Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sketchbook Journeys - Arizona: Day 3

As my friend and I drove toward the Santa Rita Mountains on the final day of my mini-vacation, we were looking forward to starting our first sketch of the day. We found a pretty spot on the road to Madera Canyon and began to set up our gear, but high winds forced us to retreat to the car, which ended up being our mobile studio for the day.

 Road to Madera Canyon, 9" x 6", ink & watercolor

Our next stop was an interesting shop in Tumacacori that sells herbs and spices. The palm trees and colorful chile sign just begged to be painted.

9" x 6", ink & watercolor

My final page is filled with growing things: a saguaro that I sketched in the neighborhood where I stayed, and a group of potted plants we spied outside a shop in Tubac.

9" x 6", ink & watercolor

All of the sketches were done on the right-hand pages in my sketchbook, and I wrote about each day's activities on the facing page. Each text page was given a simple painted border in colors that coordinated with the adjacent sketch. It helped to tie it all together and give my travel journal a cohesive look.

I hope to have a chance to go back to the Tucson area again some day. There's so much more I'd like to paint! The wide expanses of desert prairie and the rugged mountains are such a contrast to the gently rolling hills where I live. The three days I spent sketching with my friend Suzie were a peaceful interlude during a time of year that sometimes seems frantic. What a gift!


  1. Wonderful to visit the Tucson area again, this time through your eyes. Just delightful, Leslie!! My folks spent there last years there and we'd always take day trips to the area you and Suzie visited. All your pages are lovely but my favorite is Tumacacori. Extra nice touch with the graphic on the left of the page.

  2. You've probably been to all the places I sketched, Pam. It's such a beautiful area. I love being able to see the mountains from just about any place you are out there. I went to college in Colorado, and I think I'll always have a yearning in my heart for the west.

  3. These are all fantastic sketches. What a treat you had and shared with us. We are the ones treated to a gift. I wish I could learn how to do the lines around journal pages like you and some others do. I never know how to start and it adds such a professional finish to a page.

    1. Why not just sit down and doodle some ideas for page borders? Think of all the different ways you can vary the outline (straight/solid, dashed, wavy, dots, wave pattern, etc.), then dream up some corner decorations (loops, triangles, curlicues, etc.) Mix-and-match to come up with a variety of simple border designs. You're welcome to look through my online portfolio (click on the link at the top of this page) and jot down some of the variations I've used in my sketchbooks. I have fun trying to think of new ways to border my pages. You're right, it does give them a more finished look.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...