Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Road Trip Sketches

I've been wanting to visit Asheville, NC, for several years and in mid-June my husband Fred and I finally found the time to make the trip. Finding myself with seven hours of empty time on my hands while Fred chauffeured me to vacationland, I started sketching in the van. Since the scenery was moving by at 70 mph, I decided to sketch what was in front of me:

I have these nifty new water brushes that make it so easy to sketch with minimal equipment. A travel watercolor paint set and my water brushes, and I'm all set.

We enjoyed seeing the masses of crown vetch covering the roadsides, so when we stopped for gas, I picked some to draw.


Since I need a lot more practice drawing people, I thought I'd try rendering the model sitting right next to me. Our daughter Sara said he looks like a Ken doll. Hey, at least I'm not afraid to try!

Driving through the mountains of Virginia ...

Our first stop in Asheville was at a Thai restaurant for some lunch. I loved the fortune I got in my cookie ...

A little something before dinner ...

The next two sketches were done in a little 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" sketchbook I keep in my purse - just in case I have a sketching emergency!

Sitting at a cafe the next morning having a scrumptious breakfast and wonderful mocha ...

The view across the square on a sunny summer morning ...

It was a beautiful evening for sketching at Pack Square Park  ...

The next day we toured the Biltmore and I did this painting of the gardens and conservatory ...

On the trip home I wanted to sketch but didn't want to do another bucolic country scene, so I decided to start drawing some of the vehicles we were following. It was fun trying to find something interesting to draw, like an emergency vehicle or a boat or a car with an overloaded roof rack. I did each little drawing in just a minute or two, then painted them later at home.

Doing a sketch of a scene seems to imprint it on my mind so much more than taking a picture does. It's not always easy to find the time to do a drawing when we're on vacation (or any other time, for that matter!), but I'm always so glad I did.


  1. Leslie - You are so blessed to have the talent for drawing that you do. I know that you will have photographs to look back at your vacations, but to also have your sketches is a wonderful gift that most people certainly wouldn't have. Cherish them!

  2. Your life overflows with your wonderful art! I've always been so impressed with your talent! Keep drawing and blogging. I'm a follower for sure! :)
    Sandy Garnett

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  4. Hi Leslie! So glad to subscribe to your blog. I love this post as I was inspired whilst traveling to keep travel journals and teach myself to sketch in lieu of hundreds of pictures. Please, please read "How To Make A Journal of Your Life" by D. Price. It's a little 4"x6" book which is such a treasure full of inspiration. The ENTIRE BOOK is readable in Google Books. I read it on almost every trip!

  5. Joanne,
    "How to Make a Journal of Your Life" was one of the first books I read when I got into sketching a few years ago. I love it. If you like that book, you should take a look at Danny Gregory's books, "The Creative License," "An Illustrated Life," and "Everyday Matters." So inspiring!

  6. Hi Les!
    I'm your long-time admirer and first-time blog commenter. Your flower pictures and quotes were absolutely beautiful, and I read it twice just to make sure I didn't miss anything! I read the granola recipe right after I returned to my room after the powdered egg/sausage/muffin hotel breakfast, and got hungry all over again. At least I have some of your homemade lasagna for lunch today. Thanks for making my life on the road a bit more like home.
    With love from your hubby,

  7. Wow, thank you for showing me those water brushes! I love to experiment with water colors and lately have only used my water color pencils as marking pencils in my workroom (they work great for that btw). No time for creativity lately in my life, I envy you :) I also envy the fact that you have so many followers in only one week? I have been trying so hard to get more followers and still only have about 23... I started my blog in February! I will follow you. Take a look at my blog, hopefully you will like it too. I decided to make my blog my official 'website'. So I need to keep mine more structured towards my business, but I do use my facebook for more of the non-business related fun stuff :) I can't wait to follow you on your blog! Michelle / Michelle Jamieson Interiors / www.jamiesoninteriors.com

  8. HI Leslie! I enjoyed reading this so much!
    I was not so sure about a "blog"...but as I was reading after knowing you for so long I could hear you "speaking" in your writing! And you know I love your watercolors! You always have your hands in so much and everything you do is always so beautiful...and tastes so good!
    Keep it going girl! see you soon!
    P.S. Fred's comments above...so sweet!
    Sandy Gullborg


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