With the bleak weather lately, I’ve needed all the inspiration I can find. Lo and behold, I discovered it in the visual dispatches of Urban Sketchers (USK), a blog site showcasing sketches of artist correspondents around the world.
USK is a nonprofit whose mission is “to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing” and so from Lisbon to San Fran to Tokyo, sketchers employ varying media to record the visual experiences of where they live and travel, and use the site as an online outlet to share their observations. Some like pencil and ink to express themselves, while others get down ‘n dirty with conté or pastel. Whatever your means, drawing is good for you.
There’s a fellow in Toronto who too is struck with the drawing bug and pairs ballpoint pen sketches and writings in-situ. He has organized Drawn T.O., a regional urban sketch blog (essentially the Toronto chapter of Urban Sketchers), encouraging Torontonians with a passion to draw to get out there and capture their city on paper. A frigid -9˚C temperature might not lend itself to a detailed streetscape scene but a furtive gesture drawing of the city’s soaring structures. If you’re so inclined, send your sketches to Richard at email@example.com.
Images courtesy of Toronto sketchers: Jerry Waese, Eugene Zhilinksky, Richard Johnson and Mauricio Munoz.
For anyone interested in participating on a global scale, the 4th International Urban Sketching Symposium will take place in Barcelona this July. Instructors (including architects, illustrators, artists, and educators) from four different continents will lead workshops aimed at helping participants frame compositions from complex urban scenes, develop their personal style, master painterly effects, and create drawings rich in narrative.
Urban Sketchers Manifesto: 1. We draw on location, indoors or out; 2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings; 3. Our drawings are a record of time and place; 4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness; 5. We use any kind of media; 6. We support each other and draw together; 7. We share our drawings online; 8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.
See site for inspiration, information and worldwide sketch crawls near you.