To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Hawaii Nature Journal -- Day 1 -- 12/18/2007

Aloha! Here I am, back in Oregon, with the results of my Nature Journaling trip to The Big Island of Hawaii. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and since the object of the trip was to produce interesting journal pages, I'm going to include the actual pages instead of typing in the journal entries and adding the sketches (as I did for last spring's Costa Rica journal -- see the first entries on this blog, May 2007).

Here I am, all my traveling gear attached, and ready for my Hawaiian adventure.

Some things to keep in mind as you follow along: 1. I was traveling alone so I could do anything and go anywhere the urge struck me. 2. I was determined to be adventuresome, try new things, learn all I could, meet people and ask lots of questions, and I did. 3. The object of this trip was to create an interesting journal -- not necessarily "beautiful," but one that would keep readers turning the pages to see what happened next, plus be fun for myself to go back to later on. 4. Days in the tropics are about twelve hours long, so there's not enough time in the day to do/see/do everything -- but evenings are perfect for journaling. 5. I didn't go to Hawaii to swim

That being said, Here We GO! [The front cover of the journal is in the last blog.] In that last blog, I showed the inside of the front cover, but before I left home I added a clear-plastic pocket to hold flat things I might pick up during the day. The plastic is stiff (you could use a square cut from some bubble-packaging) and taped down on left and bottom edges, so things just slip inside and stay nicely in place. I was keeping an eye out for things to glue onto the pages, and used this pocket every day.

The first leg of my journey was from Oregon to Honolulu, where I stayed overnight in a hotel on Waikiki Beach. Click on the image to bring up a large enough image to read. Nearly all of the sketches in the journal are done in ballpoint pen, which keeps me from obsessing to get everything perfect, as I would with a pencil and eraser.

For the first page, I sketched all my gear the night before, laid out on the carpet ready to go. That's my entire outfit, and although it weighed only 19¼ lbs, I'm pretty sure things secretly multiplied in the dark pockets, because it seemed MUCH heavier by the end of the trip.

The next morning on the plane, I tried out my gold calligraphy pen to letter the initial cap for the journal entry, and outlined it with the ballpoint. I glued on my ticket stub as we flew.

Airports are great places to work on sketches. It beats the boredom and people stop to watch and chat. I met some really nice people, which normally I wouldn't have. The second page talks about the third page, and also gave me a place to draw my plane out the waitingroom window.

If you want to draw people, you have to be reasonably discreet and try not to stare too much. But if they catch you, you have to fess up. I was really taken with this beautiful child and tender parent.

The trip to Hawaii was over ocean, nothing to look at, so I read in my paperback novel -- the only time I even took it out during the trip. Upon landing (no baggage to claim!) I went out and caught a generic airport shuttle to my hotel, arriving about dark. With the whole evening ahead of me, I went down on the boulevard which fronts the beach and just soaked in the ambience; then after sushi dinner in a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant (for $8.50) I picked up some fallen flowers, leaves and seedpods from the trees along the beach, and some coral from the surf to sketch in my room later.

Remember, I'm not here for the night life!

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