I had written that blogpost to gather my thoughts "on paper" on how I would approach my own travel sketchbook. I had entered the 2013 Sketchbook Project and chose the theme : Travelogue. At the time I decided to revisit my 2007 holiday to Paris, as if I was there, drawing as much then as I do now ! My sketchbook is based on my diaries, photographs I took and where I thought I would have drawn at the time, as well as souvenirs I bought. Although this is created in retrospect, all the time I thought how would approach future travel sketchbooks.
The journal can be viewed here Travelogue Paris 2007. Over the 18 double pages of the Sketchbook Project I experimented with composition, lettering, maps and came to some conclusions about what and how I wanted to try and capture in my travel sketchbook journal.
In July this year I had three weeks holiday travelling to London and Barcelona, where I had the opportunity to put all of my thoughts and ideas in practice. I filled two Moleskine watercolour sketchbooks. This post is to review what worked (most things) and what didn't (a few things) in reality. I knew what I wanted to try and achieve and what was important to me on my holiday in my journal.
I am so incredibly proud of my holiday sketchbook journals (see them on flickr: London and Barcelona) and each time I look at them (for example, to write this,) I relive my holiday and it gives me immense joy to see the pages. They are a unique holiday souvenir that will be with me for a long time.
Below are my original theories from the Sketchbook Project and then the reality of how it worked when I was actually travelling, with examples
· it will be a combination of on the quick on the spot sketching and more detailed drawings
This worked so well - and gave life and an individual feel to my sketchbook.
· leave first page or two of each day blank – at end of day I could draw maps, streets walked that day, rail/metro routes caught.I wish I remembered to do that each day . I often forgot to leave the first page blank and would not remember until I had started the first sketch . I would then leave the rest of the page free. Next time I will turn to the next blank page the night before and write in pencil on the page LEAVE BLANK. Two pages could easily be left for this
· draw objects such as tickets, souvenirs, food, headings also at the end of the day in my hotel room. There is time and space to draw. If there is a good view from the room, I can draw it everyday
|view inside the hotel room and also looking out the window. This was drawn over two or three sessions, just a bit at a time|
|I stood across the street to sketch the printshop and then drew the books on the plane on the way home.|
|I had the feathers for a week and then realized that we were flying home the next day and could not take them back to Australia. Three feathers in one night !|
I drew objects A LOT less than I thought I would, especially since that is a style of drawing I do a lot at home and get a lot of enjoyment out of. In reality, if I was working (that is the wrong word !) on my sketchbook in the evening, it was adding my notes, finishing off sketches by adding a bit more colour or line.
I was travelling with my mother and she was very patient with my sketching, and also appreciated quiet time for herself, while I sketched.
I was also very tired at the end of each day. It is part of being a tourist, walking and seeing a lot. We had 28 degrees in London each day and long summertime hours
· MAPS.If I colour the roads or areas between the road on a map I can match them with other colours I have used on the page, bringing it all together.
|the blue and green of the land and river on the map, matching the sky|
|The lettering on the page matching the blue of the Serpentine|
· leave lots of white space – I can always fill it in later if it looks too sparse.as mentioned , I did not do enough of this .
· write commentary about how I feel, think, react to things, smells, places but not too much. I will probably keep a separate diary.I want to write too much and have to make decisions about what to include. Often the sketch tells the story and only a few other notes were added.
I feel as though I did not write enough on the moment of thoughts and feelings. It was not often the right time and place. Often I scribbled some thoughts in pencil on the page and left a block of space around it to expand on it later (in the evening at the hotel).
I still want to include something of the history or description of the place I am. But where to stop? In the end, my sketchbook journal is for me, not a history lesson, so I just need reminders of it's place and importance in history. And there is SO much history in London. I am overwhelmed by it.
· Re: buildings and vistasI know how I draw at the moment. I am at ease drawing objects, food, paper. I am not so good at buildings and vistas. But architecture is an important feature of a city or town and so I want to include it , the trees, roads, sky. I have been considering how it is best for me to capture a scene with these in it. I want to create a little vignette., with a little character and insight, but not too much
-just try and draw a section
-leave the top, bottom or sides unfinished.- lines drifting off- only colour some parts
· don’t try and fill the page - only use part of the page
filled the page in the vast majority of the time -so much to draw !!!
don’t try and get caught up in the detail and try and leave this to a " close up " drawing later if I get the chance
Writing this has helped me think about what I have learned about my sketching and myself when travelling. I know that sketching brings me do much pleasure. I hardly took any photographs and when I did they were of people (and then there are those 20 photos of squirrels for reference photos for drawing at a later date).
My art is growing and slowing evolving as I meet other sketchers, go to workshops. These travel sketchbooks seem to be the culmination of a series of events . It is an exciting journey in itself.