Tuesday, February 13, 2007

the open [travel sketch] book

I've got some good news....in fact, I've got some pretty outstanding news.... I leave for Venice in 18 days!!!!!!!! I am so excited not only to be traveling, but also to be drawing. I've been so inspired by other's travel sketches including Laureline's Paris in October and Tommy Kane's images from around Asia.

I am, however, also a little weary about my own work as I always plan to create fantastic drawings when I travel and rarely do. I'm crossing my fingers that my daily practice over the past few months will help.
In the meantime, I'm trying to come up with a game plan for how I am going to achieve my goals and taking a look at other artists' techniques. I recently came across the book "Pencil Sketching" by Thomas C. Wang and am very excited to work my way through it. His drawings of Venice only add to the excitement that is building inside every bone in my body.

This is all to say that I would truly appreciate any advice you may have on drawing and traveling. Any books you recommend? Methods for taking time to draw? Places you would go? I'm all ears.


andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Wow what fantastic news. It sounds as though the trip has come as a surprise to you? Is that right? If so how did it come about?

I always have good intentions of drawing when I go travelling and then never do. I was take up valuable space in my bag with sketchbooks and pencils and pens and then never use them. I just love being busy; seeing all the sights.

I have never been to Venice but would love to go. I'm not sure whether you mean places to visit in Venice (which I can't help you with) OR plaes to travel to in general. If you mean the latter then I immediatley thought YOU must go to Scotland of course!! It is one of my favourite places EVER. So many wonderful places to draw there. Loch Ness, Tobermory, Loch Lomond, Iona......AAAaaah.

Tell us more about how this trip came about - is it a place you've always wanted to go to???

Karen Blados said...

Since the farthest I've traveled from my Ohio home is Florida, I am SO JEALOUS.

From my limited travels in about a 400 mile radius, my advice would be RELAX ... if you can fit a sketchbook in your bag, pull it out while enjoying a coffee or dinner. Sit down to rest your feet and draw for five minutes.

It's tough, because I'd be the same way and want to make wonderful drawings of everything, but I think if you just allow yourself a few minutes here, a few minutes there you'll be very surprised and happy at the end of your trip.

Claire said...

Wow, that's going to be an awesome trip! I've always had trouble drawing while traveling, too--I never seem to get enough down time. (The only exception is when I go to the beach, but that's an entirely different sort of vacation.) So, no advice on that front. But maybe buying a very small sketchbook like a Moleskine would help. A) it's very portable and B) it might take off some of the pressure to do large, complicated, "finished" sketches and give you more freedom to record passing impressions and interesting details. Just a thought.

Laura said...

I'm thrilled for you!!! I'm sure all the drawing you've been doing will be invaluable. Two wonderful books that might be of interest :
Sketching School by Judy Martin ISBN 0-89577-405-4 and The Artist's Sketchbook by Albany Wiseman ISBN 0-7153-0965-X. Lots of inspiration in both--information, too.
You're going to have a fabulous time!

Alicja Fenigsen said...

I agree with all the above - I'd say, the best size for a travellers sketchbook is no more than can fit on Your palm, and in the sleeve of Your jacket if it's raining. Makes almost no difference in those scanning times, You can always enlarge the sketches and be surprized - don't waste time filling in detailed surfaces, just take the next sheet and keep doing it all the time, no matter how small the inspiration - it will all add up in the end!!! take it to bed with You, and to the breakfast table, there are always waits, time that otherwise would be wasted. Have a fabulous trip!!!

suzanne said...

Well....the trip was kinda a graduation present to myself. I bought the tickets a few weeks ago, but its just beginning to click that I am actually going. I've always wanted to go to Italy, so this is really a dream.
Thanks for the Scottish recommendations. I would love to make this my next trip!

Karen, Claire, Laura and Alicja-
Thanks so much for your recommendations. I think your suggestions are right about getting a small sketchbook and keeping it simple. I've always used a huge, novel of a sketchbook...now might be a goodtime to switch to something different.

wagonized said...

Suzaaaaaaanne! Venice. That's great news. And i'll be honest, i have no advice whatsoever on sketching and traveling, as i've just spent 4 days in France and did not draw anything. The problem of course was that i was seeing my entire family and didn't feel the need to isolate myself and tell them i was going to draw. Would have been silly.
I am thrilled about your upcoming trip.

Julie said...

What a great gift to yourself! I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time.

heather lorin said...

One more thing - I was there in the early spring and it was still pretty chilly. I was wishing I'd brought some of those fingerless gloves; as it was, my hands were too cold (and often damp from the rain) to hold onto my pen for any length of time when I was outside.

Can't wait to see what catches your eye!

Jana Bouc said...

Congratulations and the much deserved trip! I found that my little Moleskine watercolor notebook was the one I enjoyed using the most in Mexico, given the short periods of time I had available to me. It's lightweight and compact. I also really liked using my little WN watercolor kit that has a little water bottle, brush and palette built in so I didn't have to hunt down containers for water. Have a grand time!