Brooke Morales is a designer and writer who uses nature journaling and urban sketching to notice the worlds within the world around her.
Brooke began painting windowscapes, or as they are also called, skyscapitos or mini skyscapes, in late October of 2022. She enjoyed the process so much that she decided to commit to painting a windowscape each morning throughout the entire year of 2023. That’s 365 days of skies!
About 365 Skies
365 Skies is a project that was born from Brooke’s love for painting and observing the sky. Windowscapes are small snapshots of the sky that can help us scale down something as vast as the sky into a far more approachable subject. They are a great way to observe nature intentionally and notice patterns over time. They also provide a nature journaling opportunity during a portion of the day when you might not be able to get outside or wouldn’t otherwise have enough time.
Every morning at 7:30 am, Brooke painted the viewable portion of the southern sky from her drawing desk and record weather data. Since it was much easier and faster to fill a 3x2 inch frame than a 12x9 frame, she limited her windowscapes to about 3x2 and filled the entire frame with what she observed at that moment. The full process took her 5 to 10 minutes total.
At the end of each week, once she had finished another page of windowscapes, she removed the masking tape and wrote in the weather data for each day. Painting windowscapes (aka skyscapitos) helped her observe nature more intentionally and notice patterns over time, even on days when she couldn’t venture out.
Brooke’s Art Supplies
Brooke used Arches Cold Press Watercolor Block 140 lb.
She had a dedicated Pocket Palette for this project. Her watercolors are: Winsor & Newton Cerulean Blue, Winsor & Newton Cobalt Blue, Schmincke Cobalt Turquoise, Daniel Smith Buff Titanium, Daniel Smith Shadow Violet, Daniel Smith Payne’s Grey, Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and Schmincke Purple Magenta.
Brooke’s core tools live in a pencil sleeve she keeps on her Hahnemühle 100% cotton cold press A6 sketchbook. Her core tools are a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil, a Sailor Füde nib pen with waterproof ink, a 0.5 Uni Pin fine liner, and a small ruler.
She carries one of two Art Toolkit palettes with her on her adventures: a Demi Palette she stashes in her running vest when she goes on trail runs and a Pocket Palette she brings in a Fjällräven fanny pack everywhere else. She uses Pentel Aquash water brushes when speed is of the essence and Rosemary & Co travel brushes when she has more time to settle into a painting.
Brooke often swaps out colors based on where she’s going. Her favorite watercolors are:
Lemon Yellow, Indian Yellow, Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Perylene Maroon, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Scarlet, Purple Magenta, May Green, Sap Green, Winsor Green Blue Shade, Cobalt Turquoise, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Quinacridone Purple, Buff Titanium, Bloodstone Genuine, Shadow Violet, Payne’s Grey, Bloodstone Genuine, and Neutral Tint.
Reflections on Art
Brooke believes inspiration is everywhere and has made sketching a part of her daily life by centering her process around portability and spontaneity so that she can capture moments to see them better in the present and remember them better in the future. She’s passionate about inspiring others to open their sketchbooks and focus on the process—not the product—by helping people connect more deeply to what truly matters. Brooke’s mantra is, “Just start!”
As a person who was always going, going, going, art taught Brooke the importance of slowing down and getting lost in everyday moments. It’s helped her feel a deeper sense of connection to the world around her and has helped her learn to accept herself in ways she hadn’t previously imagined. Art has transformed how Brooke engages with the creative process. As a graphic designer, she used to focus solely on the product of her work, but keeping a sketchbook has helped her learn to love the process of art for the sake of the process, dissolving many unhealthy perfectionist tendencies that previously burdened her work.