Travel painting ideas to inspire you

Get creative with these fun travel painting ideas! Capture a memory or paint while on your travels and create stunning artwork for your home.

Travel painting ideas

Capture the spirit of your travels with Esther Curtis’ travel painting tutorial. Using holiday snaps as inspiration for your art is a great way to make your travels even more memorable. This tutorial combines detailed line drawings with vivid colour to create a contemporary piece of art so evocative you’ll be instantly transported back to your favourite destinations.

Esther says: “Choose a scene with plenty of space around it that can be blocked out in colour. If this is not possible, use your artistic licence!”

Struggling to know where to put the shadows? “If you’re not sure where to add the shade, squint a little to see where the darkest areas of your scene need to be,” Esther advises.

Looking to stock up on craft supplies? Check out our guides to the best watercolour paints and the best acrylic paints. If you’d like to get into digital art, then take a look at our best drawing tablet for beginners guide.

If you’re looking for more painting inspiration, explore our watercolor painting ideas, art journal ideas, fall painting ideas, watercolour painting for beginners guide and our acrylic painting guide.

Read on to try Esther’s travel painting ideas…


You Will Need

  • Pencil
  • Fineliners or drawing pens (2 thicknesses)
  • Watercolour paint or ink
  • Medium brush
  • Gouache or acrylic paint

Total time:

Step 1

Sketch the rough shape of your scene lightly in pencil.

Travel painting ideas step 1

Step 2

Use the thinner pen to begin sketching. Don’t worry too much about accuracy – you’re just trying to capture an atmosphere or feeling, and your sketchy working lines will add dynamism to the drawing.

Travel painting ideas step 2

Step 3

Using the thicker weight pen, add bolder lines where needed.

Travel painting ideas step 3

Step 4

Next, add shadows to give the image depth and form. Use watercolour paint or ink that’s been watered down to a light grey. Loosely fill the shade in with a medium brush.

Travel painting ideas step 4

Step 5

Using a mix of black, loosely paint in trees, foliage and any extra dark shadows that need a boost.

Travel painting ideas step 5

Step 6

Use gouache, acrylic, marker pen or anything that gives a strong, flat colour to fill in the space around your building or scene. Don’t worry about getting the colour right to edges of the drawing – a small gap looks good!

Travel painting ideas step 6

You’ve finished! Display your travel painting in your home to remind you of your adventures!

Travel painting ideas