Sketchcrawl – 15 May 2010

sketchcrawl* is a full-day of sketching or drawing in a journal, or on some other art materials such as paper, canvas, etc.

It’s usually part of a stroll, alone or with a group, looking at scenery in one general location.

Sketchcrawl Supplies

The Sketchcrawl.com website suggests a list of supplies for your sketchcrawl, http://www.sketchcrawl.com/materials/

I suggest:

  • A small notebook or sketchpad as a journal.
  • A pen or pencil, for drawing lines.
  • An eraser, if you’re sketching with a pencil.
  • Something to add color, like watercolors (and water, and a brush), or colored pens or pencils.
  • Tape, to fasten ephemera in your art journal.
  • Snacks, in case you get hungry.
  • Optional: A camera (you can use your phone), in case you want to add printed photos to your journal, later.

My advice: Keep your art supplies simple and as light (and perhaps small) as possible.

Here are some ideas for making your own mini-watercolor palette:

And here are the tiniest homemade watercolor palettes I’ve seen, in a 16-minute video:

What does a sketchcrawl journal look like?

Sketchcrawl supplies and examplesWell, in July 2009, I took part in a sketchcrawl around Boston’s Freedom Trail. (You can see some of my 2009 sketches starting at https://aisling.net/sketchcrawl-notes-1-11-july-09/)

Sketchcrawls are great practice for creating travel journals, too. The materials & techniques are the same, so why not try a sketchcrawl somewhere near your home?

Then, when I travel, I take those same sketchcrawl supplies in my purse or backpack, so I can work on my travel journals on the plane. (Just remember the four-ounce rule on liquids… no big containers of gel medium, glue, or tubes of paint.)

For me, sketching – with pencil, pen, markers, or watercolors – is a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery, wherever I am. Whether it’s a local scene or a trip abroad, art journaling helps me notice – and appreciate – more of what’s around me.


*  At one point, the owner of the Sketchcrawl site claimed that the term “sketchcrawl” was trademarked. Some of us objected to that, since we’d been using the word for a considerable time before he announced his trademark plans. Updating this page, when I checked the US Trademark database, I didn’t find “sketchcrawl” in it. Whew! I’m glad he changed his mind, as – at the time – it caused a rift in the journaling community.

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