Travel Drawing throughout the World

This is a turtle I drew in the Galapagos

This is a turtle I drew in the Galapagos

What is Travel Drawing

The primary purpose of this website is to share my continuous travel narrative and travel drawing. Travel drawing has a meaning what understanding is intuitive, you travel, you draw. Mostly travel drawing refers to people who travel and draw what they see. I mostly draw what I see. However I’m not wholly true to the stated mission of Urban Sketchers, for example, because I also sometimes draw just whatever comes to mind.

Materials for Creating Travel Sketches

This charcoal travel drawing came out well.

This charcoal travel drawing came out well.

I’m constantly learning, and only recently have I begun to branch out in order to find new materials to create drawings with. Usually I just use a Moleskin sketchpad about 5 inches by 3 with smooth, lightly-textured paper. Hell if I know the grade; to myself I am notoriously bad about choosing the correct methods prior to getting passionate about a thing.

Mostly I draw with charcoal and graphite pencils. I use both rubber and gum erasers, tortillons and tissues for blending, and when I’m patient I sometimes cheat and use a straight edge.

Recently I’ve been getting into using pen. I had dabbled with blue pen and pencil mixed drawings in Mexico, but for some reason stopped doing it. Now that I’m making a lot of satirical cartoons using pen, sometimes watercolors, and computer coloring programs, I will probably be making many more drawings with 1.0 pens.

I’ve also ordered for myself a set of Faber-Castell Pitt Pens, which I’ve heard are all the rave for their sharp malleable tips and pliable ink.

I’m very interested in dark paper, sepia paper and white pastels, but due to the nature of hitchhiking travel and traveling light, I do not allow myself all the luxuries of a stationary artist.

 

Methods for Choosing Subject Matter

I can’t say that I have any methods for choosing what to draw, but I know what I end up drawing. I draw a lot of landscapes and statues. I love to draw statues, because I would love to draw people if I weren’t so damn respectful. This is something an artist must overcome, and slowly I am. Drawing the human form is the strongest method to understand our physical nature.

A great hindrance to drawing live is perfectionism. As a travel artist, you must be aware that your situation and your subject matter will move. For hitchhiking travelers in particular, often you play a balancing act between the ride and the scenery as you wait. When you start to ignore cars, preferring to complete your work, you’re on a good track. More often than not, what I choose to draw correlates in some way with the vantage point, and I’m not talking about angle. I’m talking about weather. Don’t let a little rain keep you from doing what you love. Travel drawing knows no adversary. If you’re in the hot tropics, find somewhere with shade. If you’re freezing solid, go ahead and keep your gloves on to draw. If there are a ton of people abounding, stand up and take down a quick sketch, then find yourself a good seat and continue. In terms of seating, a lot of travel artists have one of those tiny canvas foldable stools. I have my backpack sometimes, but mostly I just sit on the curb or on the ground.

 

Travel sketch of a boat cabin

Travel sketch of a boat cabin

Travel drawing of a castle wall in Cartagena, Colombia

Travel drawing of a castle wall in Cartagena, Colombia

 

What is so Special About Travel Drawing?

I love to take photographs. I think photography, when properly respected, is a wonderful form of art. It can put the same feelings into a viewer of the photograph as the drawing can into its viewer. There is no debate when it comes to the resulting piece of the artists’ endeavors. However, it is far more difficult to undertake a travel drawing than it is to take photos of the same subject matter. It requires more time, more consideration. If you draw something, you learn more about it with each passing moment. You become a true observer of that thing, and it becomes all the more important to you, and if you capture it correctly to your mind, then a drawing can tell a greater story than a photograph.

A good photo is a wonderful thing, and most traveling artists probably have a camera. I do not, because to me a camera is too easy, and too tempting. I love doing my art, but I must force myself to my art at times. There is a whole other conversation that can be had about the way point-and-shoot tourism distracts from the learning and appreciation of place, but I will not have it here.

On this website, so far, and as a sort of secondary narrative to my written narrative, are a few travel drawings from around the world.

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