Looking at travelogue sketchbooks

As I prepare for my Barcelona trip, I've been looking through all the travelogue sketchbooks I've collected over the years.

I love each and every one.

Sketching while traveling is the best way to remember your trip. Photographs don't even come close. I've been to New York Manhattan, Las Vegas, Queensland in Australia, San Diego for Comic Con, and other places. I took lots of pictures. But somehow I feel disconnected to those places where I only took photos. As for the places where I went to and sketch, I remember them vividly and fondly.

You know that heighten sense of feeling you get when you're traveling? You get that when you sketch. The best way to get that holiday mood is to sketch on location. It works every time, at least for me it does.

That's just part of the reason why I like sketching and why I love these travelogue sketchbooks. The other reason is because sketches are so personal because they are made by hand. There's personality attached to to every line, the choice of colour and sometimes a wonderful story.

Let's take a look at the sketchbooks in that photo above. They are not all the sketchbooks I have, you'll have to check out the travelogue tag on the blog for all of them.

All pictures below link to the book reviews.


This is the concept art book for Tekkon Kinkreet (2007) film. It's not a travelogue but it feels like it. The black cover book has pencil sketches so detailed they make all the places seem as if they exist in real life.


All Over Coffee is a regular sketch column from Paul Madonna for the San Francisco Chronicle. All the sketches are drawn on location. Many are just black and white, some with occasional spots of colour. Paul Madonna drawings makes me feel as if I was standing at the spot where he drew them.


Voyage au Japon, Tome 1: Tokyo is authored by andrine Garcia and Rémi Maynègre from France. It details their adventures in Japan with huge watercolour sketches. It has a scrapbook feel with all the pasted travel tickets and receipts pasted here and there.


Fabrice Moireau is another sketching master. I love his pencil lines and watercolour washes. Oh, if you see a copy of Rooftops of Paris under $50, grab it. That one sells for over $800.


Richard Schilling is an artist and dentist who has traveled to many parts of the world. Collected within his personal sketchbook Watercolor Journeys and sketches and wonderful stories.


Jim Watson's sketchbooks are the type of books tourists usually pick up as souvenirs. They are more like travel guides, but with beautiful watercolour sketches.


A Week in Venice is the personal sketchbook from sketching and travel fanatic Liz Steel. She sketches fast and she sketches a lot. She has a looser style compared to others. This lady sketches with fervour.


That's Mut zum Skizzenbuch: Zeichnen und Skizzieren unterwegs from German artist Felix Scheinberger. It's not a travelogue but I like his colour palette and childlike loose lines. Actually I wanted to feature his other book Wasserfarbe für Gestalter but I keep that in the office for constant reference.


Oh, I left out An Illustrated Journey in the group photo. That book's in the office too. I flip through it while waiting for the computer to start up. It has a great variety of sketches from many artists over the world.

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