My family traveled to upstate New York last week. I had been there in 2013 for a short weekend for an art show, but hadn’t seen much. My husband had lived there a couple years for grad school and had seen quite a lot. So it was a great opportunity to pack our bags, bring our college-age daughter, and go really SEE upstate New York. I brought my smaller sketchbook along, and used a Pitt pen for sketching on location. Our trip took us from the Buffalo area to the Finger Lakes, to the Hudson River Valley, Scranton, Pennsylvania (my daughter likes The Office), Lake Ontario, and back to Niagara Falls, with a lot in between. You’ll see the in-process sketches from some locations below. Because we were on a schedule, I couldn’t add watercolor in some sketches until evening or the next day, some even had to wait until I got home. Then I could deepen values, play with white accents, add signs, pieces of maps, and other things, and really make the sketch shine!
Our first tour was a boat cruise on the Erie Canal. I sketched some of the people on the boat, but what fascinated me most was going through Lock 34 and 35, and having them raise and lower the water in the locks. I also enjoyed the trip up and down the canal and the Lock building. I sketched it while we were waiting.
I worked on the sketch as best as I could on location, and later, added color, writing, and details.
Another sketch I’d like to share was in Ithaca, NY, at the Cornell University Botanical Garden.
This sketch is in front of the Lewis Building. We explored the gardens, and I just loved the architecture, so had to sketch the building! Here is the finished sketch–
Travel sketching can be a challenge, especially if you travel with family or friends. My family is great about letting me do my thing and sketch if we see something cool. We went several other places before Ithaca, such as Seneca Falls, the Cayuga Wine trail, etc… but I couldn’t find time to sketch. Plus I was engrossed in the scenery and helping navigate. So you just sketch when you can…
My husband and daughter like baseball, so we drove to Cooperstown to see the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. What an amazing place! We could have spent a whole day or more there. It was very crowded with tourists, youth baseball teams, and other enthusiasts. I enjoyed learning more about Babe Ruth, so I sketched his uniform.
Just a quick pen sketch was all I had time to do, and I stood in a corner to do it. After seeing many exhibits, I wanted to get outside for a bit of fresh air. The museum is a beautiful brick building on a pretty street, so I found a vantage point across the street and sat under a lamp post to sketch. I added it to the same page as the uniform. It began to sprinkle, then rain, so I sketched as much as I could and then ran inside!
Here is the finished sketch…
Stayed tuned for Part 2 of my New York Sketches, coming later this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed some fun sketches and been inspired to try some on your next travels!