An Introduction to Travel Sketching

95 TUTOR: Janina Maher (BA BSc FCA)

The key to the tutor's method of travel sketching is to simplify what one sees through observation. During this course, Janina will teach those new to sketching, step by step through the techniques and you will soon be sketching whatever is around you. The joy of these sketches are that they are purely for yourself and your own pleasure, to make a moment in time unforgettable by recording it in your sketch journal. This process is enjoyable, meditative, relaxing and rewarding. Moreover, anybody can do it; from the new sketcher to the experienced artist. All materials will be provided.

4 AM
AM course

Course Notes


During the week we will explore a range of different subject to sketch. Janina will demonstrate all the techniques and materials to the group, and you will have plenty of time to work on your own sketches with one to one guidance and support.

Monday.Getting started and a simple still life

Get to know the materials in our sketch kit and prepare some colour swatch pages in the sketchbooks.

Simple colour mixing

In the studio we will sketch a simple still life by observing our subject as big shapes then adding details.

Learn about planning the page (and the book!)

Tuesday.Trees and Foliage

Our sketch today will be plein air, observing the shape and form of the trees and foliage around the College. 

We'll apply colour using watercolours back in the studio.

Wednesday. Architecture

Today we'll observe one of the lovely old buildings around the college campus viewing it flat on so we don't have to worry about angles, corners and perspective.

Apply colour either on location or back in studio.

Thursday. Lettering and Landscapes

We will start in the studio looking at ways of adding lettering and text to our pages, and looking at different typefaces.

Then we will head outside and sketch a landscape establishing foreground, middle distance and background.

Colour can then be applied either on location or back in the studio.

Friday. Figures

We'll start the day with sketching figures, looking at proportions of the head and the body. We will then practice creating simple figures which can be added to our sketches.

If we are feeling brave we will head into Marlborough high street and sketch a café scene. We won't have to travel far as there are several possibilities very close to the college. It is a short and easy walk to reach the high street.

Back in the studio we will recap the week and will select our favourite pages to show at the afternoon student show.


All materials are supplied including sketchbooks, graphite and coloured pencils, watercolours, brushes, black fine line pen, plus accessories.


Things for students to bring


We will be out sketching as much as possible from Tuesday onwards but, in case of rain, please bring some of your favourite photographs from your travels in case we have to work indoors for some of the sessions. These photographs can be printed out in advance or you can work from photos on your phone or laptop. Street scenes, buildings, cafes and food all make great subjects.

If you have any ephemera eg tickets, receipts etc bring those too and we can look at ways to incorporate them.

About Janina Maher

You may know Janina from her bookbinding workshops. As well as making sketchbooks she also loves filling them. She has been avidly filling travel sketchbooks for 25 years on her travels in UK, Europe, America, India and New Zealand. Hopefully there will be lots to inspire you. She has a particular interest in buildings and urban sketching so Marlborough College, its grounds and the town will provide many wonderful subjects to sketch.



Course Tutor

Janina Maher

Janina Maher


About Janina

Janina Maher designs and makes handmade books from her garden based studio, Bind Weed Art Studio. Her ideas are drawn from traditional bookbinding techniques as well as modern interpretations and she is constantly inspired by the range of beautiful papers now widely available. She has drawn and painted from a young age, encouraged by her graphic designer father. After a parallel existence in the corporate world for many years, she has now decided to focus on a creative life and has been teaching bookbinding and mixed media techniques since 2014.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM