Urban Sketchers, also referred to as USk, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in the state of Washington, USA, supporting and representing a grassroots global community of sketchers.

In addition to the information on this page, please also read our FAQ.

Our Mission

Our mission as a nonprofit is to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel. We aim to show the world, one drawing at a time.

Our Manifesto

  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.
Translations of the manifesto into various languages appear lower on this page.

Officers and Executive Directors

Elizabeth Alley, Memphis, USA

currently vacant

Treasurer and Editorial Director:
Gabriel Campanario
, Seattle, USA

Communications Director:
Brenda Murray
, Kitchener, Canada
brenda@urbansketchers.org | Website

Development Director:
Omar Jaramillo
, Berlin, Germany

Education Director:
Mário Linhares
, Sintra, Portugal

Membership Director:
Jessie Chapman
, Charlottesville, USA,

Advisory Board

Shari Blaukopf, Montreal, Canada | Website
Simo Capecchi, Naples, Italy | Website
Jason Das, New York, USA | Website
Orling Dominguez, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | Website
James Hobbs, London, United Kingdom | Website
Marc Taro Holmes, Montreal, Canada | Website
Nina Johansson, Stockholm, Sweden | Website
Cathy Johnson, Kansas City, USA | Website
Veronica Lawlor, New York, USA | Website
José Louro, Lisbon, Portugal | Website
Shiho Nakaza, Los Angeles, USA | Website
Steve Reddy, Seattle, USA | Website
Jim Richards, Fort Worth, USA | Website
Tia Boon Sim, Singapore, Republic of Singapore | Website
Paul Wang, Hong Kong, China | Website

Directors Emeritus

Matthew Brehm | Ea Ejersbo | Julien Fassel, aka Lapin | Isabel Fiadeiro | Stuart Kerr | Kumi Matsukawa | Eduardo Salavisa | Cristina Urdiales | Steven White | Samantha Zaza | Luis Ruiz Padrón | Kim Marohn | Víctor Martínez Escámez, aka Swasky | Shiho Nakaza

Our History

Urban Sketchers is the brainchild of Spanish-born illustrator and journalist Gabriel Campanario, a staff artist and blogger at The Seattle Times. After seeing an increasing number of people sharing their location drawings in the blogosphere, Campanario started a flickr group in November 2007 as a showcase of urban sketches. A year later, he decided to expand the flickr initiative with a by-invitation group blog where correspondents would commit to posting on a regular basis and also sharing the stories behind the sketches.

In a short period of time, the Urban Sketchers blog and sister flickr group have become popular online outlets for people to share their location drawings. Thousands visit daily for inspiration or to travel vicariously through the visual dispatches from hundreds of contributors on six continents. The blog and its artists have been featured in magazines and newspapers across the globe (see Press).

From dynamic cities like London, Barcelona, New York, San Francisco, Lisbon, Singapore and Seoul, sketchers portray everyday life — from commuters on packed rush-hour subways to coffee drinkers at a sidewalk café. Their open sketchbooks show lively streetscapes, soaring architecture and intriguing faces, all quickly rendered by the sometimes furtive scratching of pen to paper.

"Drawing a city isn't just capturing it on paper, it's really about getting to know it, to feel it, to make it your own," says Nina Johansson, a correspondent in Stockholm.

To better serve this rapidly growing community, Campanario and other blog correspondents established Urban Sketchers as a nonprofit organization on December 6, 2009. The nonprofit aims to organize educational workshops and raise funds for artists' grants and scholarships.

Urban Sketchers was recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States on Feb. 16, 2011. All donations to our nonprofit are tax deductible.

About the Blog

The blog on this website features sketches and often equally colorful stories behind the scenes by approximately 100 invited artist correspondents in more than 30 countries around the world. A mix of architects, illustrators, graphic designers, web developers, painters, educators, and more, all sharing the same passion for drawing on location. (If you are interested in purchase or usage of any of their sketches, please contact each artist directly.)

While this blog is limited to the 100 invited correspondents, anyone can participate in the Urban Sketchers online community through the global flickr group and Facebook page. Our volunteers also manage more than 30 regional blogs in cities and countries around the world and many of those also have their own sister flickr groups and Facebook pages to help sketchers showcase their work and connect with each other.

Translations of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto

(languages are listed in English alphabetical order.)

1. Tokian marrazten dugu, barnean ala kanpoan, ikusten duguna zuzenean islatuz.
2. Gure marrazkiek gure inguruko istorioa kontatzen dute, bizi garen eta bidaiatzen dugun tokietakoa.
3. Marraztean, toki eta une jakin bat islatzen dugu.
4. Ikusten ditugun eszenekin leialak gara.
5. Estilo ezberdintasuna ospatzen dugu, eta edozein tresna eta euskarri erabiltzen dugu.
6. Elkarri laguntzen diogu eta taldean marrazten.
7. Gure marrazkiak sarean elkarbanatzen ditugu.
8. Mundua marrazkiz marrazki erakusten dugu.

1. 我们在室内或室外素描绘画,捕捉我们当下观察到的事物。
2. 我们的图画诉说了周围的环境和我们所居住及旅游过的地方。
3. 我们的图画记录了当下所处的时间和地点。
4. 我们如实的记录我们所看到的场景。
5. 我们使用任何一种绘画媒介和尊重个人的风格。
6. 我们相互支持和鼓励群体绘画。
7. 我们在网上分享我们的作品。
8. 我们向全世界展示一时一事一画。

1. Vi tegner på stedet, indendøre eller ude, og indfanger livet omkring os gennem direkte iagttagelse.
2. Vores tegninger fortæller om vore omgivelser, de steder vi bor og hvor vi rejser.
3. Vores tegninger er et vidnesbyrd om en tid og et sted.
4. Vi er tro mod det vi ser.
5. Vi bruger alle slags materialer og værdsætter vore personlige stilarter.
6. Vi støtter hinanden og tegner sammen.
7. Vi deler vores tegninger online.
8. Vi viser verden, en tegning ad gangen.

1. Nous dessinons in situ, en intérieur ou en extérieur et croquons sur le vif.
2. Nos dessins sont les témoins de notre quotidien et de nos voyages.
3. Nos dessins représentent des archives de lieux et d'instants.
4. Nous sommes fidèles aux scènes que nous voyons.
5. Nous utilisons tous types de techniques et apprécions la diversité de nos styles.
6. Nous nous soutenons, aidons, et encourageons les uns les autres et dessinons en groupe.
7. Nous partageons nos dessins en ligne.
8. Nous montrons le monde dessin par dessin.

1. Wir zeichnen vor Ort, drinnen oder draußen, nach direkter Beobachtung.
2. Unsere Zeichnungen erzählen die Geschichte unserer Umgebung, der Orte, an denen wir leben oder zu denen wir reisen.
3.Unserer Zeichnungen sind eine Aufzeichnung der Zeit und des Ortes.
4. Wir bezeugen unsere Umwelt wahrhaftig.
5. Wir benutzen alle Arten von Medien.
6. Wir unterstützen einander und zeichnen zusammen.
7. Wir veröffentlichen unsere Zeichnungen online.
8. Wir zeigen die Welt, Zeichnung für Zeichnung.

1. אנחנו מציירים באתר, בחוץ או בפנים, ומנסים ללכוד את מה שאנו רואים מהתבוננות ישירה.
2. הציורים שלנו מספרים את הסיפור של הסביבה שלנו, של המקומות בהם אנו חיים או מטיילים.
3. הציורים שלנו הם תיעוד של זמן ומקום.
4. אנו כנים לגבי הסצנות שאנו עדים להן.
5. אנו משתמשים בכל סוג של מדיה כדי לטפח את הסגנון הפרטי שלנו.
6. אנו תומכים אחד בשני ומציירים ביחד.
7. אנו חולקים את הציורים שלנו באינטרנט.
8. אנו מראים את העולם, ציור אחד בכל פעם

1. Disegnamo sul posto, all'aperto o al chiuso, catturando ciò che vediamo con la diretta osservazione
2. I nostri disegni raccontano la storia di ciò che ci circonda, dei luoghi in cui viviamo e di quelli dove viaggiamo
3. I nostri disegni sono una registrazione del tempo e dello spazio
4. Siamo fedeli alle scene che osserviamo
5. Utilizziamo ogni genere di strumento e preserviamo il nostro stile individuale
6. Ci sosteniamo a vicenda e disegnamo insieme
7. Condividiamo i nostri disegni online
8. Mostriamo il mondo, un disegno alla volta.

1. 室内、屋外どちらであれ、その場で見た物を直接観察し写生します。
2. 描かれた物は我々を取り巻く環境、生活の場や旅先の様子を物語るものです。
3. 我々の絵は時代と場所を記録するものです。
4. 我々は見た光景に忠実です。
5. 我々はどんな画材/メディアも用い、個人の作画スタイルを尊重します。
6. 我々は互いにサポートし、共に描きます。
7. 我々はオンラインで作品をシェアします。
8. 我々は、スケッチ一枚ごとに我々の世界を紹介します。

1. 우리는 실내외의 현장에서 직접 보고 그린다.
2. 우리의 드로잉은 여행지나, 살고 있는 장소, 주변의 이야기를 담는다.
3. 우리의 드로잉은 시간과 장소의 기록이다.
4. 우리가 본 장면을 진실하게 그린다.
5. 우리는 어떤 재료라도 사용하며 각자의 개성을 소중히 여긴다.
6. 우리는 서로 격려하며 함께 그린다.
7. 우리는 온라인에서 그림을 공유한다.
8. 우리는 한번에 한 장씩 그리며 세상을 보여준다.

1. Nós fazemos desenhos de locação, através da observação direta, seja em ambientes externos ou internos.
2. Nossos desenhos contam histórias do dia a dia, dos lugares em que vivemos, e para onde viajamos.
3. Nossos desenhos são um registro do tempo e do lugar.
4. Nós somos fiéis às cenas que estamos retratando.
5. Nós utilizamos qualquer tipo de midia e respeitamos nosso estilo individual.
6. Nós nos apoiamos e desenhamos juntos.
7. Nós compartilhamos nossos desenhos online.
8. Nós mostramos o mundo, um desenho de cada vez.

1. Desenhamos in situ, no interior e no exterior, capturando directamente o que observamos.
2. Os nossos desenhos contam a história do que nos rodeia, os lugares onde vivemos e por onde viajamos.
3. Os nossos desenhos são um registo do tempo e do lugar.
4. Somos fiéis às cenas que presenciamos.
5. Usamos qualquer tipo de técnica e valorizamos cada estilo individual.
6. Apoiamo-nos uns aos outros e desenhamos em grupo.
7. Partilhamos os nossos desenhos online.
8. Mostramos o mundo, um desenho de cada vez.

1. Мы рисуем на месте, в помещении или на улице, изображая то что мы видим путем непосредственного наблюдения.
2. Наши рисунки рассказывают о нашем окружении, o местах где мы живем и путешествуем.
3. Наши рисунки это изображения времени и места.
4. Мы передаем сцены которые мы наблюдаем честно и правдиво.
5. Мы используем любые художественные средства и уважаем наши индивидуальные стили.
6. Мы поддерживаем друг друга и рисуем вместе.
7. Мы показываем наши рисунки на Интернете.
8. Мы изображаем наш мир, рисунок за рисунком.

1. Dibujamos "in situ", a cubierto o al aire libre, capturando directamente lo que observamos.
2. Nuestros dibujos cuentan la historia de nuestro entorno, de los lugares donde vivimos y donde viajamos.
3. Al dibujar documentamos un lugar y un momento determinado.
4. Somos fieles a las escenas que presenciamos.
5. Celebramos la diversidad de estilos de dibujo y utilizamos cualquier tipo de herramientas y soporte.
6. Nos ayudamos mútuamente y dibujamos en grupo.
7. Compartimos nuestros dibujos en internet.
8. Mostramos el mundo, dibujo a dibujo.