Brazil Trip Prep

August 14, 2014 | 7 Comments



Firstly- a big welcome to all my new blog followers. I know that there are a lot of Sketchbook Skoolers that has just discovered my blog. So glad to have you join the gang of people who follow my (slightly nutty) sketching adventures…and read all my ramblings.

If you don’t already all know I am heading to Brazil next week as I am teaching at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Paraty. I am normally a VERY organiser person when it comes to travel -mainly because I get stressed if I leave things to the last minute. Well, this year I have been so busy that my trip is hardly on the radar at all – thankfully last night that all changed!

I got my watercolour kit sorted. 

It is a tradition to always make up a brand new kit (ie. new pans) and do a good clean of my tin (I have more than one – so my daily kit is still functional). I am also taking a few spare… I would normally go back through a few previous trip sketchbooks and work out what I have needed in the past but I am just winging it. I DO use a lot of paint because I DO a lot of sketching when I travel!
(Please go to the Current Sketching Tools page for any paint questions.)

In the past, when I had an office job and worked regular hours 8.30am -7.00pm I used to spend my evenings planning and sorting and recording this process in my sketchbook – calling these pages Trip Prep. Sometimes even a separate book for planning. They were a real combination of neat journal style pages and working lists. But these days – I work all day and just never switch off…so it is very scary to think of all the things I haven’t done…
At least with my kit sorted I am feeling just that little bit more in control (sorta!)


Nearly every overseas trip for the past 7 years, I have made a new dress for the occasion. (I sew cool comfortable cotton dresses with secret pockets). For those of you that did Sketchbook Skool ….

I promised Danny I would make a new dress for my klass. The funny thing is that the film director asked me what I was wearing – no black,no white, no strong patterns or colours… and the fabric I had in mind was one of these. So at last minute the only fabric I had that fitted the neutral description was this beige floral linen – I have been keeping for a special dress. So non-practical for sketching, sitting on the ground and flicking paint… and it was late April so the weather was getting into autumn. It was remarkably warm the week of the film shoot but then the day before it turned cold and so I had to wear lots of layers and you don’t see much of it.

I was sewing the dress up to 3pm the day before the film shoot. Because I was rushing and not following a pattern, adjusting as I was going I made a few errors (lining issues) and had to add sleeves to solve the problem – I record all the little adjustments in my book for next time. (I use the same pattern over and over and over)

So – here it is –  happy with how it turned out but it looks a little shapeless on the coat hanger… you will have to wait for a social non sketching occasion this coming summer to see me ‘modelling’ this dress.

Anyway… Back to Trip Prep…..

I did a search for Trip Prep on my flickr site and came up with this collection
It is really helpful for me just to do this search and scan what I have done in previous years… If you are interested in going through them –  there is a lot of fascinating discussion on these sketches (ah! the old days when we were all on flickr and commenting there)

Here are a few highlights:

2013 Composition
A little insane planning – reviewing the composition of previous sketchbooks and thinking about imposing a three column grid on my layout. You can read more about it here


2010  In Search of the perfect Bag
One of the most important decisions and items that you take with you. Details on flickr here


2012 Carry on Stuff – post on flickr
Previous years sketches are SO useful. They are my packing lists. The only problem is that I made them vague as I was posting them online and sometimes I cant work out what everything was… silly me! A typed list does have advantages…but I do like the visual approach!


2011 Sewing and clothes
And well… everything trip I do some mad last minute sewing and do these crazy planning pages of what I will wear – I always cull more than I draw. The act of drawing them helps make decisions. And yes, just for the record I am not a very light packer! I have done these pages for years and years – since my teenage years when I was sewing all my own clothes and planning my wardrobe.

Original Post on flickr for the brown dress

Review of the previous years big trip packing list – flickr post

More planning(a real working page)  – flickr post

Oh well- I suppose I better get back to actually preparing rather than just posting about it!!!

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