This is a collection of travel drawings from Mexico. I arrived in Mexico in November, 2009, and spent 8 months traveling and sketching all over the country. This collection includes travel drawings from the following places: Baja California (La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo), Mazatlan, Durango, Mexico City, Veracruz, the Yucatan (Merida, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Mayan ruins), Chiapas, Morelia, Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara and the Pacific Coast (Colima, Puerto Escondido, Puerto Angel, Oaxaca).
Travel Drawings from Baja California, Mexico
This is the first travel drawing I created on this hitchhiking journey around the world. I’d been traveling since August, 2009 from Oregon, but only here did the sketches begin.
I spent Christmas ’09 with expats in Baja California, Mexico. I did not much like the potluck, and drew this picture, thinking of Christmas in Chicago
In La Paz, in the south of Baja California, I went straight to the marina to try to crew a boat across the Sea of Cortez. This first boat-hitchhiking experience would set the basis for crossing the Pacific years later.
This drawing of a fish is the Canadian fireman captain’s fileting prowess. He said he loved captaining, and that he’d chosen the wrong life as a fireman.
A drawing of graffiti in La Paz, Mexico.
A figure drawing of my friend Bobby fast asleep somewhere near Cabo San Lucas.
I pitched my tent in La Ventana during a world championship of kite surfing.
A Travel drawing of a boat in the La Paz marina, Mexico.
A drawing of a sailboat in La Paz Mexico.
A travel sketch of Mexican tortilla chips.
In San Jose del Cabo, I found my friend JC at an urban farm. I had met him and Bobby at the El Chorro hot springs for the spring solstace, and we ended up spending a month of lunacy in the area. Here’s a travel drawing.
On the west coast of Baja California, I found a surfer beach called San Pedrito. I kept to myself, and built a shade structure of bamboo and palms to keep fresh. Then I drew it.
Travel drawing in Mexico, this time the La Paz cathedral.
Migrino Beach was also on the west coast of Baja, and it was mostly reserved for ATVs. I found a perch on a hill, strapped the tent down and spent three days eating banana burritos, alone, and watching grey whales breach not far from the shore.
Travel sketches from Central Mexico: Xalapa, Puebla, Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara
A travel sketch of my host’s dog. this was in Queretaro, Mexico.
A travel drawing of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Drawing the beautiful subterranean tunnels of Guanjuato. They were once used to divert the river, but are now occupied by roads.
Hitchhiking somewhere in the country, I drew this picture of a Mexican man sitting.
A drawing of my Mexican friend Jose in Morelia, Michoacan.
I assisted at a mass in the Durango cathedral when I passed through that northern Mexican city. Here’s a quick sketch.
Still fresh to drawing, I was hesistant when I made this line sketch of a Durango Cowboy.
Arriving to Durango, Mexican, over a road called the Devil’s Throat, presented beautiful sights of deeply-carved canyons.
The Guadalajara Army Academy facade.
A sketch in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city.
In Puebla, Mexico, I found these Mexican lovers, one resisting, the other insisting.
A portrait of another Mexican friend, my host in Guanajuato.
Hitchhiking from Xalapa to Puebla brought me across the desert, which was criss-crossed by a mineral train. This is a sketch of that train.
A travel drawing of a woman praying in the Mexican city of Puebla, which has a very old cathedral.
This is a sketch of the cathedral in Puebla, Mexico.
A travel sketch of the aqueduct in Queretaro, in Central Mexico.
A sketch of a devout catholic in San Miguel de Allende. She was shinnying on her knees to the pulpit.
My host dancing in the ropes at her San Miguel de Allende circus.
Sketch of San Miguel de Allende
Hitchhiking from Concordia to Durango, I stopped in Santa Lucia, where construction workers took me in. You can see in this travel sketch the highway under construction in the background.
In Durango, there were few tourists. The town itself was a cowboy town, and its cathedral was particularly impressive. Here’s a short sketch of it.
A travel sketch from Guanajuato, Mexico.
Morelia was one of the most remarkable cities in Mexico. Perhaps it is because they have a frisbee team. Here’s a travel sketch of Morelia.
I drew often in Queretaro. Here, my host’s home. I pitched my tent on the roof to sleep.
I took a short detour from the road to Colima to see Talapa, Mexico. This is a sketch of its streets.
In Puebla, I found the first Mexican Walmat unexpectedly walking on a small street, and seeing first this water tower.
A truck stop traveling in Mexico with trucker Lenin, who was 26 years old. I eventually went with him to his home in Ciudad Neza, DF.
In Guadalajara I stayed with my friend Luz, who I had met at the Veracruz Carnival. Here’s a quick travel sketch from that city, Mexico’s second largest.
Travel sketching in Xalapa, Mexico.
This guitarist in Guanajuato had the respect of the crowd in the flowery central square.
A sketch of a lamp on the streets of Durango.
There were many lined faces in Xalapa. It’s easy to feel inspired when surrounded by so much hushed wisdom.
In San Miguel de Allende, I found the traintracks where Neal Cassidy died. He was immortalized in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road as Dean Moriarty.
Travel Drawings from Chiapas: Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, Region
This is the cathedral in San Cristobal, the main city in Chiapas. I worked in a hostel here called ‘Mi Casa Posada’. The owner was a Swiss French lady, and we left on very bad terms.
A travel sketch of a man on the street begging for change in San Cristobal de las Casa, Mexico.
I climbed to the top of the San Cristobal town hall to create this travel drawing.
Men traditionally where white goat fur coats in Chiapas, and in San Juan Chamula I made this travel sketch.
Sketching a VW Beetle in Comitan de Dominguez, Mexico.
A sketch of a donkey at the border of Mexico and Guatemala.
Here’s a sketch of Che Guevara. I was a receptionist without work, sitting around all day, getting yelled at for sitting around. So I drew.
The catholic cross in Chiapas is a unique mix of the local traditions with catholocism, a symbol rightly representing the synthesis of two previously unrelated belief systems.
In Comitan de Dominguez, there was a church that was in need of been drawn.
This is a quick sketch of El Chiflon, a waterfall in Chiapas not far from Comitan de Dominguez.
A travel sketch of a lane in San Cristobal de las Casa, Chiapas.
In Chiapas, there is a brilliant terraced waterfall called Agua Azul. It is controlled entirely by the Zapatistas. I ended up pitching my tent beside the roaring water, and created a brief travel sketch before swimming for 5 hours.
Heading north from Chiapas, the jungle becomes steamy as it descends to the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque. This is the only travel sketch I managed of Palenque before having to leave.
Tuxtla Gutierrez is the capital city of Chiapas. It is a boiling oven of an urban sphere, and I barely had the patience to make thing travel drawing.
Travel Sketches from Mexico City
In Mexico City, there is a museum called the National Museum of Anthropology. It’s a treasure trove. Here’s a sketch of Aztec pottery.
This drawing of a Mexico City facade took a good hour, there, seated on the crummy curb, beads of sweat dripping down.
This is a drawing of statues in DF. DF is the acronym for ‘Distrito Federal’, and most Mexicans refer to their capital as such.
Mexico City is home to the UNAM campus, the country’s premiere university. Here is drawing I made awaiting my host to finish some transactions.
In the museum of anthropology, there was series of jey black rooms, the only ambient light coming off the polished faces of jade Mayan masks. Here’s a travel darwing of one.
Lenin picked me up somewhere in Durango. I went with him around San Luis Potosí, sleeping on the floor of teh cab at a truck stop, before finally arriving to Mexico City and going to his home in Ciudad Neza. The next day, he introduced me to Chapulin, who brought me to Veracruz.
This is a quick sketch of Mexico City’s Bellas Artes.
The Museum of Antropologia in Mexico City is one of the best museums of its kind in the Americas. Here’s a sketch of a small sculpture.
I made this drawing of a giant Olmec head in the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City. The Olmec had reign over what is today Veracruz State.
A sketch of lucha libre wrestling in Mexico City. Later, I ran into my friend Rudy in the street, who I had met in Guatemala… as city of 20 million people…
In the center of Mexico City there were traditional healers conducting ceremonies for anyone willing to pay the small fee. I sat to draw them.
Sketching the street in Coyoacan, Mexico City.
Hitchhiking to Mexico City, I stopped to make a travel sketch in Teotihuacan. The Temple of the Sun is the third largest pyramid in the world.
I made this travel drawing of the Aztec sun dial in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia.
The golden angel of Mexico City is ubiquitous in the minds of inhabitants. Here’s a travel drawing of the busty dame.
In ciudad Neza, Lenin showed me an awesome view of the Mexico City skyline, which looked out onto the mountainous surrounds. A sketch.
A sketch of a Mexican Tula statue.
A quick sketch to give an idea of the zocalo, or center, of Mexico City. This is the cathedral.
Another travel sketch of the Revolution Monument in Mexico City. I stayed with many hosts in that city, and a total of 3 weeks.
Travel Drawings from the Pacific Coast of Mexico
In Concordia, near Mazatlan before entering the mountains to Durango, is Concordia. I made this sketch of a typical Mexican cathedral belltower.
A man reading the newspaper stories about carnival in Mazatlan. Though Mazatlan was well-known, I did not stay, prefering instead to try to make Veracruz in time for its carnival.
This is the shore as we arriving sailing to Mazatlan from La Paz. It took 2 days and three nights to arrive.
Puerto Escondido is much further south along the Pacific Coast of Mexico. I slept on the beach of the city, hugging my pack–but not before making this sketch of the town.
Apart from the Aztec, Maya and Olmec, there were also the Oaxacan natives. Thier most prized ruin is that of Monte Alban–here’s a sketch.
The Mexican coast is dotted with small fishing villages. Puerto Angel is one such village, and accessible via many hairpin turns along the coastal highway.
In Oaxaca, which is the poorest state in Los Estados Unidos de Mexico, I found exceptional hilltop towns to sketch.
Travel Drawings from the Yucatan
Yes, I snuck onto the grounds of Chichen Itza on the day of the solstice and famous snake shadow. I made this sketch of the Chichen Itza pyramid, but the grounds are quite expansive. Everyone had wristbands, so I kept my hands burried in pockets.
In Merida, the capital city of the Yucatan Peninsula, you find the oldest cathedral in the Americas and Mexico’s largest plaza. I also found and made a drawing of this drunkard.
The first ruin that my friend Carlos and I decided to sneak into was Dzibilchaltun. Call it what you will, but we were young at it was adventurous.
I met these two Wallons when they picked me up from Chichen Izta’s highway. I ended up spending many days with them Tulum and Akumal.
A sketch of a jaguar throne in the ruin of Uxmal. It is intriguing to observe something that has a city so unknown and yet so fascinating to the imagination.
Merida is a lively city, and nothing like the tourist megapolis of Cancun, not 3 hours away. In the square I found this statue called La Maternidad, which I had to draw.
At Sayil, I made this travel drawing of that Mayan Ruin.
Merida, Mexico, has the largest public square in the country. Here is a travel sketch of the plaza.
With my host Carlos and a Canadian bigot friend of his, we saw a lovely symphonic concert within the resonating halls of the oldest cathedral in the Western Hemisphere.
A sketch of a peculiar tree in Merida, Mexico.
I had to sketch these seats, made of granite, that occupy Merida’s plaza. They are for lovers.
This is my Mexican friend Carlos, pondering why I compare every price with the number of bread loafs I might otherwise buy.
This diagram of the caimito fruit in Mexico ought to be in color. The center was a deep purple, as was the skin. Mid-layer of that surrounding the core was translucent white. It is an altogether sweet fruit.
With the Wallons, in the town of Tulum, we made sandwiches and grilled near a football pitch (soccer field). Here’s a drawing.
Entering the Yucatan peninsula, as is the case when entering most Mexican states, there is a customs checkpoint. They are looking for fruit and vegetables that cannot be transported from one place to another. I made this drawing of a Mexican Police Checkpoint because they’d got me a ride.
All over Mexico, when there are ruins nearby, this sign points the way.
Playa Maya was a public beach where I camped with the Wallons despite being kicked off continually. This nude woman sunning on the beach would’d mind me drawing her.
There was a Salvador Dali exhibition in Merida, Mexico, so I made this quick copy sketch of one piece.
A travel drawing of the Mayan ruins of Sayil in Mexico. I did not enter but found a hidden path that am archaeologist had hinted at, and summited parallel ruins across the way.
Merida has a wonderful market filled with things to love, like horchata sweet rice juice. I made this travel sketch from the second story.
The Loltun Caves in the Yucatan Peninsula are part of a massive, complex system of caverns. Here’s a sketch of a group inside.
The cave system goes underground the Yucatan, having been formed by the impact of a massive meteor, which had probably been the cause of the dinosaur’s extinction. Here’s a sketch of a Yucatan Cenote, or sinkhole, filled with water.
A travel sketch of the Playa Maya in Tulum, Mexico, where we camped.
I had hitchhiked south from Merida to see the Mayan ruins. I stopped in Ticul to draw the cathedral.
Akumal is a public beach in the Mexican Riviera. After I made this sketch, one Wallon peed in his shorts and the other pooped in the sea. I swam with sea turtles.
By chance, my family was coming to Playa del Carmen. I made this travel drawing i the Cancun Airport as I awaited them, having been given a ride right to the terminal.
Chichen Itza was perfect for travel drawing, because though it was at capacity, it’s so expansive that there’s always room for privacy.
Another cenote in the system of caves on the Yucatan, this is a sketch of the Dtiznup Cenote. Growth hangs from the ceiling, and a single hole allows light into the chamber, where visitors can swim.
A sketch of one of the Mayan temples at Dzibilchaltun, north of Merida.
I drew this at the entrance to Kabah. Later, I pitched my tent in the woods nearby, and returned at dusk to watch the sunset from atop the temple.
A drawing of a street facade in Merida, Mexico.
A Merida man’s attire, as portrayed by my hurried Mexico travel drawing.
I went of a spate of clandestine entries while in Mayan country. I snuck into Uxmal as well, and was shadowed by a security guard until I was able to shake him. This is a sketch of Uxmal’s highest temple.
The Tulum Mayan ruins are south of Playa del Carmen, and are very popular. Many swim to them instead of paying the entry fee. I made this travel sketch instead.
An engraving in Uxmal.
This is the Barcelo Resort south of Playa del Carmen, where the family stayed. It was mostly drinking for me as I tried to understand the demographic nightmare of rich tourist in poor country.
I draw this yucatan iguana on the side of the road. He was bright green. There are road signs with their silhouettes, warning drivers of what will likely cross their paths.
I traveled with Carlos frmo Merida to an installation of a Yucatan university. It was a biological research facility, and I drew one of the tent labs.
Travel Drawings from Veracruz State
Traveling in the Mexican state of Veracruz, I came across three men with two of this bicycles, which are equipped with boxes to sell food or icecream. We hitchhiked all together in the back of a semi truck. bicycle travel sketch.
My friend Vikas lived in Veracruz, and had this mascot. This is a drawing of a coconut.
A quick sketch of what remains of Hernan Cortez’ home. He was the Spanish conquistador would conquered the Aztec.
A sketch of a Mexican tile.
Sketch of a logo and slogan for a national Mexican political party, PRI.
In the state of Veracruz, I went with Vikas and Canadian Matt to Catemaco in Mexico for the Festival de las Brujas. It was a flop, but we found the Salto de Eyipantla, which I made a sketch of.
A sketch of a woman somewhere in Veracruz, Mexico.
A sketch of a Mexican girl in Veracruz.
A drawing of Mexican Beer, one of the dead soldiers at a birthday party.
Trying my hand at a travel drawing at the Veracruz Carnival was a mistake. Regardless, I’m glad to have this, even if it’s ill-thought lines.
A travel sketch of Veracruz’ port.
A sketch of the U cant c me hat.
A sketch of a Spanish fort in Veracruz, Mexico.