8 mins

5 steps to being an artist on the road

Mary-Anne Bartlett, founder of travel company Art Safari, explains how to capture your travels with paintbrush and pencil

Take your tools next time you hit the road (tinyfroglet)

1. Get the kit

There are hours of pleasure in a sketchbook (try a Seawhite of Brighton hardback one), a watercolour box, a few pencils (water-soluble and normal) and a water brush-pen. Keep them accessible: when you’re waiting for a bus you can fill time with sketches or studies.

2. Draw on the spot

Steal some time alone, or learn not to be shy sketching in public. Working in situ is more rewarding than working from photos, especially when kids make funny comments.

3. Think like an artist

Explore scenes with your eyes. Think about space, shapes and pattern, tone and colour. Then, use your brush or pencil to explore – feel the contours of hills, the geometry of buildings. Add colour, then deepen your darks; watch your creation come to life.

4. Relax

Spend an hour or two observing and sketching a static subject – relax into it. Concentrate on a detail to prevent being overwhelmed by the whole scene.

5. Let the adrenalin flow

Scare yourself – draw something that’s moving. Even better, draw something that’s fast, rare, dangerous or bigger than you. Use the energy it gives you in your mark-making.

Did you know…? The first representations of animal forms were by Palaeolithic and Stone Age hunters. Early artists used powdered ochre, haematite and manganese, applied with brushes, pads and blowpipes.

Words: Mary-Anne Bartlett, founder of travel company Art Safari

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