"I started sketching seriously about three years ago, in late 2005. I'd always assumed I knew how to draw but realized I didn't do much of it. I love how drawing from life realigns my engagement with my surroundings. Field sketching is a lot like what I imagine meditation to be like — the wiring in my brain switches around. Parts I usually keep on switch off, parts I can't consciously activate start working. And of course I notice details about people, plants, buildings, light and color that I never would have otherwise.
Then, at the end of it all, I get a drawing to show off! It's a pretty good deal.
Sometimes I go out planning to draw, but generally I just try to keep a sketchpad with me whenever I can. I draw in offhand moments, in leftover time — while waiting for a train, eating a lonely lunch, or hanging out at a bar or coffeeshop. A lot of my best sketches tend to happen when I should be doing something else."
On the flag: Johannesburg sketcher Cathy Gatland sketching outside Kippies Jazz Club in Newtown.
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.