More than year ago, my friend and brilliant illustrator Serena Chen, encouraged me to restart my drawing and sketching. I had stopped ever since I was a child. I had lived across the street from an artist who had been teaching my sister and I how to draw and sketch. She eventually moved away and other distractions in life (i.e. the other gender, video games, computers, school) took precedence and I just never thought about it again.
Serena pointed out the Inktober initiative which I thought was brilliant so I leapt at the opportunity to focus and force myself to practice sketching again. I’m still a long way from reclaiming my sketching skills but I am enjoying putting them to use as I’ve attempted to sketch a different part of the Bruce Trail (BT) for each day of October. This is of course based on my own hiking experiences on the BT over the past year or two.
I’ve been posting them regularly on Instagram but in case you missed them, here is a glimpse of a few of my personal favourites:
You’ll may notice that my favourites don’t exactly include a lot of subject matter around trees. Don’t get me wrong, I love that aspect of the Bruce Trail but it gets a little bland when I’m sketching trees all the time. These are some of the most unique aspects of the Bruce Trail that I’ve encountered and have had the opportunity so far to sketch.
During my travels in Peru, I took a lot of photographs but as I mentioned earlier in 2013 during my trip to Wyoming, I wanted to take fewer photographs and spend more time taking in the sights, smells, and sounds. Some might say, travel slower. This also played a role in my goal to travel lighter and in a minimalist manner. I had sold off a substantial chunk of my photography equipment and ended up buying a smaller and lighter but quality camera (Fuji X-Pro1). Then I took a moleskin and a pen with me to Peru as a journal.
My friend Serena (from SerenaDraws) had gifted me with a pigma micron pen but being as I was reacquainting myself with sketching, I wasn’t accustomed to using such an archival ink pen — so I kept using a ball point pen until I lost it during my travel.
It was a bit of a challenge to find the time to sketch. I found the best time for me to sketch was either when I was simply sitting on a bench observing street life or when I was spending too much time on the bus on route somewhere.
The challenging aspect of trying to draw while sitting on a bus is the fact that the road is a bit … bumpy. That said, I would look out the window and whenever I saw something of interest, I’d try to retain the image in my mind and sketch out whatever I would remember.
Though I didn’t get much of a chance to sketch during my hike on the Lares Trek, I did attempt to capture a bit of a quick sketch of the hike in the remote mountainous region.
When I had the opportunity to visit the jungle, it was so hot there during the day that one would just sit in the shade. This was the ideal time for me to do some sketching (or napping). Way too hot!
I’m still trying to figure out how to replicate the character of trees as well as the look of leaves. This will require a bit of practice. That said, I was a pretty happy camper when I finally left the hot hot jungle.
I’ll post some photographs from Peru later but I thought I’d share some sketches first. Not the nicest to look at on lined paper I know … but it’s all in the name of practice!