Keeping a travel sketchbook

A travel journal or sketchbook is a wonderful reminder of a holiday, and you don’t have to be Leonardo da Vinci to make one.

Artist Jill Revie shares some pages from her recent Italian travels.

On this page, the drawing is on the right hand page, and goes across the central divide. It helps to map out the page before you start to write or draw, with spaces for writing and spaces for drawing. Sometimes I  fence off the areas for a drawing, with a light line in soft pencil, or you can do the drawings first and add the text as you go along. This means the text doesn’t match the drawings, of course, but I don’t think this matters. You can place the drawings at the edges, or across two pages, with space at the edges for writing.

I draw with indelible pen (so the watercolour doesn’t make it run) or with a biro, which is nice and loose for making sketches.

This was drawn with an ordinary biro, with watercolour added when I got back to the hotel – it’s not easy to manipulate a paintbox and water bottle while sitting on a wall under a tree in the Generalife gardens.

Drawing people can be a problem as they tend to wander off half way through. It also makes you lurk about in a suspicious manner! A good solution is to take a picture on your phone, and then draw off the screen.

I chased this old lady through the streets of Venice and finally caught up with her just outside her front door.

And here is the full page, so you can see how it’s laid out. The drawing on the left goes across the central page  divide.

Finally, here are a couple I spotted from my café table: the policeman couldn’t find an address so was consulting the sweeping lady. She is pulling off her huge glove to point to something on his screen. If you were drawing this ‘live’, you’d never catch a fleeting moment like this.

You can see Jill's colourful paintings at 254a Acton Lane. Visit her full profile to see more here.

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