Travel Sketches

I love to travel, and taking the time to sketch while I'm on a trip makes me slow down and immerse myself in in a place, rather than rushing here and there. It imprints all those wonderful memories on my mind and gives me a very unique and personal record of my experiences.

You can see all of my travel sketchbooks in my online gallery here. If you would like to read more about the sketches, check out the links below to find blog posts related to my travel sketchbooks.

California 2019
After teaching a workshop in Santa Barbara, I took the Pacific Coast Highway north to Monterey and Pacific Grove, sketching along the way.
Santa Barbara Mission Sketches
California Road Trip - Part 1 + Creating a Flow Sketch
California Road Trip - Part 2
Rincon Point Beach Sketches & More!
California Road Trip - Part 3: 17-Mile Drive

Croatia 2019
Ten days in Croatia left me inspired and changed. The easy pace of this trip, along with spectacular scenery and the most beautiful aquamarine water I've ever seen, made it a winner! (More sketches to come as I complete this travel journal.)
Sketches from Croatia - Part I - Pre-Trip Sketches
Sketches from Croatia - Part 2 - ─îilipi & Dubrovnik
Sketches from Croatia - Part 3 - Konavle & Cavtat
Sketches from Croatia - Part 4 - The Island of Korcula

Barcelona & Costa Brava, Spain 2019
From the incredible beauty of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to the sleepy coastal villages of the Costa Brava, Spain surprised and delighted me. I can't wait to return and see more some day. (I'm still finishing up this travel journal and will post more sketches as I complete them.)
Sketchbook Journeys: Spain

Montreal & Quebec City 2019
My husband and I had a fun getaway to Canada in early summer, just in time to see (and smell!) hundreds of lilacs in bloom at the Montreal botanical garden.
Sketches from Montreal and Quebec City

Maine - 2018
Two back-to-back workshops kept me hopping, but it was a good excuse to spend two glorious early-summer weeks at Primrose Cottage in Owls Head, Maine.
Sketches from Maine
Maine Beach Pebble Sketch with Step-by-Step Tutorial

Paris & Provence 2017
Sketching and teaching in France was an amazing experience! I sketched the Eiffel Tower, a park in Paris, the lavender fields of Provence, and the same olive groves that Vincent Van Gogh painted. Read all about the trip in these posts:
Bon Voyage!
France Sketchbook - Day 1
France Sketchbook - Day 2 - Paris
France Sketchbook - Day 2 - Paris (continued)
France Sketchbook - Eiffel Tower Step-by-Step Watercolor Tutorial
France Sketchbook - Paris Edibles
France Sketchbook - Day 3 - Versailles
France Sketchbook - Day 4 - Provence
France Sketchbook - Day 5 - Saint Paul de Mausole Monastery

Annapolis - 2017
My husband and I celebrated our anniversary with a little trip to Annapolis and Laurel, MD, where we met and married. I kept a small 4x6" travel journal of the experience, and you can read about it in this post:
Going Back to My Roots with a Simple Little Travel Journal

San Clemente - 2017
My third trip to San Clemente Art Supply to teach was just as much fun as the first two.
San Clemente Highlights
Sketching on Location at the Casino - Part 1
Sketching on Location at the Casino - Part 2
Sketching on Location at Casa Romantica
Casa Romantica Step-by-Step

Tuscany - 2016
Returning to Fattoria Bacio for another workshop in 2016 was a real treat; I think I enjoyed it even more for the familiarity, and a whole group of my close friends came along on the trip, which made it even better. Read about the who, what, when, and where of it all here:
Italy Sketchbook - Travel is NOT for Sissies!
Manarola Harbor Sketch
Vernazza Sketch
Manarola Sunset Sketch
"Too Much Luggage" Sketch
Tuscan Hills Sketch
Best Friends Sketch
Chapel Sketch
Scenes from Certaldo Alto
Olive Oil Sketch Tutorial

Maine - 2016
A week on the coast of Maine in early summer is a glorious thing. Spectacular scenery, gorgeous flowers, great food, and world-class museums all combined to make my 2016 Maine workshop there a success. See some of the sketches I did during our memorable week in Owls Head in these posts:
Sketches from Maine, Part I
Sketches from Maine, Part 2
Sketches from Maine, Part 3 (Step-by-Step Tutorial)
Sketches from Maine, Part 4

Tuscany - 2015
Teaching in Tuscany was a dream come true for me. Twelve students joined me in September 2015 for a week of painting, touring, and soaking up all that Tuscany had to offer. It was fabulous! Read about some of the sketches I did during the trip here:
Thumbnail Sketches - All Dressed Up!
Tuscany Sketches + Video
Step-by-Step Watercolor: Fattoria Bacio

Maine - 2015
My first Maine workshop was so much fun I didn't want to come home! Five students joined me for a week of painting, learning, sightseeing, shopping, and just plain fun. Read all about it in the following posts:
Musings from Maine (photos)
Student sketches
Back from Maine with Lots to Share (photos of the trip)
Sketches from Maine: Part 1 - On Our Way 
Sketches from Maine: Part 2 - Exploring
Sketches from Maine: Part 3 - Rain and Sunshine
Sketches from Maine: Part 4 - Sea Glass
Sketches from Maine: Part 5 - Weather Vanes and Lobster
Sketches from Maine: Heart Shaped Rocks and Sparkling Water
Sketches from Maine: A Sailboat, Lighthouses, and More Rocky Coast
Last Sketch from Maine: The Sisterhood

San Clemente - 2015
My first teaching trip to California was just about perfect from start to finish. I loved the ocean, the weather, the flowers, and the wonderful people I met there.
San Clemente Diary - Days 1-3
San Clemente Diary - Days 4-6

Florida - 2015
A short getaway to Tampa, Florida, helped me get through the winter.
Winter Getaway: Sun, Fun, and Painting!

Cape Cod, MA - September 2013
A relaxing week-long trip to Cape Cod allowed me lots of time to paint. See the pages from my travel journal in the following posts:
Sketching the Time Away
Step-by-Step Watercolor Painting:  Highland Light - Cape Cod
Days 1 & 2
Days 3 - 5
Day 5 continued
Days 6 & 7

Maine - July 2013  
With gorgeous scenes around every bend in the road, the main challenge for me when I visit Maine is deciding what to paint! This trip took me to Acadia National Park for a week, then to the midcoast area around Rockland. 
Maine sketches
More Maine sketches

Italy - April 2013
Seems like I've dreamed of traveling to Italy forever. My dream finally came true when I spent two wonderful weeks in northern Italy and Tuscany in the spring of 2013. It was a fantastic trip, and I'm still working on finishing up all the sketches I did while I was there. You'll find the sketches from my trip in posts from May through August 2013. If you'd like to see them all, just put "Italy" in the blog search box and they should all come up.

Savannah, GA - January 2013
An anniversary trip to Savannah gave me just a taste of this beautiful southern city. I hope I'll have a chance to return someday.
Savannah sketches

Tucson, AZ - November 2012
My quick trip to Arizona was a great introduction to sketching the dramatic scenery and very different architecture of the Southwest.
Day 1 
Day 2 
Day 3 

Oak Island, NC - August 2012
Our annual family beach vacation yielded a week's worth of sketches, everything from seashells and sand dunes to bikini-clad sun worshippers.
Packing for the trip 
Day 1 
Days 2-3 
Days 4-5 
Days 6-7
Day 8 

Ireland - September 2011
Sixteen days wasn't nearly long enough to see all that Ireland has to offer, but it left me with a love for the place that has changed me forever. To read about our trip and see photos of the places we visited, check out these posts:

To see the 46-page sketchbook that I kept during our Ireland journey, visit these posts:
To preview all of the pages, or to purchase a copy, check out this blog post.


  1. Leslie, I'd love to see your Greece sketches - I love Greek Islands and miss them a lot. But I can't find your travel journal from Greece:(

  2. My Greece sketchbook is VERY unfinished right now. I'll be posting sketches as I have time to finish painting them. I've been so busy teaching in the past two years that it's been difficult to find enough time for all I want to do with my own art. I'll get caught up one of these days!

    1. Oh that's too bad! Can't wait to finally see them!


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