Travel Illustration: Draw a Scene from your Favorite Place

Sarah Shaw, Artist & Educator

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8 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your Illustration

    • 3. Brainstorming

    • 4. Researching

    • 5. Sketching & Drawing

    • 6. Exploring Materials

    • 7. Adding Color & Texture

    • 8. Final Thoughts


Project Description

Illustrate a Scene from your Favorite Place


You'll create an illustration of your favorite place, utilizing photographs or sketches from life.

You will need:

  • a pencil
  • an eraser
  • black drawing pens (I prefer Faber-Castell pens of various thicknesses, but Sharpies, Copix, Micron or any other bold pens will work fine)
  • art markers OR watercolors (+ a brush and a cup of water)
  • colored pencils (white and light colors for highlights)
  • relatively thick white paper (textured watercolor paper is better when using watercolors and smooth, mixed-media paper is better for markers. A sketchbook will also work.) 

Choose a place that inspires you-- A nude beach? A film festival? Your local grocery store? A Hello Kitty-themed cafe?

What's the story you want to tell? Does it involve sumo wrestlers? A duck boat filled with tourists? Watching the sunrise before a long hike?

There are unlimited places to draw, and each place can be interpreted in so many ways.

  • Spend 5-10 minutes brainstorming about your place
  • Research imagery online, from your photo collection, or draw some sketches from life
  • Sketch three versions of your illustration with pencil, using one image or combining various images together to tell a story. (For example: When drawing a scene of Cartegena's Bazurto Market, I combined an image of a man pushing a cart of papayas with images of vendors selling fish underneath colorful umbrellas.)
  • Choose one sketch and outline it with pen
  • Choose watercolors or markers to color your illustration
  • Add highlights and texture with light colored pencils


You're only required to upload your completed illustration to the project gallery, but I would love to see your entire process. Feel free to share photos of your brainstorming, research, materials exploration, initial sketches, and photos while you're in the process of drawing and adding color to engage with your teacher and classmates on a deeper level. Don't hesitate to ask for advice. 

Upon completion, take a photo or scan your illustration, and upload it to the project gallery! Include a short description about your place.

**If you'd like to challenge yourself, draw more than one scene of the same place! A series of 2,3,5 or 50?? Be creative!


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