"I was born and trained as an architect in Bangkok, Thailand. After living in Singapore for nearly 30 years, I felt homesick — homesickness can happen at any age — so my wife and I moved back to Bangkok while my son went to study in Western Australia.
We started travelling around Thailand, my homeland that we had not been able to explore because of work, and that's how sketching really came about. We do a lot of drawing and sketching in architectural office, but it's totally different from what we call sketching on location. I also turned to watercolors. Sketching has helped me discover another side of life. I find happiness in doing something that has no monetary value called painting and sketching. I believe I gain something more valuable: walking, observing the crowds in every corner of Bangkok. The sound and fume of traffic, the color and smell of vendors lined on the streets leaving only inches to wade through, let alone standing space for sketching. The heat and sweat can be a turn off. But at least we have the great freshly brewed ice coffee, Starbucks style, that is available in every street corner.
Most of my sketches are done with chisel-shape pencil of 2, 4 to 6Bs on a smallish A5 sketchbook. For quicker ones I use fine line pens of various brands, sometimes adding watercolor splashes. For other watercolor works, I tend to mix them with water-soluble pencil lead or crayon such as Caran D'Ache's Neo Color or Museum. I find more freedom in mixing rather than just using watercolor. I also enjoy the quick lines of brush pen (Pentel ink brush.)
I find myself drawn to scenes with buildings, street scenes more than just human figures or nature. I also think I lack patience for details or desire for realistic accuracy. In other words, my sketches and paintings are rather suggestive, I think! I enjoy exploring with shapes, forms and colors."
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.