Travel Illustration: Draw a Scene from your Favorite Place | Skillshare Projects

Sarah Shaw

Artist & Educator



Travel Illustration: Draw a Scene from your Favorite Place

Hi everyone!

My class is now live!



Join illustrator, educator and adventurer Sarah Shaw for a 45-minute class that explores travel illustration! Take your drawing materials outside or travel vicariously through your photographs as you create a unique scene from your favorite place, whether it's from home or abroad. 

This class will encourage you to think creatively-- first envisioning and brainstorming details about your favorite place, researching imagery, and using those ideas to construct a dynamic composition. Anyone can excel in this class, even if you're convinced that you can't draw. Believe me, you can.

We'll explore techniques for sketching compositions, outlining with pen, and applying bold colors with either watercolors or markers to make your scene come to life. Your final projects can be framed, gifted, or scanned into a header for your travel blog or website. There are so many possibilities! Take this class and illustrate your story.


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 would 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? An underwater scene swimming with dolphins? A duck boat filled with tourists? Riding a rollarcoaster with a family wearing matching t-shirts? 

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

  • Spend five minutes brainstorming a list of details about your place
  • Research imagery online, from your photo collection, or draw some sketches from life
  • Sketch 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.)
  • Outline your sketch 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 why not share your sketches and process? Upload photos while you're working to begin engaging with your classmates and teacher. Feel free to share photos of your brainstorming, research, initial sketch and/or photos while you're in the process of drawing and adding color. 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!


Travel-Inspired Art and Illustration:

Sarah Shaw:



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