2-week holiday sketchbook challenge

  The holiday season is upon us and like every year I like to set out some plans for creating memories and recording the summer time in a way that is not just taking pictures and let them sit on my laptop for the years to come. I love travel journals, but with a busy family schedule during the holidays is becoming more and more difficult to set aside the time to fill in a sketchbook.
This summer I’m going to try a different approach and inspired by Sara Midda’s South of France – A sketchbook, I’ve put together an easy sketchbook challenge to help me make a visual record of my two week summer holiday.
How does it work
The challenge is open to everyone interested in creating a holiday sketchbook.
It contains a total of 7 prompts + 1 for the cover page. Each prompt will be developed over two days on a two-page spread to give me, and you, the chance to plan the page, gather informations and make up the time to complete it.
I will be using mainly watercolours, but really any other material or technique (photos, collages, etc) will do.
List of (suggested) materials
  • 8 loose sheets of paper (I will be using A4 watercolour sheets)
  • pencil + eraser + pencil sharpener (I will be using an HB pencil)
  • black sketching pen (I will be using a Staedtler 0.1 black liner)
  • brushes (10mm flat sable, no. 5 round sable, no.1 round synthetic)
  • watercolours (I will be using a travel set I made out of a mint tin, containing: winsor yellow, indian yellow, scarlet lake, alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, french ultramarine, turquoise, winsor green blue shade, olive green, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, raw umber, burnt umber, titanium white)


List of prompts

  • Cover Page: Create a front page for your sketchbook. It could be a fun and colourful front cover or a more descriptive one, adding places and dates of your holiday.
  • Colour Chart: Create one or more colour palette based on the surroundings. It could be based on the colours of a landscape, a garden, a house, whatever catches your eyes, or all of the above. Next to each colour write down the object it refers to; i.e. olive tree, rose, shatter, plate, sky, etc.
  • Food: Create a page to depict the local food. It could be seasonal food, a special recipe, a list of favourite plates, a restaurant menu, your breakfast, a holiday treat.
  • Weather: Create a page to take notes about the weather during your holiday. It could be a weather legend, a 24-hour pie chart with the sky’s colour for each slice, the weather forecast for the 2-week holiday.
  • Journaling: Create a page for your journaling notes to include facts, quotes, dooddles, weather, feelings, daily routine.
  • Landscapes: Create a set of thumbnails to show the surrounding landscapes or local sceneries (beachscapes, cityscapes, local markets, etc)
  • Patterns: Look for patterns around you and create a series of small thumbnails adding some notes.
  • A collection of…: Create a spread of objects that caught your attention. It could be something from nature (flowers, plants, trees, fruits, stones, etc.), from the surroundings (house numbers, windows, signs, etc) or simple objects (vases, bags, shoes, mugs, etc).
I’ve created 2 different downloadable summaries of the prompts to use as a reference (look at the end of the post), so you can have it with you the whole time during your holiday.

There’s really no right way of doing this; you can finish off each page spread or leave blank spaces to add things later on; you can add more prompts or complete the given ones within a week.

The challenge can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

I will be posting each prompt and my personal take on it on Instagram every other day starting Friday 15 July 2016.

Everyone is welcome to join in! Simply use the prompts as your inspiration and use the hashtag #2weekholidaysketchbook if you are posting your pages on Instagram so we can all see your work and tag me @marina_cerra if you are joining in.

You are more than welcome to do this challenge on your own blog, just link back to this post. Thanks! Also let me know in the comments if you decide to join in; I’d love to see where your creativity takes you. Feel free to share the list and invite your friends to join along with you.
Happy creative holiday!

Downloadable jpgs (for personal use only)

July: Around here

This year summer caught us by surprise. We headed up to the mountains for a long weekend, but the epic heat wave forced us to make our stay a little longer.
Ten days on and, apart from having the kids with me all day long, we are enjoying this early and unexpected summer holiday. 
Hope the season is being kind to you! How are you escaping the heat this summer?

This view

We have been waking up to this view for the past two days. It is so familiar to me and yet I’m amazed every time I look at it.

We are loving the sunshine and the long walks along the seaside. The peacefulness of the empty beaches and the magnificent colours of the sunset. Italy if we could trust you, we would move back straight away. For now we will just enjoy our holiday time here.

Last week in pictures

Last week we were in Central Italy, visiting family. As we live in a different country and don’t see them often, we try to go back every now and then for a quick visit. This time we had a special occasion to celebrate and decided to make it into a mini vacation. Little we knew that we would all catch a cold, as soon as we’d land, and someone would even get high temperature and a yeast infection. But despite these minor shortfalls, we had a great time. The weather was still warm for daily walks, our usual breakfast place was still in business and as good as ever, Olivia played a lot with the dog and loved having her grandparents and aunty around (not so much her little cousin!).
We do miss Italy, a lot, and every time we go back there, it’s harder to leave, even more now than my little is growing up. Dreaming of going back one day and living in a nice house in the countryside or by the sea. In the meantime we treasure out time spent there and collect photos over photos.

Italy we love you!

Summer skies // Italian holiday // Part 1

   
Skies // Calabria //Italy
Lots of summer skies from our holiday in southern Italy. Most of the above were taken from the terrazza of my parents house. They live in an apartment on the 4th floor of a building very close to the beach and the view is amazing. You can see the entire Gulf of Squillace, and on a clear day you can easily spot the farthest southern end. I will never have enough of this view and it is one of the things I miss the most. 

Our trip to Italy in photos

We spent the week between the end of April and beginning of May visiting my family in Calabria, Southern Italy. We had a fabulous time, the weather was great and it didn’t rain once…that’s all we needed after a very long and cold winter here in London. We had long walks on the beach, celebrated my birthday, ate lots of ice creams and pizza, went out for breakfast and had some alone time while my parents were enjoying themselves looking after Olivia. It was very refreshing, and made us realise once more how hard it is being just us here, with no family around. 
We are so looking forward to the next summer holiday!

Christmas Holidays wrap up

It was awesome! We spent the holidays in Italy visiting our families. We were up on the mountains until Boxing Day and down to the beach until the Epiphany. We had snow, Miss O met her first cousin, we exchanged presents, we had cappuccino and cornetto for breakfast (almost everyday!), we walked on the beach, we went skateboarding, we enjoyed the sunshine and the warm weather, we loved have family around, we had our first sleep through the night (pure bliss!), we had lots of good food, we went to the local market, we had ice cream. WE.HAD.A.REALLY.GOOD.TIME.