The fine art of travel sketching

I always found the idea of sketching while traveling kind of odd. I’m by no means a good artist, and half the time my drawings end up looking like something a two-year-old could have scribbled on a place mat. Besides, I have a camera, right? But for some unknown reason, I’m starting to really enjoy it. In fact, I would argue trying your hand at travel sketching can significantly improve your travels. Here’s why.

When you take a photo, you simply center your subject, press the button and the image is captured. You move on – eager to find the next tourist attraction. But when you sketch, you’re forced to stay in one spot and really look at what’s in front of you. How are the shadows angled off the building? Did you notice the shape of that window? Look at the crazy statues hidden inside that arch. A world of unexpectedly rich details emerges. You start to appreciate what you see not as a just another sight to check off a list, but as something to be savored.

All of us have the ability to draw. It’s a skill we all learned when we were little kids. Yet at some point, those of us who weren’t artists simply stopped. Don’t be ashamed to give your drawing skills another try. You might just discover a hidden talent while creating a one-of-a-kind memory of your trip. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for the world around you.