I am an illustrator and writer that loves telling stories with pictures and capturing the beauty of ordinary moments in my journal using pen and ink and a teeny tiny watercolour kit. I specialize in food and travel illustration, but draw everything from my favorite boots to the incredible vistas I am blessed to see while hiking in the Pacific Northwest.
In 2015 I published my first book of drawings called The Art of Walking: An Illustrated Journey on the Camino de Santiago in which I documented each day of my 500 mile journey in Spain resulting in over forty watercolor illustrations. You can read more about that here and buy the book here. In September of that same year, I left the corporate world after 10 years to delve into the two things I love the most: drawing and traveling! You can read about that adventure starting here. I spent 15 months living, walking, painting and writing in Portugal, Spain, France, and the UK. In 2016 I exhibited my journal work in Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre in Northwest Spain.
In September of 2017, I published my second book of illustrations and accompanying stories called Portraits of Iona: An Artist’s Perspective in Paint and Prose. This book was birthed from my participation in an art residency on Iona, a tiny island in the Inner Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. You can read more about how I started that project here and buy the book here. In other news, I am heading off to walk the Inca Trail in Peru at the end of September! I would love for you to follow my continuing journey by subscribing to updates on the sidebar.
If you would like to hear more of my story on the podcast ‘Women Who Lead,‘ you can listen in here.
I have called Portland, Oregon my home for almost 30 years. I am a Jesus follower and grace receiver and among my favorites are earthy Riojas, bad karaoke, Spanish tapas, backpacking, red lipstick and crosshatching.
TRAVEL ART KIT:
I am often asked about my art supplies and what I use to draw and paint in my journal while I’m on the road. All the supplies for my travel art kit can be found online.
I use a wonderful artist’s journal made by a company called HandBook Journal Co. They are sold in a variety of sizes and colors and have a fabulous heavy-weight paper that works well with pen and ink and watercolor washes. You can buy them online here. I use the large landscape format for my sketching adventures!
I use a regular ballpoint and a fine point Sharpie for the ink work in my drawings. Sharpies are great with watercolor and don’t bleed. The kind I like can be found here.
My aunt shared with me the following idea for a color palette that she heard about at an art workshop: Buy a handful of your favorite colors of water soluble crayons. (My favorite brand is: caran-dache-neocolor-ii-artists crayons. You can find them online here.) I like being able to choose my own colors and at specialty art stores you can buy individual colors.
Using a tiny Altoid tin to measure depth, cut off the flat end of the crayon and place it in the tin on its end making sure the lid will close. (I put a sponge in mine to fill the extra space.) Some of the colors I use more often I put in twice. The lid works great for mixing colors.
To finish out your kit, buy a watercolor brush that stores water in the handle. I prefer the Derwent water Brush Set of 3 . You can find this set online here. When you squeeze the water from the brush onto your chosen color, the crayons will function just like watercolour paint. Now you are ready to travel light and paint often!
All original artwork © 2013-2016 Kari Gale.