Filling the Well


Sea shells in grid pattern, travel journal by Lucinda Howe

In this technique, you go beyond simply recording, and start “filling the well” with source material for future creative ventures.  You begin to combine your experience of the place with your personal interests.  Of course, there are many ways to do this, but here are a few prompts to get you thinking.

  • Try some new ways of combining drawing and painting supplies.  Buy unfamiliar art supplies at local art supply shop.
  • Start a series of images based on your other interests – architecture, food, sports, shopping, animals, religion, etc.   Make notes on how to use these when you get home.
  • Leave some space to add photos or embellishments with other media after you return home.
  • Observe the local color palette and notice whether it influences you to change your usual palette.
  • Experiment with techniques and themes observed in galleries and museums
  • Pay attention to the design of the page as well as the content.  Think about whether you like things arranged on a grid or randomly.  Do you like richly layered pages with color out to the edge, or do you prefer a lot of white space?
  • Once you get home, use your journal as source material for new directions in your art.

For some really personal and inspirational journals, take a look at An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers by Danny Gregory.

Fair warning:  If you get hooked on visual/verbal journaling while you travel, don’t think you can give it up when you get home!

By the time you read this, I should be back from France.  Have I been practicing my own instructions?  I’ll give you a report next week.  Until then, keep drawing!


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