Bring Your Travel Journal Pages to Life

In Suzanne McNeill’s Art Lesson, Sketchbook Stories, she shares more creative techniques for capturing travel adventures in sketchbooks and journals. Accordion inserts, windows, day-by-day planner pages, see-through tunnel pages, and much more bring her adventures to life. So many great ways to document your travels, I couldn’t resist trying out a few of her techniques . . .

Suzanne McNeill’s sketchbooks and art journals are works of art. When you look at the pages, you truly get a feel for the location and the fun she had there. They are more than books; they are an experience.

The beach is the perfect vacation spot for me, so I decided that my pages would revolve around that theme. I printed out several of my beach photos on printer paper, and ended up with a good selection to choose from. I enlarged some of the photos and shrunk others to fit my plan.

Photos, actual and copies, are just one of the many travel journal ideas for documenting your adventures.

The first photo I chose was one of my many shots of the ocean. I enlarged it to almost fit the page and added a fun quote: The beach . . . Free therapy for the soul. On the opposite page of this spread, I traced a small plastic cover and then cut out the shape, creating a window. Windows are a wonderful way to connect the images on two pages and to continue a storyline.

I added seagulls above and below the window, because I had already chosen the photo that would show through the window, and the beautiful sky in that photo had me envisioning seagulls soaring there.

After sketching the seagulls in pencil, I used water-soluble pencils to add color and outlined the circle to make it stand out a bit more.

Creating an opening in a page adds interest and texture to a spread.

After adhering a cloud photo to the right side of the next spread, (I am kind of obsessed with taking photos of the sky.) I had to think about what made sense on the facing page. The first thing that came to mind was a big, bright sun. That made me happy, but it needed something more, so I added a phrase from a song that really fit how I feel at the beach. That did it for that page, but I decided to add gulls to the sky in the opposite page to complete the story.

Your travel journal ideas list should definitely include favorite quotes and song lyrics that add to your travel stories.

One of the many things I have learned from Suzanne’s lessons is that your drawings and sketches do not have to be perfect. They don’t even have to be complete to get your idea across. After deciding to use one of Suzanne’s week-at-a-glance calendar ideas, I chose to feature a trip to The Cape in Massachusetts. I thought about all of the things we do while we’re there and documented a week’s visit. The drawings are basic sketches, and some are not even finished, but I love the look. I divided the spread into fan-shaped columns with washi tape, and, using pencil, sketched all kinds of Cape memories. I used water-soluble pencils to add color and a water brush to bring the color to life. This spread didn’t take long at all, and it really captures the fun and adventure of a week on The Cape.

A little washi tape and simple sketches make recording your travel adventures easy and fun.

These are just a few of Suzanne’s  travel journal ideas. Whatever adventures you have planned this season, include her fun techniques to add memorable moments to your art journal in exciting new ways.

Cloth Paper Scissors Art Lessons are full of techniques and ideas to invigorate your creative spirit. Don’t miss out.


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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