Travel Sketching – 2019

After five years and over 160 drawings I filled my first pocket sized sketchbook this year, and started another. I suspect this one might take even longer to fill but hopefully the quality will be higher now I’ve had some practice. It is pleasing to see the improvement since the early simple line drawings.

It wasn’t until March that I did my first first of 2019, of Wave Rock in Western Australia, which turned out thankfully better than expected.

In Borneo I did a couple of sketches of places I’d stayed at, a wonderful long house at the Sabah Tea Resort, and Panalaban, about 3,270m above sea level on the slopes of Mt Kinabalu.

My last drawing to finish the sketchbook was of the back of a hut in Glenorchy, not the best but there was a sense of accomplishment and heaps of memories attached to the book.

My new sketchbook is slightly larger than A6 size. I had plenty of time to start it while off the grid walking the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. After a couple of average building and landscape sketches I took to filling the whole page.

I’m much happier with to two sketches I did this way of a campsite and porter walking the track.

Couple of sketches from trips to Sussex and Lisbon, of Whitby Abbey, and Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra.

I didn’t have time to sketch while walking the Haute Route, but afterwards I caught up. I’ve tended to avoid landscapes in the past but am slowly getting an idea about how to represent them in pen.

The same with animals, I was pretty please with this Ibex.

Travelling from Delhi to Ladakh, at the top of India, gave me time and inspiration for sketching. I tend to do them when there are few other distractions, so generally during downtime when travelling, after I’ve finishing seeing and photographing everything of interest around.

At airports and on non-bumpy flights is also a great time to sketch, and when I did some of these three sketches from my travels through Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine.

I’m particularly pleased with the two from Chernobyl, showing the decaying interior of a school and gym.

Spending a month completely off the grid in Bhutan, walking the Snowman Trek, gave me plenty of time for sketching, though it could be a challenge to find things to draw beyond pure landscapes. Thankfully there were just enough temples, chortens, yak herder camps, prayer flags, and unusual plants to keep me occupied.

Few variable sketches to finish the year with from my trip to Morocco, of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, and a street in the wonderful Essaouira.

2 thoughts on “Travel Sketching – 2019”

  1. Some really excellent, evocative images.
    Does sketching make you/help you look more carefully at what you see as you travel? Does it, somehow fix what you see more clearly in your mind?

    1. Thank you Mark, appreciated. It certainly does, you realise how complicated and detailed things are when you try to draw them!

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