Monday, December 5, 2011

Sketchbook Journeys - Ireland: Days 4-6

Dunluce Castle was our last stop in Northern Ireland. The crumbling structure looks as if it might tumble down the cliffs into the churning waters of the Atlantic during a rough winter storm. When I did this little sketch of the castle, I framed it with a Celtic border, drawn after we were out of the blowing mist and chilly wind. It looks so simple, but those Celtic designs are tricky to draw!
 
Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x 10"
(Click on any of the sketches to see a larger view.)

I collected all sorts of  collage material while we were traveling - brochures, ticket stubs, business cards, labels, wrappers, even the calling card that I used to phone home. I reserved some pages in my sketchbook for collages that would be assembled after I returned home.

Collage, watercolor, marker, 7" x 10"

I struggle with the whole concept of collage. Mine always end up looking sort of untidy, which goes against my natural tendency toward organization and neatness. But I really wanted to include all the doodads from our trip in my travel journal, so I did the best I could and just had fun with the process.

Collage, watercolor, marker, 7" x 10"

We picked up a tour on day 5, and I was able to relax and not stress about driving on the left side of the road anymore. I had the luxury of settling back and watching the pretty scenery roll by. My mom was much more relaxed, too, with a professional driver behind the wheel instead of me!

Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x 10"

I decided to try sketching on the fly, so I pulled out my sketchbook and drew the beautiful Irish countryside of County Kildare as we drove along.

Detail of County Kildare

The Celtic crosses in the cemetery at the rock of Cashel were amazing. After my own feeble attempts to draw the simplest of Celtic designs, I could really appreciate the intricate interwoven patterns on the centuries-old monuments.

Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x 10"

This sketch is one of my favorites ...


Castletownberre was one of many towns that had strings of pennants criss-crossing  their main street. I'm not sure what their purpose was, but it sure made things look festive. It was fun painting this cheery scene - aren't the colors of the buildings amazing? They really were that bright.

Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x 10"

I did a quick pen and ink sketch of this ancient stone circle as I stood in the pasture, surrounded by cow pies. Miraculously, I didn't step in even one of them!

Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x 10"

Here's another page of text, livened up with a bit of background painting.

Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x 10"

Sometimes I draw a map of the route we've traveled in my journals, but this time I simply pasted one into one of the collages. I also have a full-size map that has our entire vacation route highlighted with various colors of markers, showing where we traveled each day. Our driver, Danny, was such a sweetie - he marked the whole week-long trip for me in great detail.

Collage, watercolor, 7" x 10"

For all of the collage pages, I painted the backgrounds first with watercolor washes, then glued the cutouts down, and added extra watercolor or marker lines, if I felt they were needed.

Palm trees aren't what you would think of as typically Irish, but they're found in some of the sheltered areas of the southwestern coast. I thought it was an interesting fact to portray in watercolor on this journal page.

Watercolor, pen & ink, 7" x10"

More Ireland sketches are on their way tomorrow ...

6 comments:

  1. This is great being able to tag along with you on your trip.

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  2. Gosh, these are all so beautifully done. Makes me want to take a trip like this. Course, Ireland is on my bucket list.

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  3. I wished for this trip for at least 20 years and finally got to check it off my bucket list. Trouble is, being there only made me want to go back again and again!

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  4. What fun getting to see more of your adventure. Your pages are beautiful!

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  5. I'm just catching up on your journal pages - totally wonderful! Between your photographs and the ones my son took of some of the same places a few weeks before your trip, the way you've translated your journal pages is enchanting.

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  6. Leslie your book turned out beautiful! We only got a glimpse of the real thing during the trip but Wow!! Fantastic! It makes me smile all over again to think of what a great trip we all had - and you are right. Once was not enough--

    Bernadette

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