(temporarily out of stock)
The subtitle, "How to create a delightful journal of your travels at home or abroad", says it all. Stecher explores how to replace your point-and-shoot tourist camera with a better and more rewarding approach to recording what you do -- on vacation and every day. Artistic training and talent are optional; willingness to draw is all you need.
This hard-to-find book, published by the DeCordova Museum, grows out of a quarter-century of teaching Sketchbooking and Watercolor for Travellers at the Museum's school. Stecher pays close attention to the special challenges sketchbooking poses both for professional artists and for those who left drawing behind after fifth grade. The activity of drawing quickly, Stecher argues, helps us to see and experience what's happening more vividly. A few years later, even sketches that seemed hasty and crude can come to be welcome and exciting reminders.
Stecher advocates an interesting and forgiving technique; preliminary pencil sketches, shifting to ink at the earliest practical moment, and then sometimes adding watercolor washes later, when you have some spare time. The book is heavily illustrated, and the illustrations are extremely well chosen, detailed enough to be instantly recognizable but with plenty of visible defects to reassure the reader that you can do this, too.