Drawing on the Go

It Can Be a Challenge

Myra Naito
3 min readFeb 25, 2021


Drawing on the go can be harder than it sounds for a number of reasons. But for those bound and determined to do it, they’ll find a way.

Drawing on the go means you don’t ever have to go without drawing. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Copyright: rasstock)

The preferred method is by using a sketchbook and pen or pencil. MY preferred method has always been pencils, but that posed the problem of smearing and smudging. On my daily commute, if I wasn’t drawing, my sketchbook would be in my backpack where it would be jostling about with other items in there. That movement would be enough that the pencil would rub off on the adjacent page and my drawings would smudge and fade. So, I made the transition to pen.

Some artists will use watercolor travel kits . And of course, digital artists can use a tablet.

For me, drawing on the go also involved doing so on a moving vehicle. It was tough, but I managed to accommodate the bouncing and jerking of a city bus and train. I’ve drawn on planes too and it’s much easier despite the constant vibration. At least there aren’t any potholes to worry about.

The thing that’s perhaps the most difficult for me with drawing on the go is the curious people. Artists attract attention no matter where you go. The art looky-loos. Some will observe quietly and not say anything…but I know they’re watching. They’re not being rude in any way, shape, or form. But the weight of their stare can be unnerving and makes me self-conscious of what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.

And others will immediately engage in conversation (even though I have my earbuds in). You know the usual conversation about how they can’t even draw a stick figure. Some will ask how I do what I do. But whatever the conversation, it’s distracting. I’m the kind of person who looks someone in the eyes when talking. For me to keep drawing seems rude somehow.

Drawing on the go may require some strategy on your part. Obviously, a watercolor artist might not be able to paint on a moving train. But there are numerous ways they can do their thing when they reach their destination. Some of those travel kits are top-notch conveniently cool and when they’re done, everything packs neatly away.

If curious onlookers make you uncomfortable, strategic seating may be required. (Photo Credit: 123RF.com Copyright: Andrea De Martin)

For others, if you’re uncomfortable with people watching you, you might have to situate yourself where you’re not as easily noticed or where you can sit with your back against a wall. Or if you live in or near an artsy community, find a coffee shop where lots of people are drawing and get lost in the mix.

The point is, it’s totally possible and it’s great for when you need a change of scenery or even when you know you’ll be taking a trip for business or pleasure. You won’t ever have to go without drawing just because you’re going to be traveling.

Do you have any tricks or methods for drawing while traveling? Or do you have some difficulty you are trying to overcome? Comment and let me know!



Myra Naito

Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at mnatiodesigns.com/blog/ or follow me @mnaito_fineart .