Starting at the End: Spring 2017 Roadtrip

I’m starting at the very end of a weeklong road trip. We drove through South Utah, North Arizona, and the western edges of New Mexico and Colorado. So why start at the end? Because we ended our trip in Las Vegas, a strange way to end a trip through some of the most spectacular landscape in the world. I thought I’d post the few sketches and impressions from Vegas first, and then move on to Red Rock Country.

Vegas baffles me. Everything (and everyone) on The Strip looks like a caricature. Flat, 2-dimensional, a little bit unreal. Even the people standing in line to check in at the hotel.

Vegas in the daytime. Everywhere you look, there’s people standing around and texting…

Evenings in Vegas. Crazy high heels. Super short skirts. And the neon-colored drinks in long-necked souvenir glasses.

I tried drawing the fountains at Bellagio while they played a short tune.

The one place I enjoyed was the Pinball Hall of Fame. A short drive off the main drag, this place is a labor of love, filled with beautifully restored vintage pinball machines. My kids played for a couple of hours. I sketched. It’s interesting to observe individual pinball-playing stances: there’s the serious “lean-into the game” stance, and the more laid back crossed-legged one, but they all involve gripping that machine like it’s going to run away if you let go.



I didn’t sketch much time on the main drag, but I had to stop and draw this scene I passed by: Only in Las Vegas will people walk past a giant pink flamingo and not bat an eyelid.

That was my day in Vegas. More sketches from the rest of my road trip tomorrow.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in people, reportage, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Starting at the End: Spring 2017 Roadtrip

  1. Love to look at your drawings, and to hear about the great stories behind !


  2. Barbara Becker says:

    I find these sketches so rich and interesting. Which brand/type sketchbook … and size … are you using for them?


    • These sketches are on one of two papers, Barbara: they’re both Stillman & Birn sketchbooks, one an Alpha, the other a Beta.


      • Barbara Becker says:

        Stillman and Birn sketchbooks, especially the new soft cover books are delicious! Thank you. It is magic how you are able to capture those tough red rocks and I’ve tried. And to say nothing of having family in tow to quicken up working time. Do you mostly
        draw on site and add color ar a later time?


      • Barbara, I work only on location: line and color. Sometimes all the line first but often , like with these , it’s color before line.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Carmela Sunnyvale says:

    What fun series of sketches–so expressive!


  4. miatagrrl says:

    Hilarious! You nailed all the poses and characatures of Vegas!

    – TIna


  5. Love this series of sketches – you’ve really captured the flash and audacity of the place. And I love your commentary – people as caricatures and gripping the machine like they’re going to run away. One of the few times I visited, I was appalled by how superstitious they are. I suppose people may find reasons to gawk and laugh at me, but Las Vegas is quite a strange trip.


  6. Love your chunky figures


  7. Barbara Pelly says:

    I loved the sketches and your rich commentary about this area.
    I’ve wanted to do this road trip since visiting Sedona last year.
    Now I want to go even more.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful account of this trip with us


  8. Are the great neon signs gone on the older part of the strip? I totally expected you to sketch them!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. soberinvegas says:

    love love love these! what incredible artwork 🙂


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