Since I've spent of this summer/autumn travelling and taking along a sketchbook, I wanted to share some of the things that surprised me:
1. Finding the time to sketch/paint was actually very easy, but I had to recognize that taking photos as I was walking about was the best way for me to document everything that caught my attention so that I could spend time drawing or painting whenever we stopped for meals or refreshments.
2. I always felt that I wasn't very good with watercolours, drawing architechture, painting skies and water, or even sketching food but I found that taking the time to pay attention to the shapes made it easy and fun, even if it didn't always work out.
3. Simplifying my tools to a small primary palette (altoids tin with red, yellow & blue), a waterbrush, a pencil crayon, a fountain pen and a small watercolour or mixed media sketchbook (about 3x5) actually made me more creative as I had to really think through my process & I didn't end up spending time on what I was going to use because my choices were limited.
4. I am loving the small sketchbooks as mementos of my trips as I spent time really paying attention to my surroundings and I also didn't feel like purchasing so much to capture the moment which was limited in any case as I had only carry on luggage.
5. I've also been pleasantly surprised at how much yellow I've used as I typically lean towards reds but it was the colour I used least, totally opposite of my usual.
What is very interesting in this is that I have finally figured out how I want my sketchbook layouts to look. I experimented with writing, creating simpler imagery, filling one side and then both sides of the open sketchbooks and am so happy to feel like I'm finally in my comfort zone. It keeps me coming back to my sketchbook, which is the most important thing. Even though I may have liked to see other artists sketchbooks that were created in a certain way, I had to take the time to figure out what worked best for me.