How to create your own “Travel Sketchbook”?


Since 2005, I have been using Travel Sketchbook to make my way around the globe. I am a certified travel sketchbook user and can confidently say that the practice has changed my life as a traveler. My Travel Sketchbook is a wonderful tool that slows me down and opens up all my senses, allowing for spontaneous encounters with fellow travelers and locals.

In the hope of encouraging more travelers to embrace the sketch pad and paintbrush as a way of being fully present while they travel the world, and to capture their unique experience of each place, I’m sharing my thoughts on how to get started.

It takes time to establish your sketching style. But, as with all travel, the journey can be just as enjoyable as the destination. These steps have worked for me. To illustrate each step, I have included step-by-step photographs travel spray bottle from a sketching session I did in Spain’s Costa Brava region.

1. Select a topic of Travel Sketchbook.

When you start sketching in new places, let your natural curiosity and interests guide you. Think about the things you love when traveling and use that information to help you choose a topic. Maybe you enjoy photographing streetscapes, or taking photos of what you eat for breakfast. You can start there.

2. Use a pencil to Travel Sketchbook the scene

As I am developing a sense of the scene, I start every sketch with pencil. This is my chance to ask: What’s the deal? Is there something about this scene that speaks to me? Sometimes, I draw what I see but realize that I don’t have the right perspective. It’s great to be able to erase and begin again.

3.Use a pen to fill in the details

It is impossible to capture all that you see in a sketch so I prefer to think of each detail as a decision. Which is better: to include or not include? This is the question. You might find that your style is more loose than mine.

4. It can be brought to life by color

It’s about having fun. After focusing for an hour on drawing, my brain welcomes the opportunity to switch speeds. Each medium has its own unique adventure, whether you are using colored pencils or markers.

5. Be open to serendipity

Traveling with a Travel Sketchbook has influenced my perception of the world and how I interact with other cultures.

Travel Sketchbook is a place where I am aware of people around me. If I see someone looking over my shoulder, I will often glance up and say hello to them.