Lecture 10: The Art and Habit of Travel Sketching

Lecture Presenter: Rita Sabler

Travel sketching is one of the best ways to understand and connect with a place and its people, a way to permanently engrave the sights, sounds, and smells of that movement into your memory. It is a way to be fully present right there and then and to ultimately feel alive.

Through the mix of practical information and anecdotes this lecture is designed to inspire the participants to take their sketch book on trips near and far in a quest to capture the world in all of its wonder.

It will take you on a bumpy boat ride into the Humboldt penguin reserve and into the suffocating labyrinths or Bangkok’s Chinatown. You will learn about the risky business of being caught on a favela in Rio de Janeiro’s after dark and about the exhilaration of sketching a hunchback horse whisperer while half running among horses in the Chilean mountains. I will share the experiences of sketching massive protests following the disappearance of students in Mexico and standing in a puddle of warm milk and honey in a Hindu temple while a Garuda statue was being washed in ritual offerings in Singapore.

The lecture will cover the practicalities of assembling your travel tool box, researching your location, setting up broad and specific goals. We will talk about how to get visually situated in a new place, how to take care of safety and other needs, how to attract or avoid the attention of people around you, how to stay consistent with the daily habit of recording your new experiences and to overcome the common internal and external obstacles faced by traveling sketchers?

We will delve into the world of possible subjects and formats at our disposal from drawing maps of places we go to cataloging our exotic meals to drawing long panoramas to approaching dynamic subjects when we draw portraits, crowds to finally delving into the sketching reportage and telling stories with our sketches.

We will finish the lecture with comments from the audience, inviting the participants to share their own travel tips and what they have discovered while sketching their travels.


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