Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scribbling On the Road

One of my favorite things to do during a long car trip, assuming I am not driving the car, is to catch some quick scribbles as we go.

I keep a small watercolor sketchbook, a mister, a waterbrush, some paper towel, and a travel palette in a small bag with me in the seat.  I try to do some quick work as we go.

And as with all sketching, if I notice something and spend even a few seconds scribbling it down, it locks into my memory!  I can't remember much about the landscape I pass through, other than what I draw.

Here are a few examples from short trips in the last year or so.

First, a country road, typical in west Michigan.

Next, a construction cone.  Typical EVERYWHERE in Michigan (unless it is snowing).

Getting stopped in a traffic jam becomes an opportunity to practice perspective.

I also enjoy capturing weird signs I see along the road.  Scribbles like this aren't really about making art, but about making memories.  When I read this one, I immediately thought, "What did poor Jake do to get himself banned from this town?"  Then I realized it was probably some mechanical thing.

If I have my sketching kit along, I'm even happy to wait in the parking lot when we need to run errands.

Have you ever tried sketching from a moving car, capturing the landscape as you zoom through it at 60 or 70 miles per hour?

I have found that sketching while riding in the car helps me look at the landscape flashing by a lot more closely.  Instead of zoning out to the mesmerizing passing of concrete, I look actively, seeking colors and shapes and interesting things to capture in my book.

No more boring car rides, that's for sure!

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