Friday, October 31, 2008

Urban Sketchers officially starts tomorrow

Urban Sketchers Blog

Urban Sketchers is a new team blog which officially 'opens for business' tomorrow. However it's actually been up and running since 7th October in order to introduce all the correspondents - of which I'm one. See Meet the correspondents: LONDON > Katherine Tyrrell (you even get to see a different photo of me!)
Urban Sketchers is a community of artists around the world who draw the people and places of the cities where they live and travel to.
Urban Sketchers (the blog) has grown out of the Flickr Urban Sketchers group which was started in November of 2007 by Seattle journalist and illustrator Gabi Campanario.

Below you can find the list of the 45 correspondents - and their blogs - located in towns and cities all over the world. The list is alphabetical by first name. Why don't you see if you recognise any names?

What I found particularly interesting, when I read through all the introductions, were the very many and varied reasons why people sketch - and how they go about it.

Reading through these introductions is a very fast introduction to why people sketch in cities!
Urban Sketchers looks like it's going to be a very active blog so why don't you subscribe by email or in your feedreader - or add it to the blogs that you follow.

This is what Gabi Campanario (Seattle Sketcher) has to say about why he sketches
This is a city of both tough fishermen and coffee snobs, Boeing machinists and Microsoft programmers. Its unique geographic setting with water and mountains east and west creates an interesting backdrop to the urban landscape. I try to capture all of that in my sketchbooks, drawing every day on the bus, during lunch breaks or on weekend outings to the beautiful places of the Pacific Northwest. Labeling things and writing observations around the drawings is the type of journalism that suits me."
Gabi Campanario
You too can join the Urban Sketchers Flickr group so long as you observe the guidelines for what can be posted.
This is a group for all sketchers out there who love to draw the cities they live in or visit, from the window of their homes, from a cafe, at a park, standing by a street corner... always on location, not from photos or memory.

Here are some guidelines:

1. You did the drawing on location, not from photos or memory. Adding color or a few details later is fine. On site doesn't necessarily mean outdoors, you can draw from a coffee shop, pub or grocery store or any other city building. Just make sure the subject is urban. Computer generated images are not acceptable.

2. The subject of the drawing has to be primarily urban. The word urban comes from the latin urbs, which means city. So drawings here must have city elements: streets, buildings, houses, traffic, city parks, shops, stores, churches... you get the idea.

3. Drawings of people are okay as long as they are in an urban setting: walking on a street, at a coffee shop, on the bus, subway or other way of public transportation.

4. You should state in what city you did the drawing. Even better, place the drawing on the map. That would be helpful for other sketchers who may want to draw from the same location when they're in your city.

Hope this helps, happy sketching!

gabi campanario
Seattle Sketcher
Urban Sketchers
My main link with Urban Sketchers is going to be through my blog posts on Travels with a Sketchbook in....... However I will also be highlighting posts on Urban Sketchers from time to time in 'who's made a mark this week'.

I'm now off to start my map of where I've done my sketches in the past and to explain in a post on TwaS why I'm in profile in the photo!


  1. Already subscribed! It promises to be one of the best art blogs out there, for sure. The intros have been fascinating. Congratulations Katherine on being invited!

  2. This was a pivotal post for me as it reminded me of how much I'd enjoyed regular sketching everywhere and how much I've begun missing it over this year focused more on painting than sketching. It inspired me to look back at my own sketches, upload a few to the Urban Sketchers Flickr group and reignited my craving to get back to ink and watercolor sketchbooking. I look forward to following the new blog and seeing your elegant sketches.

  3. My name is Julianne- "the Colorspeaker" and I submitted your special blog to DIGG @:
    I hope this gets through to you-I have been following for the last several days-and just want to tell the whole world about your blog!
    Hah. Thanks soooo much.

  4. It is such an inspiring group, Katherine, I'm sure you are going to have a lot of fun and we'll see even more urban sketches from you in future.

    I see there are quite a lot of trained architects contributing, they really do raise the bar in the streetscapes, don't they ;)

  5. Thanks - I knew you three would all would enjoy it!

    Robyn - they sure do don't they! However I think it's good because when you get people who draw buildings a lot we'll all be seeing different shorthand ways of sketching buildings.


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