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Urban Sketching is like water color journaling in that it involves drawing and/or painting in a journal from life - and adding your own observations to the sketch - even if only a notation of time and place. It is done on location like plein air painting, but the materials can be as simple as a sketchbook and pen.
The purpose is to record the world around you, not to create a finished painting. It can be done indoors, in a restaurant or museum, or outdoors in a city, town or beachfront, on location not from photographs or memory.
It allows you to slow down and really look at the world around you and capture what you see and feel as you paint.
Urban Sketchers Mission:
We are an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to fostering a global community of artists who practice on-location drawing.
Our mission is to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.
In 2007, a global community of urban sketchers began to form when Seattle-based journalist and illustrator Gabriel Campanario created an online forum “for all sketchers out there who love to draw the cities where they live and visit, from the window of their homes, from a cafe, at a park, standing by a street corner... always on location, not from photos or memory.”
A year later, Campanario invited a group of sketchers to share their drawings and storytelling in a blog, Urban Sketchers, where readers could “See the World, One Drawing at a Time.” The blog helped the community gain visibility and inspired drawing enthusiasts from all over to sketch in the spirit of this manifesto: