A Glimpse into One of My Travel Journals...


I am currently teaching a 6-week Travel Journal with Ink and Watercolor workshop. My students for this workshop are so interesting. They jumped in feet first with designing their pages and choosing what images to use together to describe a day. With composition out of the way, I can help with how to draw some of the images they’ve chosen and cover some watercolor basics. Even though I like to use ink and watercolor for my sketchbooks, making a travel journal is telling a personal story. If the artist is more comfortable using watercolor pencils, or pencils or colored markers, that’s fine with me. I just want them to try in some areas watercolor to see what it’s like and its possibilities. I will post student pictures soon!

My image is from a picture I took of the staircase in my parent's house where I grew up. I’m lucky that they are still living there so I can both visit them and it. I love the perspective looking down two flights of stairs and the changing perspective of all the balusters. While I don’t always get much work on my sketchbook done in class, I like to work on it as homework between classes too. I like to do what I ask of my students.

My next workshops at Cloud 9 Art School in Bothell will be on Drawing and Sketching Maps, and another on Drawing and Illustrating Recipes.

Travel Sketch from Porto, Portugal in Progress

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I love to travel and I love to draw and paint in travel journals. I work on them while on trips, but mostly after the fact using photographs that I took during the trip and bits of ephemera that I brought back. This is an in-progress sketch of the first outside tiled church I saw in Porto, Portugal this past summer. It’s from the Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina (Chapel of Souls on Rua Santa Catarina).

If keeping a travel journal is something that you’d like to try, please join me for my next offering of Creating an Ink and Watercolor Travel Journal 6-week workshop on Monday evenings that starts on January 7th, 2019. See my workshops for more information and to register.

How to draw a gothic window


I really do like architectural drawing even though I don't do as much of it as I would like. There are only so many hours in the day... I've been going through Rice's Church Primer as a way of getting some architectural sketching in and its terminology. I had finished up a section on the basics of gothic traceries and I came across a diagram that showed how a gothic window could be constructed. It's from one of those wordless diagrams from thee late 1800's that shows the geometry and background lines on one side and the completed detailed drawing on the other. This is my drawing of that.

A Wonderful Building in Plaza Vieja in Habana Vieja, Cuba

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I was taking refuge from the rain and started to draw this building, Edificio Gómez Vila, across the square. I started but even though it is very regular, I kept messing up the proportions. I saved what I had and continued working on it after I got back home. There is a camera obscura on the top floor which gives 360 degree views of the city of Havana. Regularly on the corner by the planters, there was an ice cream vendor, and someone selling coconuts.

Just a regular street scene in Habana Vieja, Cuba


Everywhere I looked in Habana Vieja, there was some interesting detail to explore. It could be a person, an almendron (one of those old American cars), architectural details, urban decay, beautiful color, daily living. This one drawing has all of that. Just on an ordinary street.

A Man Sitting in Front of his House, Old Havana, Cuba

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This is a drawing of a man I saw sitting in front of his house, a normal enough thing. But the building had lots of scaffolding set up supporting the second story balcony. A scene of regular people just living side by side with urban decay.