I love me a travel sketchbook. I travel a lot and wherever I go, from West Africa to Colombia or to a recent trip to India I try to keep a visual journal of where I’ve been. Sometimes it’s just a series of loose sketches, or other times it’s a least one cartoon-a-day. Here I am in Mali showing off my stuff.
I’ve spent years perfecting my travel sketchbook kit. Here it is:
From left to right:
1. Canson 65 LB 5.5” x 8.5” sketchbook. Something this size fits into lots of bags and the paper is just thick enough to hold wet media without getting too rippled. Also easy to tear out pages for scanning or giving away later on.
2. Rotring ArtPen “F”. In most of my professional work I use a nib pen for my inking. I love how nibs give a wide range of line width and expression. Much more than any uniball pen. These are a bit pricy, but I really enjoy how it is as close to a nib pen without having to bring an inkwell (which always spills everywhere!) around.
3. A Kuretake watercolor pen filled with a mixture of drawing ink and water. Ink washes are a great way to add depth and shadows to drawings. With this, I get my inkwash mixture to go.
4. A variety of Faber Castell PITT artist pen big brush pens. These give great color and don’t stink like adpens. Sometimes I’ll just use the grey one instead of my inkwash watercolor pen.
On this last trip to India my girlfriend Casey and I went primarily to see a friend’s wedding in Mumbai, but also made it up to the Hindu holy city of Varanasi for a few days before the wedding began. Here’s a few of the entries. You can see more cartoons and sketches from our recent trip on Casey’s and my blog here.
Waiting at Newark airport for our flight:
Once we made it to Varanasi:
And then at the wedding itself: (Congratulations Aditya and Riddhima!!!)
So next time you’re on the road, rest those climbing calluses and grab a pen. It’s also fun to pick up supplies along the way. Some of my favorite work from around the world was done with Crayola markers and funny letter stamps I picked up on the road. You know what, I’ll end with one of those from Burkina Faso when Casey and asked for two teas at a restaurant. It still cracks me up.
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