I have been sketching around the world for five years, and I can safely say that this practice has forever changed my identity as a traveler.
I like my sketchbook to slow me down and open up all my senses to pave the way for spontaneous contact with locals and other tourists.
So, hopefully, convince more travelers to accept brushes and sketch pads as a way for them to explore the world and document their unique experience of a new place to start.
Building your sketch style is an evolution, however, just like traveling, it's as enjoyable as traveling and destination.
Here are the steps I found to be useful to me, and to help illustrate each stage of the process I included the steps-by-
Take a step-by-step photo from a sketch link in the Costa Brava area of Spain.
The colorful gates of Spain's Costa Brava. (
Taken by Candice bin Laden)
When you start sketching in a new place, make your natural interests and curiosity your compass.
When it comes to deciding a topic, think about what you are used to when you travel.
Maybe you like to shoot Street View or catch what you eat for breakfast. Start there.
I started each sketch with a pencil as I was developing the overall feel of the scene.
This is my chance to ask, what happened here?
What's going on with this scene talking to me?
Sometimes I sketch out what I see and realize that my perspective is not quite right.
It's good to have the option to delete and restart.
It's not possible to capture everything you see in the sketch, so I like to think of each detail as a decision.
Including or not?
This is the problem.
My style has developed so my line work is carefully drawn, but you may find that a looser style helps you to better express your impression of a place.
At this stage of the process, I also like to write notes on sketches about what I hear, smell, or taste, perhaps a fragment of the conversation I overheard, or more personal impressions of how I felt that day.
At this point, after focusing an hour or two on drawing, my brain always welcomes the opportunity to change speed.
Whether you're using markers, colored pencils or watercolors, each media has its own adventure.
Ideally, I will finish the sketch on location.
Immerse yourself in the process from start to finish, which helps me tell the story of the scene unfolding in my experience.
When it's not possible, the day is running out and it starts to rain, or somewhere else, I need to shoot my vantage point and then use it to finish the sketch later.
Traveling with sketchbooks affects not only my perception of the world, but also my interactions and connections with other cultures.
When I sketch, I try to realize that the people around me are moving.
If I feel someone peeping on my shoulder, I often look up and say hello and try to talk to them.
For example, at the end of this special sketching session in Spain, a man and a woman walked through the red door in my painting.
The man asked me what I was painting?
After I showed them my sketch, the couple gave me a seat to introduce myself to Joan and Nuria and told me they had the seat --
Special rooms (casa)Holiday Lodge)
Hidden behind the Red Gate for the past 25 years.
We talked for more than half an hour and the insights they shared about the history and culture of the Costa Brava add an unexpected dimension to my understanding of the region.
This encounter is a perfect metaphor. it is the sketch I value most.
When we travel, every new place is a closed door.
The goal is to find our own key to unlock it, whether by tasting local cuisine, communicating with nature or shooting street art.
My sketchbook has become my key as Nuria and Joan use to open their casa.
I encourage you to put a drawing board in your suitcase while packing your luggage for your next trip to see what door it will open for you.
When I first started sketching, I only brought three things, including a sketchbook, brush and watercolor pencil.
After someone gave me a Winsor & Newton watercolor set, I started my attempt at watercolor painting.
My suggestion is to start from an early age, start simply, and slowly establish the quantity of materials you carry with you.
Pencil: I start each sketch with a pencil profile, and the most commonly used is a Dewinter sketch pencil with HB hardness.
Eraser: when I finish drawing the original outline with a pen, I erase the pencil lines to make the Sketch look clean.
My favorite: super soft vinyl rubber.
Brushes: I 've tried several brands over the years, from Pigma Micron to Staedtler to primacolor, but ended up choosing Faber-
Peter artist pen from Castell, the tip of the pen is particularly good.
Looking for ink that is waterproof, light-resistant and acid-resistant-free.
Watercolour: my first field kit came from the cheap Turkmen paint range from Winsor & newton cot, but I have started since upgrading to a professional watercolour compact set.
Both are light and easy to travel with little size larger than a smartphone.
Brush: I travel with three brushes: Two Windsor and Newton Bushman watercolor round brushes (sizes 2 and 4), and my go-
Mimik's synthetic squirrel hair brush (round, size 6).
I use Mimik brushes most of the time, along with two smaller Cotman brushes for more complex details or fonts.
Sketch Book: standard drawing paper weighs about 130 grams per square meter (gsm)
, But painting watercolor will cause the paper to buckle.
The weight of watercolor paper starts at 200.
300 gsm, so be sure to pay attention to this when shopping in sketchbook.
As far as the brand is concerned, the brands that are often used are Canson, especially their monval watercolor Pad series with several travel productsfriendly sizes.
Water container: Although I often use caps at critical moments (
Or ask for extra-
If I happen to draw in a cafe, go to the Cup)
I now carry a plastic water container with me on the road.
Bag: Finally, I store everything in a small canvas bag other than my sketch book and water container, and it is easy to put in my backpack when I travel
Candice Ross bin Laden is a writer and sketch artist who is passionate about telling stories.
She recently published her first book, travel sketch, under the lantern.
Follow Candice on her blog great things, Twitter @ candacerardon and Instagram @ candaceroserardon.