Those for whom taking a bus is an everyday, common event may not understand our excitement at a new sightseeing bus service that started in Johannesburg on the 15th January 2013. Buses here are generally unreliable, irregular and mysterious as to where they go and at what time, so when I found out about this new open-top tourist bus around the city, that was 'it' for the 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl.
After a week of hot sunshine, the weather forecast for Saturday was 80 - 100% chance of rain, and sadly, two of our sketchers got lost in a confusing and nerve-wracking search for the bus stop - but four found our way there and got on the lovely new red bus.
Trying to sketch was a novel and bumpily fruitless exercise, but it was wonderful to see the city from this different viewpoint. I wish we could have got the driver to stop here and there for 15 minutes or so - so many interesting, sketchable sights. The weather held out and we got to Gold Reef City, where we got off to do some more stable sketching. A happy hour at a café drawing the mine headworks, the tame peacocks and some replicas of old corrugated iron Johannesburg mine buildings, then we went off to find some action around the rides.
A few minutes after I'd got the main shapes down of the scary Giant Anaconda - John managed a lot more, complete with brave people flying round the big loop (left) - drops of rain started plopping down onto our paper, then we had to run for cover as it seriously pelted down for the rest of the afternoon. So not very much sketching, but a great new experience, thanks to the quest for urban sketching - we will be back!
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.
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