Travel Sketches: From Paris to Bali

I don’t paint nearly as often as I’d like to or should, particularly when I’m travelling. Being pressed for time – or, more often, sheer laziness/the social media sinkhole – gets in the way. But every time I do, I find that it intensifies an experience. There’s something about capturing a place you’re passing through or a fleeting moment within the pages of a sketchbook that feels both personal and indelible.

My travel sketching kit generally consists of a Canson Montval watercolour pad (300 gsm, 18 x 25 cm), Koi Watercolour Field Sketch Kit and Da Vinci Kolinsky Red Sable brushes.

Istanbul, Turkey

This historic city – bustling, sublime and chaotic all at once – is one of my favourite places to visit. Each neighbourhood contains a world of its own, and its inhabitants are warm, welcoming and easygoing.  Since my first visit in 2013, I’ve returned to Istanbul thrice (every summer since 2016) but what I haven’t experienced yet is a crisp winter in the city. Someday soon, I hope.

Turkish tea with a view of the Bosphorus

Paris, France

What can I say about Paris that hasn’t been said before? As hackneyed a thought as it might be, it’s true: for those passing by, this exquisite city is an escape from sobering present-day realities.

The café that once drew the likes of Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre, Picasso and Hemingway

Bali, Indonesia

There are two main things that I remember about Bali. One, how incredibly green it was. I haven’t quite come across that spectacular shade of rich green anywhere else.
And two, that I almost collapsed from the humidity.

Poolside, escaping the heat in Bali

Tel Aviv, Israel

Thank goodness for Tel Aviv, says nearly anyone who has ever lived anywhere else in Israel. The city is a bubble, which isn’t usually a good thing. But it can be a relief in a region where politics and religion are omnipresent, and you just want to leave it all behind for a little while to surf and restore your sanity.

Tel Aviv
Frishman beach, Tel Aviv

Hong Kong

I’ve never actually visited Hong Kong, but sometimes it helps to surrender to the unfamiliar and paint a scene from a place you’ve never set foot in. And then visiting it can be quite a surreal experience.

Hong Kong
Temple Street, Hong Kong

What’s one place you’ve thoroughly enjoyed sketching in?


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