I had a look at the work of Sophie Peanut using the following links:

As I am on holiday from June until the end of August, I will be travelling between Kuwait, South Africa and Scotland.

I have decided to use my observational drawings from my holiday as a type of travel journal. I have not started in a new sketchbook especially as a travel journal, I continued in one of the sketchbooks I was already using. I hope that it will not be too confusing.

Tips for quick sketching by Sophie Peanut:

– “Don’t think – just draw

– Embrace wonky

– Not all drawings will be finished

– Make time for quick sketches”

Comparing the working methods of Sophie Peanut to my own:

– “Don’t think – Just draw”

I am trying to follow her approach to just start drawing, instead of thinking and planning too much. Still need practise with that.

“Embrace wonky”

I have been trying to, as my rapid sketches usually come out very wonky and out of proportion. Often not resembling the object/ scene I’m trying to sketch. I think it will take me time to accept or embrace it, especially when others see my sketches.

– “Not all drawings will be finished”

I usually draw the outlines first and then fill in the detail/ rest later when I’m home.

“Make time for quick sketches”

Although I’ve been trying to take my sketchbook along on some outings, I need to learn to carry it along with me wherever I go. I often forget it at home when I’m on my way out.

I don’t think I can identify any pitfalls in the work of Sophie Peanut. She has a very unique style and her rapid drawings are very effective. The way she combines her rapid drawings with colour creates beautiful illustrations.

Some notes I made during the process of getting used to drawing on location:

– I started off drawing the outlines roughly on location, and then filled in the detail later.

– Sometimes, I get the ratio wrong and have to leave bits out to make ‘everything’ fit in.

– Other times, I change/add/leave out things in my drawings.

– I find I prefer drawing things I’m drawn to at the time, depending on my mood or time available.

– So far, I have decided to keep it simple, using only micron pens. I find it easier to draw on location, when I don’t have too many things with me.

– I prefer sitting in the car while drawing in public/ on location. I don’t like the thought of someone coming over and looking at my sketches. Hopefully in the future I will get more adventurous about observational drawing in public/ on location.

– If you notice any blotches, they used to be midges.. who landed on my sketchbook while I was drawing. 🙈

– I find it’s easier to use a micron pen with finer lines to fill in the detail.

– I still find it hard to draw directly in the sketchbook, instead of doing it roughly on paper first. I am slowly getting more used to it.

– I found it hard drawing the little boats as they kept moving and the scenery kept changing. I ended up just filling in the bits using my own imagination.

Another artist whose work has a rapid style:

Sarah Nisbett:

I also used the following Instagram page for inspiration for rapid sketches & drawing on location:

For this part of the course, I read through the book, “SKETCH YOUR WORLD, Essential techniques for drawing on location” by James Hobbs. It gave me a lot of tips and ideas to use in the future. I think it will be great to re-read it again as different ideas could be useful in different situations.


Although I thought I’d use my observational drawings as a type of travel journal, I didn’t manage to sketch on all the parts of my holiday.

Although I didn’t create my own travel journal in the end, I decided to make a little ‘Foldy’ travel journal for one of my pareidolia characters, Typolina. I used some of these observational sketches as part of the collages for Typolina’s background layouts.

I also used one of the sketches for a background layout for one of the bridal pareidolia characters.


NAME: Juanita du Toit


COURSE: Illustration 1: Illustration Sketchbooks

The Open College of the Arts (University for the Creative Arts)

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