"It is without dispute to say that SketchCrawl and Urban Sketchers have made me fall deeply in love with sketching, like many others who did too. After I read “An Illustrated Life” by Danny Gregory, I quickly recognized that I am doing something right. I used to think that sketching is a personal and lonely process, but now I enjoy very much going out for sketching trips with like minded people who aren't too embarrassed to sketch and draw in public, and who wouldn't mind people looking over their shoulders as well.
Unlike taking a snapshot, sketching allows me to get acquainted with my surroundings. It is like a process of getting to know someone I haven't met before; you reveal something more as you get to know the person more. Sketching makes me see beyond what I would look at normally, and most of the time, it is also a record of your emotions and even your thoughts. It involves your entire being.
Now I make it a point to bring my sketchbooks and paints along wherever I go, especially if I go traveling. It would be wrong if I had only brought my camera along to these trips. Since I am always traveling with my wife who doesn't draw, I keep my sketching time short so she doesn't have to wait too long for me to complete a sketch. I would try not to include too many details in my sketches, hence I am beginning to sketch more loosely and not be too bogged down by details. However if I have the luxury of time, I would draw as much as possible to put down whatever I see in front of me, including sign posts and posters too. I used to like nature but now I am beginning to be more attracted to urban settings especially in restaurants or cafes where I could do gestural interpretations of people around me.
I used to post as an Urban Sketcher in Glendale, California, where I worked for Disney. Now I am back in Singapore, my home town where I was born and bred, educated and learned how to draw. After spending 4 years in America, you come back looking at local things with a different perspective. Things I have taken granted for have given me a fresh insight to how things are and used to be. My wife and myself have enjoyed Singapore like never before, even though we were back only 2 months ago.
Thanks to Urban Sketchers that have opened my eyes to see the world, one drawing at a time. I am so excited to be included in this community and I would therefore do my best to show the rest of the world outside Singapore what my world here is like through my sketches."
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.