Thursday 24 September 2015

Call for Entries: Urban Sketchers Exhibition 2015

This post explains WHO can submit WHAT for the London Urban Sketchers Exhibition that's being held between 2nd November 2015 - 30th April 2016 at the new branch of Timberyard in central London which also opens in November.

The post includes just some of the images people who have been on London Urban Sketchers 'Let's Draw' sketchcrawls this year.

Who can submit sketches?

We will only be hanging sketches by people who have been ACTIVE participants in London Urban Sketchers in 2015 i.e. since January 2015 when we introduced the monthly "Let's Draw" events which have been very successful.  The entry form will ask you which ones you attended.

London Urban Sketchers at the end of our visit to Kew Gardens in May 2015

How do we define active?

We had a discussion about this and agreed that we are looking for people who have:
  • been to a number of our Let's Draw events in 2015;
  • and/or consistently posted their sketches to our Flickr Group Pool (the easiest place to see what people have done)
  • and/or consistently posted to the blog
  • and/or consistently posted to the Facebook group
  • and/or contributed to the running of the group
We've already compiled a list of people who we think qualify - and know your name. If you want to know whether you are on the list please ask.  We're also very happy for people to make the case for why you might be eligible

The entry form will ask you to identify what you've done this year.

London Urban Sketchers at the British Museum in February 2015

What can you submit?

Subject matter

The first and most obvious condition is that you can ONLY submit sketches which conform to the principles of The Urban Sketchers 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.

Obviously if you came with us on a Let's Draw event we know this to be true!

This means that you can't submit drawings made after the event. However you can submit work where you finished the sketch later e.g. by adding colour.

Next we aim to get a good mix of sketches which represent both us and London. So we will be looking to select sketches which are drawings of:
  • different parts of London
  • different types of buildings
  • different types of places - parks, events and people as well as buildings
  • different styles of sketching
  • different media used for sketching.
So think about what you have done. We will be looking to select the best of a unique view.

Sketches (or prints) can be for sale but they don't have to be for sale. If sold during the show they will be replaced. Which means if your work is not chosen for the initial batch of work hung it may well be still hung during the course of the show - which continues until the end of April 2016.

We'll also have a portfolio of details about the artists for visitors to view!

Some of the people who sketched the Mall, Horseguards and Trafalgar Square in August 2015

Eligible Media and Size

All sketches MUST be
  • 2D and sketchbook size as we want to hang as many works as we can
  • usual sketching media. (We're looking to get a good variety of different media including pencil, pen and ink, watercolour, coloured pencils, marker pens, digital colour etc. If in doubt email us.)
  • framed using a neutral frame which can be hung easily. (white, black, neutral paint, plain wood - we will provide more details to artists whose artwork is selected)
The entry form will state the maximum size for a framed sketch. Current thinking is no bigger than 30cm x 40cm but variations for a panoramic format (used vertically or horizontally) will also be fine if external dimensions do not exceed 150cm in total.

Printing a sketch

We realise that not everybody will have a loose sketch. Also that many of us would regard taking a page out of a sketchbook as sacrilegious!  We're therefore happy to accept very good quality prints of a sketch - so long as the work indicates it is a print and not an original.

Do bear in mind that unless you have access to professional scanning and/or printing that means that you're limited to sketches which are smaller than A4 - or reducing sketches so they can be printed using an A4 printing.

[Note: We'll be providing advice about scanning and printing later in a separate blog post]

Number of entries

At this stage we're looking to active participants to suggest THREE of their best sketches. See also selection and fee.

There is no entry fee but there will be a hanging fee of £5 per work hung to help cover costs.

Lots of us drew St Pauls and the Thames in April 2015


We'll be making a selection from online images - so we need you to make sure that the image online is the best you can make it.

We aim to do the selection pretty quickly so that we can give you two weeks to get your work framed. You'll find the dates in the timeline below.


The sketch needs to have been done in 2015 AND posted and shared online on Flickr, Facebook, your blog, this blog.

Key dates are as follows:
  • Wednesday 30th September - deadline for asking for an entry form (but we may extend this date)
  • Saturday 10th October - DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES (you'll get a reminder at the Sketchcrawl!)
    • make sure all images are online 
    • Return entry forms and a photo of yourself (see below for entry forms)
  • 15th October - target date for notification of selected artwork - giving you two weeks to get it framed
  • 29th - 31st October - Deliver artwork
  • Sat 31st October and/or Sun 1st November - Hang the exhibition
  • Monday 2nd November - Exhibition Opens
  • Tuesday 3rd November - Private View
  • Saturday 14th November - Exhibition Sketchcrawl - see London Urban Sketchers 2015 Exhibition + sketchcrawl
  • 30th April 2016 - Exhibition Finishes

London Urban Sketchers in Hampstead in June 2015

How to submit your entry

Entry Form and Fee

You first need to get hold of an entry form which we will need to email to you as we cannot attach a Word file to this blog.

Email London Urban Sketchers (see below) by 30th September with your name, an expression of interest in exhibiting and let us know which email address you would like us to use to send you an entry form and a note of the conditions of entry.

This is a picture and the link is not live!

Our entry forms will also ask for a photo of you and some outline details of your background in sketching for our portfolio.

You must also have your images loaded onto Flickr or Facebook so we can review what is available. Membership is free and we can help if you have problems with loading. We will create special albums for nominated work - see the entry form for details.

There will be a £5 hanging fee per work for those having work hung which is to cover the costs of the Private View to which you will be able to invite people.

We will update people via the blog and Facebook as the exhibition progresses.

Help with the Exhibition

We'll be looking for help with the exhibition. Specifically help with:
  • the delivery of artwork, booking in and storage prior to hang
  • hanging day - particularly if you have practical experience
  • Private View - nibbles / drinks etc.
  • Taking the exhibition down and handing out to artists
We'll be asking on the form whether you can help and what tasks you think best suit your talents!



  1. Good luck guys - sounds like a great idea!
    Katherine - I'll be keen to chat to you after it's all sorted, to get some feedback about how the organisation of everything went, as it's something more of us regional groups should be trying out :-)

  2. Lynne - I'll be happy to do a briefing note with checklist when it's all over. I've been involved with enough to know some of the pitfalls. Our timing isn't perfect with this one but we're trying to mesh in with the opening of a new place which has gone a little bit backwards - so right now we're moving fast.


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