Urban Sketching

Olives purchased outside Tarragone, Spain from an olive oil producer.

Olives purchased outside Tarragone, Spain from an olive oil producer.

It’s always interesting to see how the Internet can facilitate groups of people coming together for common interests.

Back in the early 2000s it was fun to watch the ukulele community discover each other as we grew fanatical about the ukulele in different countries.  We formed an extensive online network and community. Then came international travel where many of us traveled to workshops and conventions and to meet people we had only known online.  And what fun it was to jam together.

Walking to the Aerobus to go to the airport on our last day in Barcelona. It's a cold, early morning.

Walking to the Aerobus to go to the airport on our last day in Barcelona. It’s a cold, early morning.

Now, I have stumbled on the growing urban sketching community which has had a growing base for 10 years.

The concept of urban sketching is not really new but its revival is emphasizing a much needed outlook. And I am enjoying engaging in sketching wherever I go and have devoted a page on this website to my urban sketching.

Urban sketching reminds us to be mindful of our surroundings. To take time (even if it’s only 5 minutes) to sketch what you see around you.  To really look at what is around you and decide how you will interpret it in your notebook.

Urban sketching is different from a phone photo. For the most part, urban sketching is screen free — a refreshing approach to keeping people from being buried alive in their cell phones.

I cannot draw as well as I’d like. When I see the range of urban sketching styles out there, I believe with practice, patience, persistence and training,  my images will get better.  And I can explore options and work toward developing my own style.  I have several fantastic books on urban sketching, there are plenty of YT videos online and some great online courses.  A friend and I have just completed the six week course run by Liz Steel’s on Watercolors  learning about painting wet on wet and my favorite technique right now, splatters.

Below you see some of my first efforts — many of them created in Barcelona. It is such a fantastic city to stop and take stock of what exactly is around you and provide a memorable rendition of it in your tiny take-along-everywhere moleskine watercolor notebook.

There was even a good-sized USk regional group in Barcelona but since we were there during the Three Kings festivities, the group did not meet then.

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  1. What a wonderful idea, especially while traveling. I know the original post cards were quick sketches with a note on the back, sent home to family to help share the travels with those who could not come along. You have a delightful talent, Judy. I love all of your work– and what could be more valued than to capture such moments in time in such an historical way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are such a great and kind fan. Thank you for your comments and vote of confidence. I will bring materials with me when I travel up North and you may find it equally fun and intriguing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it. From finding amazing artists on this platform and Instagram, to trying out urban sketching myself, I’ve found it so relaxing – and a real challenge. It’s great to be part of a community of like-minded folks. Thanks for sharing Judy!

    Liked by 2 people

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