Travel Sketching Ideas

Looking back at my travel sketches from my trip to West Bengal in 2017 with Fiona and Praveen of Creative Arts Safaris, I’m immediately transported back to those specific times and places.

Capturing just one moment in a day can conjure so many things about that day, and this two-page spread in my drawing diary builds a picture of the whole week. The drawings were done either in the moment, or later from a photo. 

You don’t need to draw a whole scene – just a detail will do. You can see simply drawn details of architecture and textiles on these pages, as well as an idea of our travels from a simple map. I love to add lettering to add a description or to reflect on my experiences too.

On our Travel Sketching on the Road to Rajasthan tour we’ll explore all these ideas for travel sketching and many more!


I’ll post more Travel Sketching ideas soon! Follow my blog and you’ll be notified of when they’re posted! Do get in touch with any questions using my contact form, or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading!





Art Journaling Workshops on the Ridgeway National Trail – Spring 2020

I’m very excited to be working with the Ridgeway National Trail on a set of Art Journaling workshops coming up in spring 2020!

These two workshops are part of the Swire Ridgeway Art Prize Exhibitions established by the Friends of the Ridgeway, and taking place on both weekends.

Save the dates!

Saturday 18th April 2.00 – 5.00 p.m – Art Journaling workshop in Uffington.

Capture a sense of the historic Ridgeway and the famous White Horse whilst developing your observation and drawing skills. Take inspiration from the landscape and some of its historic artefacts and build a sense of connection to the Ridgeway though this fun and friendly art journaling workshop.

Saturday 25th April 2.00 – 4.30 p.m. – Art Journaling workshop at St Dunstan’s, Monks Risborough.

Capture a sense of the historic Ridgeway whilst developing your observation and drawing ,skills. Take inspiration from famous local artists, the landscape and some of its historic artefacts and build a sense of connection to the Ridgeway though this fun and friendly art journaling workshop.

No previous experience is needed on either workshop, just bring a sketchbook, pens and pencils. Booking for both is open soon! 

The Ridgeway National Trail – sketch map

Drawing Spring Plants and Flowers Workshop – 7th March 2020 Jo

Spend a joyful and creative day surrounded by spring plants and flowers as you get really absorbed, studying and capturing the beauty of these natural forms in your sketchbook.

12 and 13 March 2018

If, like me, you are inspired by the variety and beauty of plants, flowers and trees as you walk by a garden, through the park or in the countryside, you will love this informal and friendly drawing workshop.




18th April 2018

We will focus on close-up study, experimenting with shading and building up colour using chalk pastels, coloured pencils and pens, and developing techniques including cross hatching, mark-making and line drawing.

21st & 22nd May 2018

What to bring

You don’t need to have a range of expensive tools or materials. I use a set of fine-liner black pens, all sorts of different coloured pencils and a set of Stabilo felt tips, which I love for their particularly fine tips!

So do bring along what you have in the way of black and coloured pens and pencils, and if you have some chalk pastels bring those, and I will bring some too.

I’d recommend bringing a sketchbook or loose leafs of paper at least A4 in size. They don’t have to be expensive. We will be experimenting and practicing techniques as well as making time to complete a drawing, and your sketchbook will be the perfect place to try things out in.

When and where

The workshop is on Saturday 7th March 2020, 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. at Pound Arts, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9HX

Booking is open and the cost for the day is £50.

If you have any questions please do contact me. 

In 2018 (almost) every day for a year I made a drawing of a plant or flower that I collected on my travels – have a browse here.

Booking Open – Sketching on the road to Rajasthan!

Sketching Tour Collaboration with Creative Arts Safaris

I have had the good fortune to travel with Fiona and Praveen from Creative Arts Safaris three times now on the most amazing textile tours. I was so inspired I couldn’t stop drawing, and recently whilst wandering around Vietnam together we hatched the plan to run a trip based around a Sketching Travel Journal.

And so, our collaboration was born, CAS will look after you, and I will inspire and teach you.

We want to give you a taste of Rajasthan – mighty forts, picturesque villages, artisans workshops and elephants and help you create a Travel Journal and Sketching skills to record it all. Lots to see, whilst being careful to give you time to soak it up and sit and develop your skills.

I’m excited to say that booking is now open!

The partnership that is Creative Arts Safaris grew out of the creative interests of Fiona Wright and the professional experience of Kanhaya Lal [Praveen Nayak to his mates].
Their travel agency is built on Praveen’s 20 years of experience in the business. Their Indian Adventure Tours and Travel opened in New Delhi in 2004 and Creative Arts Safaris followed soon after.

Fiona and Praveen share a farm house near Pushkar, India from where they run The Stitching Project  – a textile production project to create beautiful textile products and as much Fair Paid Local work as they can, their excuse to run away is to lead a Creative Arts Safari these days!

Tour dates: 21 November until 4 December 2020

Group size 8 to 12 people.


New Art Journaling and Drawing Workshops coming up!

Sharing my love of drawing and using drawing to observe and reflect, and encouraging others to do so too are activities that are very important to me. I love running workshops and connecting with people though a shared interest.

My workshop programme for 2020 starts in March and I’m really looking forward to running two new workshops at Pound Arts in Corsham, which are….

Drawing Spring Plants and Flowers

Saturday 7th March,  10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.  £50 

In this workshop we will explore and capture the form, colour, textures and shapes of spring plants and flowers using a range of pens, pencils and materials in this fun and experimental workshop.

Throughout 2018 I made drawings from nature almost every day of the year and we will be exploring some of the techniques I used in these drawings in the workshop.

Find out more and book here!

Further Adventures in Art Journaling

Mondays 9, 16, 23, 30 March, 6.30 – 8.00 p.m.   £60 for 4 weeks

Kick start or boost your creative habit with a new series of Art Journaling workshops. Develop your drawing skills and explore new ways to capture your daily life in your journals.

Find out more and book here!

Starting an art journal (or drawing diary) really can get a creative habit going. I’m now in my 4th year of keeping one – check out 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2020 along with sketchbook pages from 2019 including my travels in Vietnam!

If you have any questions about either of these workshops, do drop me a line here

Feedback and a few images from workshop participants….

‘Really enjoyable sessions. I like the warm-up activities and flow of the course content. I never thought I could draw so that has been an amazing experience. Very good, careful, slow explanations of things. Lots of ideas to follow up. Lots of encouragement. Thank you.’

‘fantastic, encouraging support. Very inspiring!’

Even though I was anxious about the drawing I have really liked this and hope to develop this – just wish we had more weeks!’ 

‘Lots of really interesting activities  – I would like to do some more. I have so much more confidence and will take it further…..!!’


‘Incredibly inspiring course covering a huge range of ideas and activities. Thank you.’

It encouraged me to start a sketchbook’ 





New Year – New Drawing Diary!

I’m really happy to be getting my Drawing Diary underway again for 2020!

Since 2016, when I bought my first little A6 diary to draw in each day, I’ve found it a really useful tool and activity in all sorts of ways. It is habit forming and provides me with a few moments to reflect on each day and think about what I want to include in my diary, and then to take (or make) the time to draw!

I keep it with me and draw in the moment when I can. Other times I take photos and work from those later in the day. Knowing that I’m going to fill each day’s entry with a drawing keeps me alert. When I see, hear or feel something that I have a response to, which could be anything  – a view, activity, news item, interaction, journey, conversation, a thought, emotion – I know that I want to capture it in my diary.

Looking back on the diaries I remember everything about the moment that’s been captured and I’m sure I wouldn’t remember so many small but somehow significant moments if I hadn’t drawn them. The act of drawing is so absorbing and relaxing and I know it’s good for my mental and emotional wellbeing.



One of the best opportunities to keep a Drawing Diary or Travel Journal is on holiday. There are pages in my 2017 diary of wonderful times in West Bengal with Creative Arts Safaris. Looking at this page below, I am right back in the moment.

No working at the kitchen table during week 6!

My Drawing Diaries have led to a creative collaboration with Fiona and Praveen from Creative Arts Safaris to run a Travel Sketching tour of Rajasthan later this year! I am so excited about this and you can find out more about the tour here. Obviously it’s worth taking a whole sketch book on holiday and in my sketchbook pages you can see drawings from an amazing holiday I had in Vietnam with them last year. It was a textile tour taken with my mum and lovely friends from the Andover Embroiderers’ Guild. 

Travel Sketching in Vietnam

I started a Drawing Diary in 2019 deciding to focus on capturing moments at work, but this wasn’t practical and was probably too prescriptive. I didn’t manage to maintain it and not having it as anchor to the day was noticeable.

So these are the first few pages and weeks of this year’s Drawing Diary and here are links to my diaries of 2017 and 2018. You will see that I went in a different direction in 2018, drawing from nature, a plant, tree or flower, every day (almost) for the entire year. That’s how much of a drawing habit, not to mention need(!) had formed by then! Here’s a page from two years ago…

Jan 15 and 16 2018


Travel sketching in Vietnam

In April this year I was lucky to travel in and around north Vietnam on an exciting textile tour with Creative Arts Safaris – an inspiring company based in rural Pushkar, India.

I had the pleasure of drawing every day! There was so much to take in – sights, sounds, and all the people we met on our travels from Hanoi to the mountain towns and villages way north, near the border with China, and east to the coast and Ha Long Bay.

I decided to capture each day’s numerous experiences on one double-page spread in my sketchbook. I worked there and then, sometimes very quickly, and also from the hundreds of photos I took en route. Here are a few of those pages and if you fancy some Travel Sketching with me in India in 2020, find out more here! 

Food, tea, fish and snails from the market, my new much needed fan, and a few of the really delightful wooden puppets that are the stars of the traditional water puppet shows. 

Leaving a morning downpour in Hanoi and heading north. Stopping off for refreshments along the way, the landscape starts to become more hilly. We spend the afternoon in a stitching workshop and get the chance to make some exciting purchases!


The women and girls in the mountain regions work really hard making and selling their traditional textiles. Here this group of young girls take some time out to draw with me and they adorn my sketchbook with their colourful and lively drawings.


Mapping our travels north and enjoying a very strong Vietnamese coffee.

Exceptionally quick sketches from a rowing boat!

Yum! An abundance of pineapples and this is how to prepare them!

Relaxing on the boat in Ha Long Bay – it was overcast, which lent an even more mysterious atmosphere to the stunning limestone casts surrounding us.

Sewing with Mrs Yen, bananas all around us at our lunch stop, and then heading back to Hanoi.

Adventures in Art Journaling in Salisbury

Devised as Air BnB Experiences

22nd and 29th August, 5th and 12th September 9.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.

I am running four Adventures in Art Journaling workshops in Salisbury, as ‘Air BnB Experiences‘!

The workshops offer a fun, creative and uniquely personal way to experience Salisbury through drawing and creative lettering.

No previous experience is necessary!


We’ll meet for a coffee and an introduction in The Red Lion, a Grade Two Listed 13th Century Traditional Coaching Inn, and get inspired by looking at different examples of art journaling and doing a fun warm-up exercise. I’ll provide you with a sketchbook from Salisbury’s independent art shop, Noble Art Supplies.



Create your journal page by drawing details of the things that catch your eye, make a map, capture a moment in time and reflect on the sights and sounds of the walk. I’ll support you all along the way and at the end we’ll have a chance to share our journal pages with each other, and hopefully, like me, you’ll feel inspired to carry on journaling day after day!

Click here for more details and to book a place!




Getting Creative along the Ridgeway National Trail

I was delighted to be invited by Sarah Wright from the Ridgeway National Trail to run an outdoor art journaling workshop on Whiteleaf Hill in Buckinghamshire, on 29th June, as part of ‘Get Creative along the Ridgeway National Trail’ – a day of talks and workshops, designed to encourage people to enjoy and find inspiration along the national trail.

I chose one of the dampest days in June to do a recce of the walk from St Dunstan’s Church in Monks Risborough, up to Whiteleaf Hill. Nevertheless it was a beautiful walk and the misty views were well worth it – along with equipping myself with knowledge of the route and identifying good points along the way to stop and draw. When I got home I made a start on my own art journal page, capturing some of my experience that day on Whiteleaf Hill. I added to this page on the day, whilst listening to the talks.

On the day itself, we were treated to a morning of talks: ‘Poems and historic routeways’ by author and one-time poet in residence for the Wessex Ridgeway, James Crowden;  ‘Painting the Ridgeway and the Nash brothers’ by artist Anna Dillon; ‘The Great Nature Writer, Richard Jefferies’, by Mike Pringle, Director of the Richard Jefferies Museum in Swindon, ending with ‘The Ridgeway’s Future’ from Simon Kearey, Chair of the Ridgeway Partnership.

In the afternoon I led my outdoor art journaling workshop with nine lovely people, (including my new friend Tim Baynes who has written a fab blogpost here) all of whom already had either a drawing and/or painting practise. We started with a one-line drawing warm-up exercise in St Dunstan’s Church and then went out to walk up the hill. En route we had a couple of very quick sketch stops, and to take photos, listen, look and make notes. I challenged everyone to make 10-second drawings!

My aim was to offer fun and easy approaches to drawing, to ultimately complete a journal page reflecting a personal experience of Whiteleaf Hill and the Ridgeway. For example, breaking up the page to capture details, rather than feeling the pressure to draw a whole scene, or adding a map and some lettering. I made a couple of resource pages for people to refer to and take away on the day.

Under the shade of the trees on Whiteleaf Hill, everyone had an hour or so to work on their pages. Whiteleaf Hill is teaming with wild flowers, impressive trees and the views from it are stunning, so there was plenty to explore and be inspired by. Everyone created  wonderful pages, which we shared at the end of the session, along with people who had participated in photography and poetry workshops, which were also on offer that afternoon.

Thank you to everyone who took part and made the day and the workshop so enjoyable for me – I came away totally inspired and want to revisit the Ridgeway National Trail again soon. I am familiar with many of the stretches in Wiltshire but am keen to explore the rest. Maybe a long walk over a number of days, with drawing along the way is in order!

There’s lots going on along The Ridgeway and you can hear all about it in a free newsletter. Email to join the mailing list or visit

Twitter and Instagram: Follow it all @TheRidgeway1972 or  pick up the phone the National Trails Team is on 01865 810224.



Nature journaling at Langford Lakes

My friend and fellow artist James Aldridge and I visited Langford Lakes Nature Reserve in Wiltshire to spend some time drawing from the many hides dotted around the lakes.

I hadn’t been to the lakes for years so was excited to explore them again, this time with sketchbook and pens.

At the moment I’m quite interested in capturing my experience of a place by making composite drawings of the elements that take my eye, laying images and textures. Here’s the drawing, which I’ve continued to work on at home, and a few photos from the day itself.

Things to remember for next time – take binoculars, a flask of coffee and a picnic.

Things I’ve done since – ordered myself a lovely set of Stockmar beeswax coloured blocks, having borrowed and enjoyed using James’s on the day; made a start on making a mini pond in my tiny court yard garden – I don’t expect it will attract a Great Crested Grebe but hopefully a few water-loving insects and animals…then I can draw them!