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The Amazon and Costa Rica,
A Traveler's Sketch Journal
(includes tutorial)

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Amazon & Costa Rica Journal Cover... This sketch journal records a two-week winter's journey by a curious naturalist to the tropical paradises of Costa Rica and the upper Amazon in Peru. (click on an image for a larger view).

Jungle Queen... Complete with a detailed tutorial (see here ), this heavily illustrated sketch journal describes the surrounding circumstances of each page, why she journaled and sketched the page as she did, advice on overcoming sketching barriers and problems, plus extra ideas for journaling that can be used in any circumstance. The tutorial is a treasure trove of photos, too, creating an engaging scrapbook of a naturalist's Costa Rica/Amazon adventures.

Each page of the sketchbook is reproduced life size, so you can examine it in detail, while the tutorial shows what the sketchbook page looked like at the time of its original sketching/painting, Tio Juan, the Toucan... and how the page metamorphosed into its final form ~ including corrections, watercolor pencil coloring (with lots of technical tips), and several eye-opening descriptions of problems encountered (and their solutions).

This journal is full of good advice: pleine air sketching in a jungle setting, page design, incorporating sketches of such local items as vine tendrils onto a page as page dividers, useful items to take on a tropical sketching trip, how to use plane travel time fruitfully, 3-toed Sloth Changing Trees... how to draw from a moving airplane, creating highlights to produce shiny or wet effects, etc. With eighty-nine pages, there is plenty of opportunity to cover every aspect of this amazing adventure.

The sketches are in ballpoint pen, and many of them are colored with watercolor pencils (one is shaded with graphite pencil ~ the Giant Monkey Frog... baby boa eating a bird). They are surrounded by observations and written details that transport you headlong into the journey with Irene.

You'll travel to the jungles of both Costa Rica and the Amazon in this sketch/journal. Walk with Irene on a Costa Rican beach to pick up a brilliant macaw tail feather and draw it while sitting on the beach near the crashing surf. Creep up on a flock of skittish, turkey-sized Scarlet Macaw Tail Feather... Great Curassows near El Remanso Wildlife Lodge in Costa Rica.

Feel the moist, warm air on your face as you boat nearly fifty miles down the Amazon River. Let the croaks of the Giant Monkey Frogs and the amazing liquid melodies of the Yellow-rumped Caciques, Amazon children in their dugout canoe... large birds which build hanging nests in the trees around Otorongo Lodge on the Amazon lull you to sleep or accompany a sketching session in the Hammock Room.

If you're planning a tropical vacation ~ or even if you only WISH you were, this is the perfect armchair travel journal for you, full of verve and excitement, and joie de vivre. You won't be able to put it down.

Here are what an actual page and its tutorial from the journal look like. Scroll down if you only see one page.

This travel journal is in the form of a PDF which you can download with Adobe Acrobat, save to your computer, and print out immediately on 8 x 11 paper (heavy paper is recommended).
It is priced at $9.95.

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