Travel Sketching

“Why do you keep sketching the same scene?”
This is something often asked of me while I’m sitting at the veranda sketching the view.

Because I’m practicing!

This is also the answer for:

  • Why do you keep buying sketchbooks?
  • Why do you keep buying fountain pens?
  • Why do you keep buying paint?
  • Why do you keep taking online lessons?

I sketch things over and over again to figure out my own style and to get better at sketching. I try different sketchbooks, palettes, brushes, and pens to come up with the ideal sketching travel kit for the way I sketch and travel.

Sketching and buying, buying and sketching. Sad to say, I’m quite the  compulsive-impulsive online shopper and there were many things I just shouldn’t have bought at all. But after months of trial and error, I hit the sweet spot! I have travel kit that works! And I was able to take it on my dream trip to Africa and come home with a travel sketchbook of the trip.

My Africa Sketchbook


My travel kit

  • Muji toiletry kit
  • Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook 9×14 cm
  • mint tin
  • watercolors from Jane Blundell’s Ultimate Mixing palette
  • Escoda synthetic travel brushes
  • mechanical pencil
  • kneaded eraser
  • Pilot Falcon fountain pens (SF and SEF)
  • Nalgene water bottle
  • Muji spray bottle
  • paper napkins, scratch paper

Things I Learned:

Keep it small
You can finish a small sketch very quickly. Bigger sketchbooks take longer to fill up. So if you think you won’t have lots of time for sketching, take a small sketchbook. Plus, it is handier much more portable than a big sketchbook.

Keep it compact
It’s easier to see if you have all your tools if you just keep them all in one case.

Be flexible
I wanted all of my sketches to be drawn and painted from life. But I realized that I would not be able to include everything that I wanted in my sketchbook if I limited myself to sketches from life. So allowed myself to do sketches from my photos so I could tell a more complete story. My sketchbook, my rules!

Practice a lot
Sketching the same views over and over again from the comfort of my veranda gave me the confidence to tackle the African scenes. And painting and sketching every day during our safari trip made me a better artist. Every little bit of practice helps!



6 thoughts on “Travel Sketching”

  1. I love this article. I also find image 8392, the last one, to be so artfully placed and pictured. It would make a nice sketch and a great ad for product placement. I wonder if the manufacturers would contact you.

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