Sketches From Wales


Buildings built against the castle walls of Skenfrith Castle

I’m just back from a fantastic two week trip to Wales. One of my favorite things to do on a trip is to take a couple of hours when my wife and I can sit down and make a sketch. Working on these pieces ends up being some of my favorite experiences of the trip since I really get to just sit there and take everything in. Here are the 5 drawings I did.


Low tide in Porthgain harbor in Pembrokeshire

I really wish I had more time for this sketch in Porthgain, but I’m happy with the looseness of it. The Pembrokeshire coast is everything I hoped for in Wales; craggy cliffs, lighthouses and fishing villages. While we worked on this one we met many friendly people stopping by for a peek.


A thatched roof cottage in Sandy Park, Devon

This sketch in Sandy Park was our first one of the trip. We had an hour before nearby Castle Drogo opened and sat down for this little painting next to the inn where we were staying. That windy road going around that cottage is one car width wide. Watching how trucks and tour buses and cars navigate the small roads is pretty incredible. Driving on them is pretty insane too, and actually kind of exciting. While sketching this one, a motorcyclist bumped into a driver in front of him and fell off his bike. He was okay and just hoped we didn’t put the accident in the sketch.


The beautiful town of Beddgelert

Beddgelert was one of my favorite towns in Wales. It’s in the Snowdonia National Park and we used it as our home base for a couple of days while exploring other towns nearby. The temperature really dropped while I was working on this one and I had to finish it off wearing gloves. Such a beautiful town surrounded by the mountains.

Hay-on-Wye, the town of more used book stores than you can visit in a day and Bartrum's Stationery shop

Hay-on-Wye, the town of more used book stores than you can visit in a day and Bartrum’s Stationery shop

Hay-on-Wye was another of my favorite towns in Wales. It’s a used book store heaven with about 28 book shops, a great antique map shop and many other antique shops and places to explore. This shop, Bartrums, was one of my favorite shops in all of Wales. They had great stuff in there. Journals and paper and beautiful fountain pens. It also made for a great place to draw, although it was a very tricky one with the curves in the building and the perspective of the steep street.

While we were working on this one we got to witness some local booksellers buying books from a dealer from the trunk of his car. A dairy delivery truck parked right in front of us for a few minutes and the driver apologized for the inconvenience by giving us a box full of tasty cheese sticks. And Barty, the owner of Bartrums, came by and gave us some pencils. It’s because of these things that I love sitting in one spot for two hours and drawing while on vacation.