"I find myself waiting around a lot in this city; for subways, appointments, restaurant tables. Since I started carrying a sketchbook, the sweetest words to me are, "please have a seat and we'll be with you shortly". I jump at the chance to have a few guilt-free moments to draw.
I generally stick to architecture when I'm out sketching. I love finding those long-forgotten cornices and friezes high above the streets of Manhattan. The stuff you just don't notice walking by. I love to capture run-down Brooklyn neighborhoods that are on the brink of gentrification: Coney Island, Red Hook and the Gowanus Canal. It's all going to disappear in few years and I feel a need to document it.
I'm self conscious about drawing people at close range though, especially on the subway. But I think I've perfected my technique for avoiding eye-contact: keep your head down, draw up to the shoulders, and then if they start to catch on, stick a weasel-head on them."
On the flag: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA sketcher Jessie Chapman sketching at Charlottesville train station with UVA Medical Center in the distance.
Urban Sketchers is a grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing. Consider making a donation today to help us continue to 'Show the World, One Drawing at a Time.' All donations in the United States are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
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 and cherish our individual styles.
6. We support each other and draw together.
7. We share our drawings online.
8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.
The Urban Sketchers logo was created by Italian graphic designer Franco Lancio.