Maps and Mapping


I love to include maps in my Drawing Diaries and have used them to map journeys, places and memories, so I thought I’d share a few of my map drawings and some ideas to try at home.

Most recently, I felt inspired to include a map of my walk to and around Clouts Wood, a Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, in my diary.


Mapping journeys

The double page spread, below, shows the routes of journeys I made over one week in 2016. Looking back now I can remember this week and all those moments so clearly, which I’m sure I’d have forgotten about had I not drawn them in some way.

I built the page up step by step..

  1. I used a Road Atlas to help me map the routes that I took, adding in the names of the towns and roads in my own, slightly embellished hand writing.
  2. I drew in arrows to represent the direction and progress of travel each day.
  3. I drew in a few features, from pictures on my phone or found on the internet.
  4. I added colour and a few key words to describe the main focus of my week.

Mapping places or environments

You don’t have to make a physical journey to make a map. Here are a few examples you could try from home. Map your home, workplace or any other location that you have a connection with, for example a museum, friend’s house or childhood home. The journal pages below show:

Left page

  • An aerial view of my kitchen – not to scale. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, working at the kitchen table in 2017!
  • A map of Wiltshire, with roads and a journey added

Right page

  • A train journey I made from Swindon to London
  • Aerial view of my living room and first floor bedrooms – not to scale
  • A map of the area in Swindon that I live in.

Mapping week 22

Mapping memories

I drew this map of a school day circa 1985 from memory, in terms of the route to school and the location of the classroom blocks. I couldn’t remember the actual timetable of course so I just made up a general day of lessons.

Right – I drew the road I walked to my school and the layout of the subject blocks.




Left – I drew arrows to indicate my route around the school day, from subject to subject.





Below – I added colour, a title and a few symbols to further describe the subjects, and some wording to describe how I felt about some of the subjects.

Below are a few more examples of maps or journeys incorporated in to my Drawing Diaries and sketchbooks over the years.

MacMillan Mighty Hike with my sister-in-law.

Feels like the year is flying by! Week 17.