Art Abroad: How to Create a Travel Sketchbook | Christine Nishiyama | Skillshare

Art Abroad: How to Create a Travel Sketchbook

Christine Nishiyama, Artist at Might Could Studios

Art Abroad: How to Create a Travel Sketchbook

Christine Nishiyama, Artist at Might Could Studios

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11 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. How to Create a Travel Sketchbook Trailer

      2:33
    • 2. Why You Should Create a Travel Sketchbook

      4:48
    • 3. Tools + Materials

      11:15
    • 4. How to Fit Drawing Into Your Travel Routine

      8:29
    • 5. My Process: Page Design

      3:56
    • 6. My Process: Watercolor

      8:17
    • 7. Watercolor Process Timelapse

      1:24
    • 8. My Process: Pen

      4:36
    • 9. My Process: iPad

      5:02
    • 10. iPad Process Timelapse

      1:06
    • 11. Now It's Your Turn!

      3:22
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About This Class

Hey guys! I’m Christine Nishiyama, artist and founder of Might Could Studios.

This class will cover everything you need to know to get started making your own travel sketchbook.

  • I’ll go over why you should create a travel sketchbook, the tools I use and recommend
  • How I almost failed and how you can get over the same obstacles
  • How to fit drawing into your routine while traveling

I’ll also be sharing my step-by-step process of creating a travel sketchbook page with three separate tutorials on my process for using:

  • Watercolor paints
  • Brush and felt tip pens
  • iPad illustration

And of course I’ll be showing tons of examples from the pages of my travel sketchbooks last year in the USA, Vietnam, and India! Plus, you’ll also get a bonus PDF download to keep all this info handy for your next trip!

I highly recommend everyone keeps a sketchbook when you travel, and I had a blast making all of mine. It’s had a wonderful impact on me and my art, and in my opinion, it’s the best way to record, remember, and share your trip. And anyone can do it, whether you’re an artist or not!

Oh and guess what?! This week I’m setting off on ANOTHER cross-country road trip! So come ride along and see and draw the countryside live with me! :D

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WANT MORE?

You can see more about Christine and her work at might-could.com

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Hope to see you in there! :D

Meet Your Teacher

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Christine Nishiyama

Artist at Might Could Studios

Top Teacher

Hallo! I'm Christine Nishiyama, artist + founder of Might Could Studios.

I make books and comics, and I draw a whoooole lot. I've taught over 70,000 aspiring and established artists, helping them explore their art, gain more confidence, and discover their unique artistic styles.

I've been drawing as my full-time career for over 7 years. My core belief is that art is good and we should all make more of it. Might Could is here to uplift and challenge artists in the exploration and evolution of our unique artistic styles and voices.

 

 Join #mightcoulddrawtoday, my free weekly drawing challenge for a creative kick in tha booty!

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Transcripts

1. How to Create a Travel Sketchbook Trailer: Hey guys. I'm Christine Nishiyama, artist and founder of Might Could Studios. I make books and comics and I draw a whole lot. Last year, I traveled more than I ever have. I road tripped across the country, from Atlanta to Seattle. I spent 10 days in Vietnam, 10 days in India, and then another cross-country road trip, from Seattle back to Atlanta. Keeping a sketchbook while I travel, whether it's a quick trip to the mountains or a long trip abroad, was something I've always wanted to do. But, until last year, I had never actually been able to do it. Every time I tried, I would hit the same obstacles and make the same mistakes. On those trips, I finally discovered how to keep up consistently with a travel sketchbook. Now, in this class, I'm going to show you how I did it, and how you can too. This class will cover everything you need to get started making your own travel sketchbook. I'll go over why you should create a travel sketchbook, the tools I use and recommend, how I almost failed, and how I got over those same obstacles, and how to fit drawing into your routine while traveling. I'll also be sharing my step by step process of creating the travel sketchbook page, with three separate tutorials on my process for using watercolor, pen, and iPad illustration. Of course, I'll be showing tons of examples from the pages of my travel sketchbooks last year in the USA, Vietnam, and India. Plus, you'll also get a bonus PDF download to keep all this info handy for your next trip. I highly recommend everyone keeps a sketchbook when you travel. I had a blast making all of mine. It's had a wonderful impact on me and my art, and in my opinion, it's the best way to record, remember, and share your trip. Anyone can do it, whether you're an artist or not. By the end of this class, you'll have everything you need to draw your next trip in your own travel sketchbook. Oh, and guess what, this week I'm setting off on another cross-country road trip. So, come ride along with me, and see and draw the countryside live together. Okay, so let's get started with the first installment now. Why you should create a travel sketchbook. 2. Why You Should Create a Travel Sketchbook: Why you should create a travel sketchbook. Okay, so before we jump into the nitty-gritty of how to make a travel sketchbook, let's talk for a minute about why we should, because it's not easy. You'll need to have the right motivation to stick with it and complete the full sketchbook. I've tried and failed so many times to keep a travel sketchbook. Keeping a sketchbook while I travel, whether it's a quick trip to the mountains or a long trip abroad, is something I've always wanted to do, but I've never actually been able to do it. Usually, one of two things happens. I don't have any room in my backpack or suitcase for all the necessary materials and tools, so I just leave it all out and I don't do it at all, or I pack and lug around all the materials and tools, but I never find the time and energy to just sit down and draw, so I end up having very little or no drawings at my sketchbook at all. I've basically made one of these two mistakes for every single trip I've taken in the past 10 years of my life. Sound familiar? I'm willing to bet you've butted up against all these obstacles just like me. Well, let's break it down and get past them now. Willpower versus motivation. Doing something that's hard to do, whether it's keeping a travel sketchbook, drawing every day, losing 10 pounds, or just exercising more, is not a matter of just conjuring up the willpower to just do it. You need strong willpower, yeah, but more importantly you need motivation. The motivation is what will give you the willpower because just stirring up some willpower from scratch is practically impossible. It's much easier to do something difficult if we are able to recognize and remind ourselves of the benefits we'll get once we actually start doing that thing. So, to do that, let's talk about the benefits of travel sketchbooking before you get started. A travel sketchbook encourages you to draw every day. Traveling automatically gives you tons of new material and inspiration to work with. You're basically bombarded with new sites, new smells, and new experiences. Don't waste it. Use that inspiration immediately. Don't wait until you get home, when your memories will be fading, and your inspiration will be in the past. The new inspiration and material from traveling will jumpstart your creative juices and encourage you to start drawing every day, and most likely, you'll enjoy it and finally start forming that daily creative habit. A travel sketchbook adds a personal touch and sense of sharing to your art. If you've been reading my resources for a while, you know by now that I believe in the power of story and concept over technique and tools in art making. So, what better way to inject story and vitality in our work than by documenting a trip you're currently on. The story is already there being lived out by you and laid out directly in front of you, just waiting to be recorded and shared in your sketchbook. Sharing personal work like this, stories from your life and new experiences also gives a deeper level of transparency, and a deeper level of newness in your work. A travel sketchbook connects you to people around the world. One benefit I wasn't expecting before I made my travel sketchbook was about how it would connect me with people across the country. Each time I shared my sketchbook drawings about the cities I was in on social media, someone would respond commenting about their hometown giving me tips on places to go to, or just waving hello as I passed through. It's so wonderful to have even light connections with people around the world and knowing where people live or from gives you a deeper connection to them as a person with all of us being a part of one big global community. A travel sketchbook allows you to capture a human experience. Traveling as a unique experience. There are major highs and often major lows. You can have your breath taken away by a natural beauty like I did with the Grand Canyon. You can get hungry when you forget to eat lunch and become a grump like I did in the car many times, and you can develop an even greater and more intense connection with the people you travel with, like I did with my husband after driving 3,588 miles in the car with just us and our dog. It's a true human experience and documenting it all in a sketchbook gives us a chance to draw and share a level of personal thought, emotion, and life that is often difficult to achieve in our art. Hopefully, knowing a few of the benefits of keeping in travel sketchbook upfront will help give you the motivation to not only take your sketchbook and tools with you on your next trip, but to actually draw and keep a daily sketchbook while you travel. In the next video, I'll be covering the tools and materials I use to create my travel sketchbook, plus tips and techniques for using them on the go. 3. Tools + Materials: Tools and materials. If you search the internet for tools recommendations for a travel sketchbook, you'll find all kinds of beautiful photos of other artist setups. Piles of pens, stacks of paper, huge paint pallets, jars of watercolor, colored pencil, ink and then pens, it's very overwhelming. The feeling about overwhelm at the amount of tools I thought was required to keep a travel sketchbook is one of the major reasons I procrastinated ever making one. So, let's just avoid all of that, okay? On my road trip, I learned that the best way to keep a travel sketchbook is to keep it simple. Keep the tools you choose simple. Keep the amount of tools you bring with you simple. Keep your setup simple, keep your clean up simple. The more complicated you make something, the more it becomes a chore and you'll end up not doing it at all. So, above all remember, keep it simple. I'm going to take you through the tools that I chose for my road trip travel sketchbook, why I chose them and what you should consider when choosing your own tools. I'm definitely not saying that these are the absolute tools that you should use. Everyone's needs and preferences will be a little different. But this is what worked for me and what I recommend to others if you're just starting out. It's up to you to experiment and see what works best for you. So, obviously first we need a sketchbook. Here are a few of the sketchbooks I've used for my travel journals. For my cross-country road trips, the sketchbook I chose to use was a Canson Montval Field Watercolor ArtBook, and it worked out perfectly. The book is made of cold pressed watercolor paper and has a spiral binding, 20 pages at about 140 pounds and has horizontal size that 10 by seven inches. I got it at my local art store for about $15. The sketchbook I used for my Vietnam trip was a five by eight and a quarter Moleskine Cahier Journal. This book has a soft cover with 80 pages at 47 pounds. It comes in a set of three for about $14. It's really good for pens and pencil and it comes in different sizes too. The sketchbook I used for my Northeast US road trip was Moleskine Classic Notebook. This book is about the same size as the Cahier, and has the same paper, but it has 192 pages, a more sturdy cover, an elastic closure, and a bookmark. One of these books will set you back about $15. Things to consider when picking a sketchbook. What mediums are you going to be working in? For my cross-country road trip, I knew I was going to paint. So, I knew I needed a sketchbook that could handle all the water. Think about whether you're going to paint, draw on pencil, draw on pen or something else and choose accordingly. A new sketchbook is also a great time to check out a new medium. Do you want a vertical or a horizontal format? Vertical is more typical in a sketchbook, but from my cross-country road trip I wanted horizontal because I knew I was going to be driving across big Texas plains, huge Utah mountains and the wide Grand Canyon. So, I thought horizontal would fit those subjects best. Think about what types of things you might see on your trip and whether they'd be better suited to a horizontal or vertical composition. But don't worry too much because you can always just rotate your book around. How much space do you have? In general, I think a smaller sketchbook is best for traveling. I wanted mine to be big enough to play around on the page, but also small enough to fit in my little backpack and not take up a whole lot of room. What kind of binding? Sometimes I prefer a spiral bound because you can fold it back and have it completely flat on the surface when you draw. The downside is you can't really draw a full spread of the book for a larger painting, like you would on a perfect or stitch bound book. How many pages will you need? I didn't know exactly how many pages I would need for any of my trips. But I knew I'd be traveling about eight to nine days and wanted to have at least one page for every day. For my cross-country road trip, the trip was split into two separate road trips, but I used one sketchbook for both trips. So, the 20 pages in the Canson book was perfect. A sub consideration here is that you can use the backs of pages, which could double the amount of pages you have. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do this with the water color, but I'm happy to report that the pages were thick enough and it worked great. I painted back to back in my sketchbook and although there was a little warping and wave on the page, I don't mind it and it wasn't really a problem. This all depends on how much you paint on the page, how much water you use, and the thickness and quality of your paper. In my Moleskine journals, I use pen, which typically do bleed through. So, you can't use the backs of pages in those sketchbooks. The Brush. You certainly don't have to paint in your travel sketchbook. You could decide to use markers, colored pencils or not include color at all. Most of my normal sketchbook drawings are in pen and I'll cover that in a minute. But I wanted my cross-country road trip sketch book to be a cohesive book and be reflective of my trip, and I knew to really represent the bright and vibrant places I was planning on going, I was going to need color. I chose to use watercolor for my color because it lends a sense of spontaneity and forces you to work quickly, which both seem like good things for while working on a trip. Plus, I've always wanted to try it out and thought it's now or never. Specifically, I used a Pentel Water Brush medium round, which is about $6 at blik. A water brush is a fantastic way to be able to paint on the go. The brush is in a hollow plastic tube, with a nylon brush tip. You just unscrew the tip, fill it with water, screw it back together and then squeeze the handle to allow a little water to flow into the tip, then you're ready to start painting. Using this brush while traveling is way easier than packing actual brushes that will probably get crushed and having to have a cup of water with you when you paint. The top is very light and secure and never leaked on my trip. You can buy the brushes in a pack with different brush tip sizes, but that seemed unnecessary to me. I just got the medium and stuck to my guns to keep it simple. I never felt like I needed any other different size during my trip. The paint palette I chose to use was the Sakura Koi Watercolor Sketch Box Travel Pan. This Pan was a set of 12 and it cost about $15 at Blik. This was the cheapest palette at my local art store. The prices go all the way up to $85 for a tiny palette, which is outrageous to me. Unless you're creating work to be professionally printed and heck even then, I think the lower end stuff is generally just fine. This palette worked perfectly for me, and I've still got plenty of paint left to keep going. I also loved the compact size, it's about 5 by 3 inches and the minimal color choices. They have a 24 color set, but remember, we're trying to keep it simple. You can always mix colors to make more. One thing I didn't realize before I bought the specific palette I did, is that it actually came with a little brush inside the kit. I think the brush I got was slightly nicer than the brush that came with the kit, but I'm sure that one would have been fine. It unscrews and has to caps so it can be stored together right in the palette which would have been even more convenient. The only other thing you need for your paint set is something to dab off extra paint and water from your brush. If you are fancy, I suppose you could get some sort of nice cloth, but I just used a paper towel. I grabbed one from home and stuck it in the side compartment of my palette the whole trip. But you can always just grab a napkin from a fast food place if you forget. I used the same paper towel for the whole eight days and I ended up looking like a colored tester page with technicolor splatter after the trip was over, a very happy surprise. For my Vietnam and North East road trip sketchbooks, I used pen instead of paint. I also drew the linework and words on my painted sketchbook and pen. Good thick black line work just makes me swoon and is a big part of how I draw. Back home, I have a whole pouch full of different pens with various nibs, whits and styles. But sticking with my role to keep it simple, I carried just two to three pens for these trips. My go to pen right now is my trusty black Tombow Dual Brush Pen, which is about $3 at an art store. As with the watercolor concept, I wanted to keep my drawings lively, quick, and spontaneous. A flexible brush pen is ideal for that type of drawing. I tend to get too involved in microscopic when drawing with the multi-liner pen, and I wanted to avoid that while traveling. Plus, the dual pen has a harder nylon tip on the other side, that can be controlled better than the flexible tip, but not quite as fine as a multi liner. I found this tip to be perfect for writing out small text. The only downside with this pen is that it's much longer than a normal pen, at almost eight inches long. That's not really a problem for drawing, if anything it would loosen me up more which is great. But it does make storing the pen a tiny bit difficult. The pen still fits in the front pocket of my backpack but just barely. The iPad and Apple Pencil. During my Vietnam trip which I drew in all black Tombow pen, my sister kept asking for photos especially of food. That gave me the idea to try combining photography with drawing in a sketchbook using the iPad and Apple pencil. I gave it a shot later that year on my trip to India. The sketchbook itself turned out way better than I imagined and I love looking back on it now. The photos and illustrations really balance each other out, and give a lot more information about the place. Which is great for a country like India, which is so visually beautiful and stimulating. I'll explain more about the process I used for this digital sketchbook in an upcoming video. But for now, I do want to highlight that this was my most stressful sketchbook. The upside to a digital sketchbook is that you can bring less stuff with you. But the downside is that those things have to be charged and you have to have a Wi-Fi if you want to be able to add photos or upload them to social media. It all worked out fine on my trip, but I was a bit more restricted about when and where I could draw compared to traditional media. For my digital sketchbook, I use the iPad app Procreate. It's free, powerful and very easy to use. There are plenty of different brushes and features that make it great for drawing. You can also import and incorporate photography in your pages like I did in my India sketch book. I'll go more into the process of using Procreate later in this class. Remember, keep it simple. That's it for all the tools and materials. Next we'll look at how to fit drawing into your routine while traveling, especially when you're traveling with other people who aren't drawing. 4. How to Fit Drawing Into Your Travel Routine: How to fit drawing into your routine while traveling. The first plan. Before my first cross-country road trip began, my plan was to draw and paint in my sketchbook in the passenger seat of the car when it wasn't my turn to drive. I thought I could prop up a pillow as my desk and spend all those hours making tons of art as we barreled through the country, but that didn't work out. I tried to draw in the car, I really did, but the road was so bumpy. Changing lanes was so sporadic and overall it was just too stressful plus there was a constant potential for a major strain mark caused by an unplanned car swerve or sudden brake. So, it was day one of the road trip and my plan was already dead. Day one and I already felt like I had yet again failed at keeping a travel sketchbook. But I had drawn the first page of my sketchbook at home in Atlanta before leaving and announced, proclaimed and shouted from the social media rooftops that I was going on a nine day road trip and would be documenting and sharing the entire thing in a sketchbook for all to see. I couldn't bear the thought of having to explain to all of you that it didn't work out or that I just couldn't do it. Knowingly or unknowingly the Internet helped me be accountable and gave me the willpower and motivation to pivot and power through so thank you internet. So, halfway through day one I knew that drawing in the car was not going to work. I had to come up with a new plan. So, I decided I would take photos as we were driving along, eating out and experiencing new cities during the day and then once we were back at the hotel each night I would settle down and get to work drawing the day's adventures in my sketchbook. After six and a half hours of driving we made it to our first destination, New Orleans. We walked around the French quarter and ate dinner at a little side street restaurant following my plan and taking photos as we explored but once we got back to the hotel at about 9 p.m, I was already exhausted from the day of driving, walking and eating and crashed immediately in bed. The next morning we had to leave our hotel by 7 a.m. to meet friends in Texas by 11 then we had to leave lunch to meet friends in Houston where we then went to eat out, had a couple of drinks, played a couple of board games, ate a couple late night tacos and then I crashed in bed again. I managed to sneak out a second sketchbook page in-between my turns of the board game but I felt like I was being a bad guest and a bad friend by dividing my attention between our friends who we hadn't seen in a long time and my sketchbook and I wasn't even that satisfied with how the page turned out either. I felt like my sketchbook plans were spiraling out of control and that this was going to be yet another failed attempt at keeping a travel sketchbook. I realized drawing at night was not going to work either. I was either too tired by the end of the day or we were hanging out with friends at night who I wanted to be fully present with. I needed another new plan, so I pivoted again. The next day we drove through Texas, ate dinner and fell asleep in a hotel by the interstate exhausted from a day of driving again. It was now officially the end of day three with my sketchbook still stuck at day two but this time I was prepared. I knew I would be tired that night after driving all day, so I didn't plan or expect to draw that night. I enjoyed eating our takeout pizza in bed, relaxed and fell asleep peacefully because I had a new plan. The next morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m. My husband Declan and my dog onny we're still fast asleep. I turned off my alarm and slipped out of bed. I gathered my drawing tools and a pillow and then climbed back into bed. I used the pillow as a desk and for the first hour of the day while everyone else slept there was no other people to socialize with, no cars to drive, no places to be and no responsibilities I drew. I painted and drew an entire page before anyone else woke up. I was able to take my time, look back through the photos I had taken along the way and draw in my sketchbook without hurrying, feeling pressured, feeling rushed or feeling like I was not being present with the other people I was with and this was finally the plan that stuck. For the rest of our trip I woke up at 6 a.m. each morning and drew the day before in my sketchbook. So, you pivot and you do what you have to to be able to draw. I informed Declan of my new plan and I blocked off the time in our schedule for me to draw each morning. It was a priority that was important to me, so he respected that. Some mornings he slept in while I drew and some mornings he would wake up with me and work on his own tasks and projects while I drew. But the important thing was that he knew that this was my sketchbook time and he knew that I was staying in the hotel room until I finished that page. I hope hearing my experience of failed plans, pivot's and eventual success helped you find your own routine for sketch booking while you travel. It's hard to balance making art with not only traveling but also balancing it with the people you're with while you travel. Especially when they aren't artist and they don't need the time to draw too. To wrap this up, here are a few of my top tips from what I learned on my trip and how to fit drawing into your travel routine. Tip number one: Create a plan for when you will draw before you leave. Do you think you'll be able to draw best in the morning or at night or maybe a lunch break in the middle of the day. Pick a time when you think you'll have a break, can grab some me time and will still have the energy to draw and commit to that drawing time. Everyone's best time to draw will be a little bit different based on your trip, your personality and your art just pick a time and try it out. Tip number two: Tell the people you're traveling with your plan for drawing. Once you decide what time will be your drawing time tell the people you're traveling with. I'm assuming because you're willing to travel with this person that you now, trust and like them and that they know, trust and like you. If that's the case they will respect your needs for this time and I bet they'll even think it's cool that you're making a travel sketchbook and will want to see all your pages. You could encourage them to bring a book or something to work on while you draw. Maybe they'd even like to draw their own travel sketchbook with you. Tip number three: Give your plan a chance. Really try to draw the time you decided to. Give it a chance to succeed. Tip number four: Pivot your plan but if it's not working out don't be afraid to pivot and change plans. It's likely that you'll need to try a few different things before you find the routine that works for you and your team may be different for each trip you take. So, if you become too tired to draw at night or too groggy to draw in the morning, don't get down on yourself and give up just pick a different time and try a newer team, soon you'll find one that works. Tip number five: Don't worry about driving in front of other people. I mentioned that when I was drawing at our friend's house in Texas, I felt guilty while drawing during our board game because I was afraid that they would think I was being antisocial or uninterested in hanging out with them. But when I really think back on it, I'm sure they didn't think that at all. I was still talking with the group, laughing, making jokes and reminiscing. It's not like I was ignoring them while I was drawing and these people are my friends not strangers. They know me. They know I like to draw and they respect that. They even think it's cool and asked to see the page when I was done. Don't feel guilty or embarrassed drawing in front of your friends or even taking some alone time to go draw by yourself. Friends are friends and they'll respect you and won't be mad at you for taking a little break to draw. Just give them a heads up and let them know what you're working on. Drawing in front of other people also forces you to not be so precious about it and to loosen up by not being able to give it your full attention which can end up as a huge benefit. I hope these tips helped encourage you to keep your own travel sketchbook and give you a little insight into how to fit making art into your travel routine. It can be hard to balance drawing with travel schedules, travel buddies and energy level but if you make a plan, tell your fellow travelers and aren't afraid to pivot and try a new plan, I know you can do it. So, that's it for drawing routine tips. In the next video, we'll cover setting up your page design for your travel sketchbook. 5. My Process: Page Design: My process, Page Design. In the past year, I've completed four travels sketchbooks, each in a slightly different way with different tools. I'm going to take you through my step by step process for each of these sketchbooks. I mention again, this isn't the only way to keep a travel sketchbook. It's just how I like to keep mine. So, you do you. I like to create my travel sketchbooks with all the pages for me and a cohesive series. I do this by treating my travel sketchbook as if I were designing a book, developing a consistent page design, illustration style, and typography that all carries through the entire sketchbook. I focus on balancing text and image as a complete page design, rather than just creating a disparate group of finished artworks. This is much easier and simpler than it sounds, trust me. I aim to represent each new city on a page, focusing on the feel of that city or place I visit, and trying to record something deeper than just the typical sights and buildings. I tend to focus on the experience of a city and specifically on my experience. It's actually merging the concept of a sketchbook and a journal. I think this is what makes a travel sketchbook so meaningful, and it's what really helps you reflect on, and remember a trip, and the cities, and countries I go to. My experience is what makes it personal. Before you begin your travels sketchbook, think about how you'll open the series. If we think of it like creating a book, it makes sense to draw a title page or introduction on the first page. You could also choose to leave the first page blank, and give yourself the option to come back after or during the trip to create the opening title page, once you get a better feel of the trip. I like to draw my introduction pages the day before I leave on a trip. I tend to loosely describe the trip I'm going on, give it a short title, list where I'm going, and who I was going with. It's fun to draw a little map too or where you're going with all the different destinations. Don't worry if your itinerary changes along the way during your trip. Plans change and your destinations may change a little bit along the way. No biggie. Just read about it as you go along. Here are a few examples of my title pages. The other thing to consider before you begin is your page design. Again, I like to treat my travels sketchbooks like I'm creating a book. That means developing an overall design with consistent page layout, typography, illustration style, and color palette, and then sticking with that through all the pages. Your first page will set the guidelines for all your following pages. So, you want to give it some thought initially. Before you begin drawing your first page, think about the overall layout of the page, and what you might want to include and keep consistent from page to page throughout your book. For example, in most of my sketchbooks, I want to include what day of the trip it was, and what city I was in on each page. So, I set up a general guideline for that with my first page, and tried to keep it somewhere throughout the book. But remember, these guidelines aren't hard rules. As you go through your book, feel free to switch it up and change the layout if you think of something different or better. I had some variability within my loose guideline of how to label the day and city as seen here. Okay. So, now we've got our title page and page design, so let's dive into the actual steps I use to make the pages. First of all, I will go over the process for my watercolor travel sketchbook, and then we'll jump into pins. 6. My Process: Watercolor: My process watercolor. Step one, collect your tools and sit down to create. This might seem too obvious to even list as a process step. But as I talked about in the previous installments of this tutorial, finding the time and energy to actually do the work is usually the hardest part of the whole thing. So, just remember what we talked about before, commit to a time and then stick with it. Step two, choose what you want to highlight. This step can already feel overwhelming. Here you are sitting in the hotel already to draw but then you face the blank page and a slew of memories and photographs from the day before. How do we choose what to draw? Here's what I like to do. On a separate sheet of scrap paper, make a quick list of the things you did that day. Write down anything that seems interesting or that sticks out in your memory. It could be something you saw, somewhere you went, something you ate, something funny someone said. It could be anything. Go back through your photos to jog your memory as well. I like to favorite any photos of things I think I like to include. Then I go back to the favorites photo on my phone so I can see how many photos I pulled out. We only have one page so we have to focus and prioritize. Which experiences stood out to you most? Which seem most representative of your time in that city or how you felt in that city? Was there anything unique about the city that you've never seen anywhere else? Look at your list and your photos. I found the ideal number of things to draw on each sketchbook page was about 5-10. The number will be totally dependent on how big you draw, how detailed you want to be, how full your day was and how big your sketchbook page is. So, this number will be different for everyone and even for me, this was just a guideline and not a rule. For example, in Boise Idaho, we didn't really do that much so I didn't really have 10 things to draw. But in other places like Salt Lake City, we did a lot of things so I really had to limit myself to 10 and it was hard to choose. You'll get a better feel of what to include on each page the more you make. Don't worry about it too much in the beginning and just try things out. Step three, lay out page design. Begin with whatever guidelines you set up for your book design. Draw your header and whatever info you're carrying from page to page like what day it is and where you are. This helps to start the page, keep the page design consistent and make sure you have room for the important info. Step four, quickly sketch out your page and pencil. You'll notice that I didn't say draw your page in pencil. Some of my watercolor pages were sketched out in pencil first and some I just started painting right away without sketching first. I found that my art is much more loose and spontaneous with more liveliness and energy when I don't spend a lot of time drawing in pencil first. So, this means I either sketch out something in pencil very lightly and quickly or I just skip the pencil altogether. I prefer to do most of the drawing and creating in a permanent medium like paint and ink. That way, there's no erasing, no tinkering, no going back and redrawing something over and over until it's perfect. That's a surefire way to kill the liveliness and spontaneity in my drawings and I wanted above all to keep that spontaneous flying by the seat of our pants feeling in my travel sketchbook because that's a huge part of traveling. So, if I'm including the pencil stage, I start first by barely sketching out the things on my list from the day before. You can see how light and simple it is here. I don't want to go into the details and refining in the pencil stage. I'm just laying down the simple composition at this point. I try not to think too much about the overall composition except for my general guidelines from page to page that I decided earlier like the day and the name of the city. I usually draw things in a somewhat chronological way, mainly because it gives me some where to start and an idea of what to draw next. As you're drawing, keep in mind how many things you've got to fit on the page, so you know how much room you have to work with. This is something people often struggle with at first. But the more pages you create, the better you'll get a estimating space and judging how big to draw things and where to put them on the page. It's really a sense of intuition that comes with practice. There are no rules or tricks. One thing you want to be sure to do is leave plenty of white space between the things you draw. We want to be able to go in later and add labels and text so don't fill the whole page with illustrations right now. Step five, paint your page. Now comes the fun part. Break out your paints and get to painting. Don't be overwhelmed just remember to keep it loose and don't worry about getting everything just right. I like to think about my color palette for each page before I begin painting and I like to only use limited color palettes when I can using just two to three hues. Think about if there are any colors that represent the feel of the place you're painting. Would Alaska use the same color palette as the Sahara Desert? I also like to paint each color one at a time going back to one along the way if I need to. For example; if I'm using green, blue and yellow as my palette, I would paint all the yellow on the page first then all the green, then all the blue. At that point, I can go back and add in any of the other colors, if I need to balance out the composition a little bit. Painting this way, saves paint because I'm not constantly having to wash out my brush and it also lets me plan out how the colors will be spaced out along the composition. Step six, ink your page. Now it's time for my favorite stage, inking. I love inking because I feel like the heavy linework is a big part of my work and it really makes the page come alive to me. I also love seeing how the whole thing comes together at the end and becomes a cohesive piece. One important thing to remember at this stage especially, if you're using the materials I am is to let the ink dry. Using a brush pen on watercolor paper looks great, but it takes a long time to dry at least 15 minutes. So, if you just willy-nilly ink across the page, you'll either end up having to wait between sections or you'll get ink on your wrist and smudge your drawing. To avoid that, make sure you ink from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Unless you're left handed and then switch that. As I'm inking, I'm not just drawing the linework onto my painting, but I'm also writing the text so all the ink can dry together. It also lets me make sure that everything fits together and I can make some adjustments to either the linework or the text as I go. So, what should you write about? Anything. You can explain some of the things you did, label what you ate, tell a funny story, record interesting things you noticed, whatever stands out to you from the day before. I don't come into my writing with any plan. I just start writing and let it flow as I go giving me a stream of consciousness journal style writing. Step seven, share it with the people you're traveling with. Don't forget to show your page to them when you're done. You may be self-conscious at first either worried that they'll think it's bad or that you'll seem like you're showing off, but I bet they'd love to see it. These are your friends and family after all. They're interested in what you're doing. Plus they're on the trip with you, so they'll enjoy reminiscing the day before through what you created. Try it out and see, I bet they'll like it and ask to see the next day too. I like to post my pages on Instagram to share with friends and family back home as well. Plus posting each day on social media is a great way to hold yourself countable to doing the work. I also like to create a hashtag for each trip to keep them all curated together for easy reference later. 7. Watercolor Process Timelapse: 8. My Process: Pen: My process: Pen. Okay. I'm going to blaze through these first few steps as they're the same as the water color process. If you want more detail, go back to the water color video. So, first, commit to it time to draw and then do it. Step two: Choose what you want to highlight. Take quick notes on what you did, look through your photos, prioritize what to show and choose a set of things to draw. Step three: Lay out your page design. Begin with whatever guidelines you use to set up your book design. Draw the header and whatever info you're carrying over from the page to page, like what day it is and where you are. For my pens sketchbooks, I like to think about my car pilot for the overall thing before I begin choosing one pilot to carry through the whole book. I like to only use limited color pods when I can, using just two to three hues. For my Vietnam sketchbook, we are packing as lightly as possible. Just one backpack for the whole trip. So I use just one black pen for the entire sketchbook. During my North East road trip, we were driving in a car so I had a tiny bit more room and I brought three pens, a light blue, dark blue and red which seemed to fit the feel of that area. Step four: draw your illustrations. If I'm working in pen, I prefer to just start drawing a pen right away without any pencil and without any sketching. I found that my art is much more loose and spontaneous with more liveliness and energy when I don't draw it out in pencil first. I often do for watercolor but that's a different process and I don't use pencil for my pen sketchbooks which tends to be my tool of choice. With pen, there's no erasing, no tinkering, no going back and redrawing something over and over until it's perfect. I try not to think too much about the overall composition, except for my general guidelines from page to page that I added earlier. I usually draw things in a somewhat chronological way mainly because it gives me somewhere to start and an idea of what to draw on next. As you are drawing, keep in mind how many things you've got to fit on the page. So you know how much room you have to work with. This is something people often struggle with at first but the more pages you create, the better you'll get estimating and judging how big to draw things on the page and where to put them. It's really just intuition that comes with practice. There are no rules or tricks. One thing you want to be sure to do is leave plenty of white space between the things you draw. We want to be able to come back in later and add labels and text, so don't fill the whole page right now. I tend to also space out the use of color throughout the composition to keep it balanced. Step five: Write your text. And now it's time to write out your experience. Adding words and text really make the page come alive. I also love seeing how the whole thing comes together at the end and becomes a piece of peace. One important thing to remember at this stage, especially if you're using the materials I am is to let the ink dry. Make sure to let your illustrations dry before you begin writing and write from the top left hand corner to the bottom right hand corner unless you're left handed and then switch that. You can also choose to have a more rigid page design almost like a natural science expedition notebook, adding paragraphs of text in rows or grids instead of the more free form style of my sketchbook pages. Experiment and see what you like best. So, what should you write? Anything. You can explain some of the things you did, label where you ate, tell a funny story, record interesting things you noticed, whatever stands out to you from the day before. I don't come into this with any plan, I just start writing and let it flow as I go, giving me a kind of stream of consciousness journal style writing. Step six: Share it with the people you're traveling with. Don't forget to show them the page when you're done. You may be self-conscious at first, either worried that they'll think it's bad or that you'll seem like you're showing off but I bet they'll love to see it. These are your friends and family after all, they're interested in what you're doing. Plus they're on a trip with you, so they'll enjoy reminiscing the day before with what you created. I like to post my pages on Instagram to share with friends and family back home as well. Plus, posting stand social media is a great way to hold yourself accountable to doing the work. I also like to make a hash tag for each trip to keep them all curated together for easy reference later. 9. My Process: iPad: My process iPad. Step one, collect your tools and sit down to create. So, first commit to a time to draw and then do it. Step two, choose what you want to highlight. A major difference in using my iPad for my travel sketchbook, was that I wanted to include photography and illustration. So, this digital sketchbook required a little bit more prep work on planning what to include. First, go back through the photos you or your travel mates took during the day. I used Google photos on my iPad to do this, so I could easily share and use photos my husband had taken in addition to mine. As I look through them, I favorite any photos of things I think I'd like to include on the page. Then I go to the favorites folder so I can see how many photos I pulled out. Which experiences stood out to you most? Which seem most representative of your time in that city or how you felt in that city? Was there anything unique about the city that you've never seen anywhere else? Look at your list and your photos. For my iPad drawings, I found the ideal number of things to draw was about three to seven. Download the photos you plan to use on your sketch front page. Step three, lay out your page design. Open up Procreate and create a new page. I like to create mine as a square for easy posting on Instagram but you can choose whatever size or shape you like. Begin by drawing the guidelines you set up for your book design. Draw the header and whatever info you are carrying from page to page, like what day it is and where you are. For my iPad SketchBook in India. I knew I would be using full color photography and I didn't want to overwhelm or clutter the design with more color. So, I chose a grayscale palette using black and white for the illustrations, black for the labels and gray for the text. That way the photos really stand out. Step four, import and place your photos. First, I began with the photos. Import them from your iPad into Procreate, and place each photo on your page. Now, you can begin to arrange, resize, and crop the photos to begin making a composition. I like to just choose a few photos for each page, and soften the edges a little with a soft eraser tool. I try not to think too much about the overall composition except for my general guidelines from page to page that I decided earlier. As you're arranging, keep in mind how many things you've got to fit on the page, including what you plan on drawing, so you know how much room you have to work with. One thing you want to be sure to do is to leave plenty of white space between the photos and planned drawings. We want to be able to go in later and add labels and text. So, don't fill the whole page now. You'll probably keep tinkering with the photos once you start drawing and that's fine. It's actually one of the benefits of a digital sketchbook that you can edit as you go along. Step five, draw your illustrations. After I've got my photos on the page, I'll begin to draw my illustrations. I try to compliment the photos and include more personality and emotion than the photos can show. I also like to layer the illustrations on top of the photos to add more depth to the page. Be sure to draw each illustration on a separate layer, so you can move them around as you go and rearrange the composition with the photos if you need to. Step six, write your text. Now, it's time to write about your experience. Adding words and text really makes the page come alive to me. I also love seeing how the whole thing comes together at the end and becomes a cohesive piece. What should you write about? Anything. You can explain some of the things you did, label what you ate, tell a funny story, record interesting things you noticed, whatever stands out to you from the day before. I don't come into this with any plan. I just start writing and let it flow as I go, giving me a stream of consciousness journal style writing. For the NDA sketchbook, I also included labels on the photos and illustrations with a slightly bolder writing and different color than the base text. Step seven, share it with the people you're traveling with. Don't forget to show your page to them when you're done. I like to post my pages on Instagram to share with friends and family back home as well. Plus, posting each day on social media is a great way to hold yourself accountable to doing the work. Just export the page as a JPEG, send it to your phone using Dropbox or any other file sharing service, and then upload it to the Internet. I also like to make a hash tags for each trip to keep them all curated together for easy reference later. Procreate also has a really cool feature that automatically creates a time lapse video for every drawing you do. It's really fun to watch this later after you're done and see all the work you did. 10. iPad Process Timelapse: 11. Now It's Your Turn!: Now it's your turn. Start your own travel sketchbook. Well, that's the end of my how to make a travel sketchbook class. I really hope you guys enjoyed it, and that you feel more prepared and inspired to go out and start your own travel sketchbook on your next trip. I enjoyed the travel sketchbook process even more than I thought I would, and I highly recommend giving it a shot. Now, I'm passing the baton on to you. I'm leaving next week to go on another cross-country road trip, and I'll be sharing my travel sketchbook pages here, on my project assignment page, and on my Instagram page. Check it out on the project gallery, and use the project page and downloads to start your own travel sketchbook with me. Even if you don't have a trip coming up, you can practice now, and experiment with page designs for a future trip, or dream trip. Just remember, have fun with it. Guess what, I've got a little something special to let you in on now. Allow me to present "Might Could Draw Today." Might could draw today, is a new drawing challenge, to push you and give you a little kick in the booty you need, to finally get that daily sketchbook practice going for real. Do you want to be drawing every day, but struggle to keep it up consistently? Do you get caught up in the fear of the blank page and not knowing what to draw? Do you often just draw the same things and are feeling a little bit stale? Join me for Might Could Draw Today, a free way to help you draw consistently in your sketchbook, with a new drawing challenge every week. Together we'll grow our creative confidence, tackle new subjects, and develop our drawing skills. Here's the deal here; first, sign up with the link at the bottom of this page. Then, every Monday, starting next week, you'll receive an email with a new drawing prompt. You'll be directed to draw that prompt in seven different ways, once a day, over the course of the week. These can be quick, loose drawings in whatever style or medium you prefer. Our goal here is for consistency and drawing daily, not necessarily drawing for hours. But sure, if that's your thing, go for it. Post your drawing each day on Instagram, with the hash tag Might Could Draw Today. Each week, I will randomly select a winning artist out of all the people who drew all seven days. The winning artist will receive a new artist tool, which could include a new pen, marker, brush, or paper pad. The artist will also be showcased on the drawing challenge website as that week's featured artist, and will have forever bragging rights. This challenge is a great way to hold yourself accountable to drawing consistently. It's a great way to develop a drawing habit, grow your confidence, expand your artistic skills, explore new things to draw, and connect with a friendly creative community. Who's it for? You, anyone, everyone, all ages, skill levels, styles, tools, and materials are welcome. Share with your friends and invite them to do the challenge with you. Joining the challenge is easy peasy. Just type in the URL here, or click the link in the project guide download, or project description below. We'll be starting next week's challenge on Monday, and I hope you decide to join us. Thanks so much for watching this class, and I can't wait to see your travel sketchbooks and weekly drawings. Now, let's go draw.