Throwback Thursday: Oaxaca, 9 years ago

I thought I’d do a Throwback Thursday every once in a while, it’s fun for me to look back at old sketches and maybe it’s interesting for you too? Plus, I have Oaxaca on the mind since I’m going back there this fall (and you can come too!).

It’s interesting to see how much style and medium changes over time. This is Sept 2009. I didn’t use watercolor in my sketchbooks then. This is pen and colored pencil in a Moleskine book.
The Colors Of OaxacaThe Colors Of OaxacaThe Colors Of OaxacaThe Colors Of OaxacaThe Colors Of OaxacaThe Colors Of Oaxaca

I travelled and sketched with a young family (my kids were 3 and 5). And I didn’t know it then, but it taught me some really valuable things about travel sketching:
– Draw small, it goes much quicker this way
– Draw the small moments and little stuff, they’re big memories
– Don’t make each drawing precious, each page is a collection, a narrative
– Supplement images with words, they add up to more than a sum of the parts
– Keep your tools simple
– Keep a book with you all the time, steal in a sketch when you can.

And while the media I work in and my style has shifted over the years, I still keep these same things in mind when I travel-sketch. Oaxaca was my first trip to Mexico but there have been many over the years. I love the color, the food, the architecture, and the friendly people.

Here are some sketches from other trips.

From Mexico City, 2011, two favorite memories: the gorgeous Art Deco building. Palacio de Bellas Artes. From the years when I used Sharpie Pens and watercolors. I don’t use Sharpies anymore, but I do love how they were fast-flowing and let me draw freely.

And Frida Kahlo’s magical Casa Azul. That blue is magical.

From the Yucatan Peninsula, 2016
People at the beach, Isla Mujeres. Have I mentioned I love drawing people? They say so much about place.


And the incredible pyramid at Coba in the middle of a jungle.cancun_coba_ruins1

And from January 2018 in Mexico City and San Miguel Allende: drawing just about everything that catches my eye. mexcity_chapel

It’s interesting to see how work changes over the years, and yet at its core it doesn’t. How I make marks seems to change, tools change, but what interests me doesn’t change. Do you feel like that, looking back at your work?

I’m back in Mexico this October, back to Oaxaca, and leading a travel sketching experience there with Meagan Burns of Art Leap Adventures. There will be a lot of sketching, but there will also be food and cultural tours and visits to archaeological sites. If you’re interested in signing up, find out more about the workshop here, I promise it will be a blast! Meagan also answers questions and concerns you may have about Mexico here.

Me? I’m looking forward to sketching it all of course. But I’m also looking forward to my breakfast tamale, steamed in a banana leaf with a chocolate con agua and to trying a new mole sauce with every meal.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in mexico, Mexico City, Sketch Journal, teaching, Throwback Thursday, Travel, Workshop, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Throwback Thursday: Oaxaca, 9 years ago

  1. Tina Koyama says:

    Fascinating and beautiful retrospective, Suhita! i love how your work and style have evolved, and yet it’s all still Suhita, then and now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TheArtistOnTheRoad says:

    Wow, lot’s of changes yes! You’ve done great work, of course, from way back when till today. I love seeing the progression. I remember seeing your work for the first time on the USk main blog and you’d just come home from India (this was 2010, I believe) and I was so impressed with your work. I’m still amazed at your work today! I think many of us have evolved into less thin, ink-line drawing with watercolor and have picked up a bit more painterly style. But I think the best part is that we’re all still one happy community and having a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reading what you write, Richard, I think the BIG point this piece doesn’t mention is how much support and growth has come from the community of artists! It’s been pretty amazing, hasn’t it? we’re loosely banded, we’re each on our own path, and yet it means so much.


      • TheArtistOnTheRoad says:

        Yes, yes, and yes! The community is as important as the sketching its self. So glad to be apart of such a positive, supportive group of people.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kirk says:

    Nice post. Enjoy seeing your earlier work. The workshop sounds fantastic. Love Mexico!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Betty says:

    Enjoyed seeing these beautiful sketches!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your Coba! It’s spectacular!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So very impressive – and full of joy. The sketches speak of an open heart. Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting sketches, all your people have a sense of being “Characters” in a play, or movie or something almost like an acting of drama.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Me encanta! Dónde los compro? =)


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