Travel Sketching - Painting plein air in Watercolor and Ink | Camilla Damsbo Brix | Skillshare

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Travel Sketching - Painting plein air in Watercolor and Ink

teacher avatar Camilla Damsbo Brix, Teaching Whimsical watercolors

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to class


    • 2.

      Tools and materials


    • 3.

      Sketching a landmark


    • 4.

      All the extra stuff to sketch


    • 5.

      There and back again


    • 6.

      Let's wrap up


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About This Class


This class is for you if you:

  • Are going on a vacation this summer and want to paint that Eiffeltower or Brooklin bridge?
  • Maybe you want to make a journal documeting your trip as you go along as a lifelong keepsake?
  • Perhaps you just want to try out your painting gear in the sun?
  • You are a beginner or a more experienced artist?

Either way this class is perfect for you!

We will cover materials and techniques so you are ready out in field and we will go over both tecniques for quick sketchy painting and doing a couple of travel journaling spreads.

And in the proces we will visit Copenhagen, so you get to be turist in Denmark (Yay!)

Meet Your Teacher

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Camilla Damsbo Brix

Teaching Whimsical watercolors


My name is Camilla and I’m a danish watercolourist. Mostly I paint whimsical flowers which I share on Instagram as @camilla_damsbo_art. Here on Skillshare I love to share my knowledge in fun and easy classes on watercolor and ink and I can't wait to see you in class.

I would deffinitly say that watercolour is the most magical kind of paint, and all you can do is just know a little technique, loosen up your brush and trust the process.



If you plan to watch one class this summer I advice you make it this one. It will launch very soon and you will learn the very best technique for your summer vacations or staycations - Watercolor and Ink! you will learn to draw 5 flowers and then bring them into a s... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome to class: Hi, guys. I'm Camilla, and I'm a watercolorist from Din Log. And today we're gonna talk about travel sketching like this. So if you're going on a vacation Oh, maybe you want to document a field trip or you have some old photos laying around the need some love. Don't we all think class is perfect for you and you don't need to be super experienced. This place is perfect for beginners as well. And you don't have to worry. If you're an introvert, Simon, interpreters will We're gonna cover that so way can go out in public and paint. I'm taking you to Copenhagen, where we'll sketch and talk about what to include in your sketchbook both the obvious like sites and land months, but also the other stuff that creates a place in the moot. As I say in my other classes, the best thing about teaching is to see your gorgeous works and the of course there is a class project. The class project is to paint sketches from your vacation all field trip and you can paint on location That would be so cool. But even also pain from photo reference if you like, and then it would be so amazing to see your work. So please uploaded in the project Jamari and on Instagram in there and take me. So now there's nothing left to say other than let's go and pack our bags and, uh, let's get out there. 2. Tools and materials: So let's see what to bring here. First of all, a sketchbook. Of course. This is a mole skin, and it's actually not watercolor paper. It's 165 grams. Uh, you can easily use a watercolor paper. The journalist Well, but this is just nice. And the of course the trail set off some kind of paint. This is prima marketing, and it's the the classics. One. I really like these one because they're super portable and easy. Then there's some necessity. Easier. There's brushes. These are three, 35 and seven, I think, uh, and that's a round brush with the find tip. None of pencil hot one in this to age and different types off fine liners. And these are different brands. All they need to be is waterproof, uh, but use different sizes. Uh, so you can get a nice line, different line, then a tempo to get a fed line and a posca pen, which is always nice to get some white details, then something to carry it in. This is just I think I got this, uh, like 20 kroner zits. Super cheap. Um, it's not easy to carry around your brushes and this one is is okay for that. And what about water Cup? And since you all you know the basics, I usually get it at the at the place. I'm painting, uh, go to 7 11 or McDonalds or whatever, and buy a bottle of water and ask for a cup and some tissue, and I'm sure they'll get use. Um, um, I can't imagine they wouldn't. And that's the easiest thing. Then you don't have a with cup in your backpack. Then there's these paperclips. They're always handy and the, you know, if the wind takes a page or you wanna clip on your pencil or brush is or whatever, they're always good to her. Off course, some classes and remember a jacket or something. If it's if it's a bit cold, dress appropriate. Then there's these headphones super important. When you are a introvert like me, you can You don't need to pluck them into anything I actually like to. Don't do it, Uh, but they're nice to have with you on the pillow to so sit on. Not something that takes up a lot of space, but just a nice handy one. And finally, a backpack something to carry it all in. And the this is a regular traveling type of backpack, and they were good to go. 3. Sketching a landmark: Hi, guys. So now I'm standing at my local train station and you know, just a second the train will arrive and I'll see you in Copenhagen. Hi, guys. Welcome to Copenhagen. This capital off in Mark. This has been in my hometown for several years, so this is super dear to me, and I can't wait to show you around. There's a lot of landmarks here, and we're not gonna paint all of them. But I can mention that there's the towers in the background. That's Excell terrorist, Very new one. That's, of course, a little mermaid that you might have heard about. And there is Tilly. And you can see that in the background here, and we're going to stop pending vents. So I'm gonna put on my headphones, and, uh, I'll see you in a bit. So I found a super nice spot here on the pavement on the tree in Seattle. So we're good to go, and I always stopped by planning on my page, so I'll know approximately where I'll go with us, and I'm gonna put a piece of Tivoli entrance in the left side of the paper and some details in the right side and the as you noticed, I'm not doing it. A copy off off the landmark. Yeah, I'm just taking the stuff I find interesting and the shapes I find interesting colors and just sketching them. When I think of travel sketching, I don't think about painting except landscapes and, uh, except cityscapes and stuff like that. You can totally do that. It is totally fine. But I'm all like painting a mood and the trying to capture the feeling that you get when you visit a place. You know, when your vacation you always get this this vacation feel and then try to capture it. And, uh, you can see I used to clip because the wind was taking my pages and just blowing them up. Those white annoying. So that's always a good thing to have with you a clip to hold your pages or maybe even hold your brushes or your pens and and stuff like that. So you have them handy and I started out by sketching with pencil, but he was a little bit too long, so I just cut it out and and you couldn't even see it in picture anyway because it was so light, and I'm during the outlines in the fine line instead and usually had actually paint first and then apply online a afterwards. But here in this, sketching the travel sketching, I like to do the fine line off first to get the buildings in shapes, right, and it's not like I'm being very exact. You can see I'm very sketchy, and I actually get draw the same line several times to get a It's easier to get one right line when you're doing five, then if you're doing just one, and I like the way it looks when you have that sketchy, sketchy look, and you can easily do this without the pencil. And I'm gonna do that in the next next class, too, in the next lesson so easily. Skip that if, if you like. As you can see, the details in the roof is is just very, very small hints of details. I'm not doing them all. You can just hinting them. Otherwise, it would be such a big, big job. And with travel sketching is the thing is, you don't have that much time. Often it's when your boyfriend is just said, he says. Uh I'm just gonna go for a beer. And, uh, then you have, like, 20 minutes, and you have to be done with it. Um, unless you're traveling by yourself. Of course, All time you like, but usually had to travel with with people, friends or family. And I like to spend time with them. But I also like to sketch, so this is kind of way just a break to clear my mind as you'll notice when I'm painting here and sketching is that I'm often leaving out details kind of changing up perspective and the stuff that I see. And that's one of the most important things about travel sketching is that you have that cystic license. You don't have to be exact. Of course, you could be exactly paint and draw whatever you see, but I really like to to put my own touch to it. And of course I wanted wanted to resemble what I'm seeing and experiencing. But I take the most important stuff. The things that catch my eye and sometimes less is more. You don't need to put a whole lot of detail ing the painting. Sometimes it's just a small thing by the lamp here on, but that called my eye that I'm drawing right now. I've really found that interesting. You can see that in the left side of the picture up in the corner. And I think all those curly curly shapes is very characteristic cool Tilly. So I wanted to to include that as well. And then the last thing I'm gonna sketch here is a part of flowers. And they got so many flowers here, which is so amazing. I'm just roughly sketching down. And I wanted to add some some Clausen's and organic field sketch just to show that it's summer and and get that that summary fuel. So I'm done with the fine lines, and I am ready to add some paint. I'm finding my my trouble, Pain said here. What does she show you earlier? And as you can see, I found some water and tissue into my local 7 11 when I bought some lunch, and I really found that the easiest way to to bring water and and cups because when you're done painting and you brought a cup, it's wit. When you're done, of course, so other, you have to bring a lit to put it in your back or it'll be you if everywhere, so this you can throw out and and that is perfect. And most places will either give you a cup with your water or all by Lydia Lydia by one. And as you can see, I'm painting the eight year and I'm being super lose with this this process. And I'm not doing that much color blending, either. Not on the palate. I'm, uh, doing a little. But most most blending is actually on the page because that's faster. The key years to be fast and loose with the painting. There's a lot of green in the in the roof, and I tried to replicate that here, and I actually often add more color than is. It's actually in the scene because I really want to make it shine, and it is a the amazing gorgeous day you can see I'm blending the blue Ina's well, so I'm trying to add some some yellow as well, so I can show the the sunlight, too. And don't worry as much about perspective and stuff like that. Sizes and stuff like is very technical stuff. No worries so much about that it's more about getting a caption and feeling. Yeah, then it ISS to be technical. And again, that's just my approach. You can easily do it another way. Okay, so I'm just speeding up video while I'm finishing Painting. And the fun thing about travel sketching is that you can add your notes so you can always remember stuff. You experienced things about the landmark, so I'm just roughly sketching out a hit line and the a small bit of six. And then I kind of discovered that it's not easy su at sex when you're sitting on the pavement. So I'm I'm not finishing the Patriots and some people who travel sketching they prefer to finish the whole thing while they at the place in the mood and when they can see the actual actual side. I prefer to do all the rough sketches on site and, uh, finishing up at home on, and I do that because it's I know it can write, like to relive the That's the trip. When I get home, I think it's so fun to sit and add a little bit off detail at some depth and collar and and stuff like that. Okay, this is my, my Tambo. It's just to get it, get the headline a little bit, a little better. So it stands out. But you can see I have on and off some trouble here just holding my hand while holding the the sketchbook. So I decided that I'm gonna wait and don't just gonna do some some more details here. And I did the That's six here. Well, waiting for the paint to dry a little so I could add some details on top off of the washes I already did. That's just to add a little bit of shadow and just some, You know, some finishing touches, and I always like to paint in layers, and it does makes stuff pub up off the page if you don't do it all in one wash and it'll just be one. Washington's, of course, different colors. But it's hard to get small, smooth statues to stand out. For example. Weird thing here on top of it's a lamp. I'm not sure I think it's the life might be like so, as I always do, went up the finish line while painting. I always go in with fine line even though I sketched out first, I always going and do some details. This is actually one of my favorite parts because you can really with shape the flowers. Not sure which allowed this. It might be 11 or something like that. You can really shape it and just doodle on suburb Wash and creating and shape. And I'm not doing anything exactly. It's super lose, just like like the wash. But it's more like it's more like doodles, shapes and and circles, and this you can always do at home as well. But thing is so fun, so I really couldn't resist to do it. But you know, if your boyfriend is back and he has already got his beer than then, you could always save it for later. It's a good idea to have different sizes off off fine liners, because often the federal ones can create some more detail, more shadow and the final ones are good for details. I'm just adding a bit more shadow here, and you could work on it asl long as you like, but I am. I think I'm almost finished here, but the shadows really make Make the peace pop more nothing about water crosses that they can. You can. Oh, even if you've given up on them, Some shadows can lift it almost every time. Almost everything. It's never too late with water, cause begin all you can always add a new layer and we'll save it. Okay, And now I'm the kind of holding sketchbook a little bit obscure, but, um, I'm just splashing some color just to give it some some texture. And some, uh, some movement. Actually, I'm kind of in love with paints bladders s you can see and that is it for now and all the tickets and next, but 4. All the extra stuff to sketch: hi guys, and welcome to New Harbor on new home, as it's called in Denmark. I'm going to find someone to stay, to stop filming. But I'll just show you a bit of this place and it's gorgeous. So many people today and the weather is amazing. It is a terrifying for an introvert like me, but I'm sure I'm gonna make it and I'll see you in events. So I put on my if firms and found a, well, a quiet place but a place so sick and I'm ready to start sketching. And when you do find a place, is it It's super important to sit somewhere where you feel comfortable sitting for some time and all so a place where you don't get run over by people and, uh, kind of sit in a bad place here. But I wanted to be able to see the view and a film it as well. If it wasn't filming it, I wasn't gonna sit here, and I actually afterwards thought about me sitting heavily. The cup besides the the road do look kind of a bigger, but, uh, that is not important. And thankfully, not something I thought about when I was sitting there. So I'm just starting by sketching out the buildings here, and I'm doing it by, but find Lina first. I skipped the pencil because this is faster. And this time I'm not doing an exact landmark. This is more like details of a place. And I want to to demonstrate what else to include in the travel sketchbook because you don't always have to just sketch the Eiffel Tower or Brooklyn Bridge. It could be anything it could be anything that catches your are. And, uh, therefore, I'm not gonna playing off my page exactly like I did before. I'm just sketching would what catches my eye. And, uh, first of all, it's these gorgeous buildings and the colors of the buildings which are so unique to this place and gorgeous. And I'm doing this rough fast sketches too, and at this time just to keep it loose. And I want to go over some ideas of all the extra stuff you can put in your travel sketchbook. Okay, So what are the extras? The, uh, so many plates ain't things you can include in your travel sketchbook. And these are just suggestions, but you can always look at food. People travel for food, and that is all always, uh, and very important thing. At least for my trolls. You can paint the restaurant you have eating at the meals or even your signature drink. If you have, like a Cosmo or something like that, that is, that is extra special for this trip. You can paint the people that you see how they look expressions, special clothes, hats, glasses, hair, anything that catches your eye. Then, of course, the this is kind of a fluffy one. But the mood, the colors you see on Dennis especially important here in the new home, we can see the colors really set the mood of the place. And, of course, the different styles or excited patterns you see and get inspired by in the characteristics of the place. That could be anything, really. It could be windows or doors or special signs or a, uh, lamp or the pavement. If that is structured in different in a special way. Vehicles, cars, drugs, bikes, buses, trains, whatever, Really, Maybe it's something that you used. I went to Sri Lanka and the took took wasn't super important vehicle in that country, so I would definitely paint the took took their and Ah, and here I am. I'm painting the the bike because backs such an important feature in Copenhagen, Denmark. And, uh, it could be anything, really. And then, of course, if you stumble upon some kind of flora that that is characteristic of place or just want to include some flowers on some trees in there, I totally get that. I do that all the time and the if you see some amazing animals and no butterflies or birds , or even if you're lucky to to meet a pair wolf and you don't really do that in Denmark, it's more like someone's walking the dog. But you can paint that as you if you like to, but in other countries you would see more exotica animals. So that's just some examples. And let's get back to the painting, and I'm starting, painting and finishing less kitsch. So as you can see, I finished my sketch while I was talking about this light and not know adding some color, and I'm going straight ing coloring these beautiful houses here find to capture the mood of the place, which is which really is those colors off the houses. And just as you can see, I got my my cup, my bigger cup, Uh, which is kind of embarrassing, but I I'll survive it. And now during the roofs, which, uh, beautiful read the very characteristic moves for me. And I'm actually kind of sketching still, just with the brush and being super lose here, just adding coal on some of the other college maxim shadows and some some definition off the roofs. And I'll keep doing that. Yes, until I'm satisfied with it. Yeah, I'm talking the tissue under the sketchbook because it's kind of windy and holding the other brush in in the hand because when you're sketching outside, there's so many things you don't think about. And that is Ah, of course, wind and, uh, people and the almost getting knocked down by someone talking on the phone or a dog wanting to drink your your water or something will come up and you'll just work from there. And that is one of the charms about painting outside. And I actually want to say that though I'm wearing my headphones here and I am an introvert , I might remove from the next time because I actually think that you can get a lot of out off striking conversation with people who will stop to watch you. They're paint. They often have a good story about place and interested in your work. So I actually think it can get given new dimensions of the painting. And I would never do it while filming because that would totally freak me out. But I think next time when I'm out on my own, I'll try it and see if I get totally scared if it'll work. And you can actually find groups that go out and sketch together, and that might be a good thing to then you have, like the group dynamic. And that's often easier in sketching in public, finishing up my my sketch here, and I am going to edit out a little bit of the painting process here because it is a little long. But I want to recap some of the tips and tricks that I gave you during this this class before we head back to the studio and I have a list here off six points. First of all, when you arrive at your and your site. Why do you a place here? Plan your page if you like, all on sketch with a pencil or find Lina and that is up to you what you like and prefer pencils. Easy to a race and finalize nine of some kind off. You know, when you put it down, it's there. But trust your instinct and trust your your hand. It can easily do a sketch, and number two is little. The loose Water column. Make it come to life. Dont hang yourself in details too much. It's just the color and the washes that really makes it on the and keep it fast and loose. Eso It's like 20 minutes and you should be done. Otherwise your boyfriend will have drank the beer, and I will ask you when to move. So keep it fast and loose sketches on site, and you could always, always, always, always take, uh, two small details at home and take a picture off the place that you you go to. And you can always refer back to that. You have the artistic license and that is so important. So choose your own focus and keep it super symbol choose what you like and what catches your eye. What what makes this an experience for you? It is, after all, about capturing the mood and experience, and not about replicating a landscape in the perfect way, even off course. You do that, and I said that before, But for me, it's all about capturing mood. So that is travel sketching one on one and I just hit back to the It's the painting in and , as you can see of edits, um, colors while talking and showing you slide. And I'm just going to speed up the process here and I'll see you in a bit, - and that is about it. I think I'm a satisfied with this sketch as well and, uh, Rent to go back to the studio to finish up by adding some details and some text. So I'll see you, Beckett 5. There and back again: it's good to be back. Welcome back to the studio, and I'm just quickly gonna show you that I added some more details in the final final end. Skupin, find front. It is. You can probably not even see it. But you could see the final pages and I added some different text just to tell a little about what I experienced that day. See, up here on the roof, this small details as well. Uh, and that bag looks really crazy, but that's because it kind of but past me and I couldn't see it afterwards. But back to writing. You can include so many things in your travel, sketchbook and really up to you. But I have some inspiration for your here you can write, which was your favorites of the place. Favorite food places, drinks, views, conversation. You overheard street names. You seems, ah, names off. Anything really shops and you can go on. You can also ride language stuff, you know, phrases. You used a lot off some kind of meaningful words that you heard quote. You can always go to Pinterest and find travel quotes, and they will lift your travel sketchbook to a new level an inspiration. Whatever caught your fancy colors, sounds, the core people close styles anything really, that you find it inspiring and want to. I want to remember when you come home. And then, uh, fun fits. I adore fun facts, and you can always find them online. Ah, facts about your city, your your visiting or the landmark of the country. There's always some kind of weird stuff is fun to look back on in a few years. And, ah, before we're gonna wrap up, I'm just gonna quickly go over the class project again. Yes, you might remember you ah, class project is to paint sketches from your vacation or field trip. And you can the of course paint on location like I did here. Oh, from a photo reference and post it on to the project gallery and Instagram. If you're on on their attack, me and I seriously can't wait to see your project. I love to see your work, so please post it. And now it is time to rev up. So I'll see you in a bit 6. Let's wrap up: then give so much for taking this class with me. It's been such a fun and a little bit intimidating experience. Teoh film it, but it's been really, really great. So thank you a lot for watching, and I hope you find the courage to go out there yourself. If you like the class, please leave a review Any thumbs up that helps me a lot and helps students find the class easier. So thank you a lot. And if you want to know about my next class was which is going to be on liquid watercolors and you see here legal watercolors and ink, you could see some examples here. Please hit the follow button and you'll be notified when it's out. And if you can't wait that long, I have some other classes on Watercolor nigga's Well, so check them out if you like, And now it is your turn to stop painting, and I would love to see your work. So please offloaded in the product gallery and on Instagram if you own their and sec me and that show that handled in just a second and I can't wait to see it. So grab your process and the start painting and I'll see you next time