Travel Journaling: Mundane Things

This is not a very surprising statement but: one of the great things about traveling is that it’s all so different then it is at home. When spending time in a country with a different climate than the one in your own country, you don’t wear your usual clothes. You don’t have a lot of clothes to choose from either, because you had to limit them to fit in your suitcase. You eat differently – and hopefully you’ll get adventurous, trying out the local cuisine and discovering new flavors.

Even just a visit to the bathroom could be a completely different experience than you’re used to in your daily life.

When I’m home, I like drawing daily stuff. Things that we all take for granted, but are part of our lives. A favorite mug, the bag I always carry with me, my feet, a pair of shoes thrown into the corner at the door… that kind of stuff. Everything becomes interesting when you draw it. The mundane things when on vacation are even more interesting.

Here I drew my feet because to me that was one of the best parts of the vacation: We practically lived on the beach so there was no need to wear any shoes. The shower and all its switches was definitely worth drawing too. And the view when looking up while sitting at a restaurant at the beach – thinking about how rainy and cold it would be at home.

The page below speaks for itself… and waiting at an airport is always a great opportunity to study faces of locals as well as other tourists.

And why not draw the bathroom? You’re sitting there anyway….

Draw Tip Tuesday – Outside Of The Box

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Let’s dip our pen into india ink and make a line drawing. Without too much control over the flow of your ink, the pen and ink technique is great to fill sketchbook pages with random items. To bring it all together, use frames. Your art will stand out and the page will have a consistent look and design!

There’s more where this came from! Follow me on YouTube by clicking here

Travel Journaling: On The Road

I already posted a video about my latest trip, but while it’s pretty cold and wintery in Amsterdam, I am warming myself to the memories inside of the sketchbook pages as I flip through them. So why not share?

People often ask me: how do you balance traveling, sightseeing, taking photos, being social, and drawing when you’re on a trip? It’s a great question and I think there’s not just one answer. For everyone, it’ll be different. I used to take loads of pictures when traveling. When I was working as a photographer, years ago, I had a hard time choosing which cameras and what lenses to take with me. Trying to pack as light as possible, and making sure to never run out of film. Things change. Now, when packing, I travel light in a different way: I have to decide how many sketchbooks to take with me, whether or not to pack color pencils… and what if I run out of ink?

I don’t take that much photos anymore. I still do enjoy finding interesting angles, and capturing moments or certain things that catch my eye that I can’t capture in a drawing, and also I like to record a video every now and so often. But lucky me, even when my camera stays in my bag, I know my husband is taking pictures (and he’s an excellent photographer) of all the important moments, so once we get back home, we can look at those photos and be reminded of our adventures.

So instead of finding the right angle for a photo and looking for the best light and composition, I do that with my sketchbook in hand. However, I will only do this when I have a bit of time, so I can sit down and enjoy the moment. I hardly ever document big sightseeing things because I want to use my eyes to soak up all of it.
If you’re doing a guided tour, you can’t stop the group because you want to get some drawing time then and there. Instead, you could draw afterwards while having a drink or something to eat. Just write down the fresh memories and thoughts – journal about your impressions.

And you can draw on your way. Unless you’re the one who’s driving, you can. I love drawing on the plane, in cars, on the boat. You’re waiting to get from A to B anyway so why not take out your sketchbook?

Here are a few examples of just that – drawing on the road (or in the air)

The very first drawing of the trip was done in the plane, while people were still boarding:


When you’re up in the air for hours – there’s plenty of time to figure out how to draw your view in perspective.

I made this drawing below in a driving tuktuk. That was quite the adventure – and a bumpy ride!


These journal pages are kind of self-explanatory…

If you worry about when to draw, and how to combine it with being social: it may take a little getting used to, but don’t think about it too much, and just take out your sketchbook in social situations – my experience is that people actually love it when you draw while chatting with them. Whenever you feel the urge to draw, do it!

These are a few drawings I did while chatting and enjoying my surroundings:



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Welcome to my blog20150601_selfie kopie

My name is Koosje Koene. I am an illustrator, art teacher and online entrepreneur.
On this blog you’ll find my latest drawings, journal pages, sketches, inspiration and draw tips!
I appreciate your visit, and please feel free to leave a comment!

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