Sketching during long Car Rides


Pen and ink sketch done while in the car and touched up with watercolour later

Long distance driving holidays can be pretty boring when you’re a passenger. After you’ve read your books, texted your friends and checked your email a half dozen times (yawn) it’s time to do something else.

I get bored like anyone else but the one thing that sitting in a car for endless miles does for me is to give me time to do some sketching. I can’t sketch landscapes effectively given that we’re passing the views at 110 – 120 kilometres per hour but I can sketch things out of books and magazines. That’s where I got the image above. I sketched it in fine felt pen then touched it with watercolour when we arrived at our destination.

I never go anywhere on holidays without carrying a small sketch book and fine tipped pens.

I love sketching with fine tipped felt pens such as Faber Castell Ecco Pigment, Sharpie Fine Point, Pigma Micron and Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen. I sketch primarily in black, brown and sepia inks – and occasionally in blue.

I sketch just about everything that interests me – chairs, plants, scenery, still lifes, and so on… I carry a limited selection of watercolours and add colour to the sketches later.

Another image based on a photograph from a book

It’s amazing how fast time goes by – sometimes I get so caught up that I don’t notice the views outside the van! I’m really looking forward to the next time I get to do this again.

What do you do to while away the time when you’re a passenger on a long distance car ride?



8 thoughts on “Sketching during long Car Rides

  1. Usually, I take a handful of word searches (and usually buy more along the way), but this year, I became addicted to solitaire on my iPad mini.

  2. I take a hand sewing project with me. Small collages that I’ve put together from found materials, scraps of fabric, a few beads or something I’ve picked up in my travels. Sometimes a small item that needs a bit of embroidery to dress it up. They are nice keepsakes, gifts or small frameables for when I get home. You just have to make sure the needle isn’t near your fingertip when you go over a big bump. :-0 I take sketching materials on holidays too, but never thought to try sketching in the car!

    1. Yes, that would hurt! I’ve also done quick gesture drawings of a landscape in 30 seconds or less – can’t say I particularly love the results but doing this trains you to pick the most important elements immediately.

  3. That’s a nice talent to have. I sing along with all kinds of Motown – Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, etc. and also to James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Beatles, Bob Marley for sure….

    1. srMotown tunes are the best! I’s embarrassing to say that I know little about the rock bands during the Motown era because I was also busy singing along with the same music you love!

  4. Enjoyed your article today and to find out more about you. I didn’t realize that you’re an artist, too. I think your sketches are great and watercolor makes them look lovely. I know it takes talent to create drawings like these. Thank you for sharing!

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