decidir o rumo que queria seguir. Já lá vão uns anos, portanto. Desde então tenho-me dedicado a escrever sobre linces, morcegos, abutres, peixes mas também sobre conservacionistas e cidadãos apaixonados pela natureza, que querem fazer parte de uma comunidade. Trabalho todos os dias para que a Wilder seja esse lugar no mundo.