"My name is Stéphane, I’m French. I studied animation in France. I lived in Paris for five years, then London for six years, and now live in Los Angeles where I’m an art director for the Walt Disney Company. I’ve been in Southern California for a year and a half now.
I really enjoy sketching in L.A. and California in general. We have great weather all year round, perfect for sketching on location, fantastic scenery, mountains, desert, ocean, and I found interest in the urban landscape in L.A. I also love sketching all sorts of vehicles, and L.A. is full of vintage American cars, trucks, that I never had the chance to sketch in Europe.
My line changed, transformed tremendously over the past ten years, as soon as I started to sketch on a regular basis. I first wanted to record every detail of what I was looking at, but that didn’t excite me at all. It wasn’t spontaneous, and I didn’t see or feel the life in my drawings when I was looking at them later on.
So, naturally, my lines became more and more casual and loose, as I was forcing myself to record everything on paper very quickly and just keep the essence of a subject. I really believe in the economy of the lines, I use the less lines possible to say what I have to say with my sketches, and especially when I sketch intricate things.
I don’t want my sketches to look like a photo, I want them to tell a different story and most of all, I want them to be a sketch. By that, I mean that I don’t want to spend hours on a drawing, I want spontaneity, life, mistakes... there’s no interest for me to sit for a long period of time somewhere and record all the details on paper, I might as well draw from a photo at home if I want accuracy.
Sketching has a sense of urgency that I love, the energy, the life that can come out of a sketch amaze me. It’s about spontaneity, enthusiasm, confidence. It’s giving the feeling of a place, the illusion that every element is here.
That’s why I love sketching so much, I always surprise myself, good or bad, by interpreting what I see as fast as I can."
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.