Monday 2 February 2015

Meet the Correspondents: Julie Bolus

I am delighted to be a London correspondent. Although I live and work in Norwich Norfolk situated in the East of England, I’m often in London visiting family, art exhibitions and taking part in sketch crawls. The sketch crawls have introduced me to parts of London I have never explored before. I like the chaotic streets full of life and culture and especially enjoy the challenge of capturing busy markets, museums and people interacting with their surroundings.

I stumbled across urban sketchers three years ago whilst ordering art books for work, and I was instantly captivated and filled with excitement that there were hundreds of people all over the world who shared the same passion. I haven’t stopped since. I used to sketch mainly on holidays but felt it was a lonely pursuit but discovering the urban sketchers has revitalized my love of drawing again. I used to do a lot of street photography but this has taken a back stage now. When I am out sketching I am observing, watching and sharing the experience rather than snapping the shutter and moving on.

People have always been a focus of my drawing. I first started sketching in cafes, as it seemed easier due to the comforts of a place to sit, lots of tea and cake and people stayed relatively still. I used a fine liner and then added colour digitally at home. As my confidence grew I started to be more experimental with media and taking on more challenging scenes and capturing movement. Buildings and perspective was something I always feared but now I love to capture the soul of a building and that includes the people that bring it to life. I like to capture the energy of a place. I enjoy experimenting with colour, at times using it to lead the eye to different narratives within a scene. I am drawn to letterforms and often start my sketch with type. Pattern attracts me to a scene and that’s what I enjoy about architecture its full of reoccurring patterns and shapes.

I’m experimental with materials and mixed media mainly using different types of pens and pencils: brush, marker, dip, biro, watercolour pencils and graphite. When its not too windy I enjoying drawing with torn paper by picking out main shapes from the scene, or to break up space and put down a block of colour quickly. I do like to combine this with a bit of digital colouring.

I was lucky to go on the Barcelona symposium, which was a fantastic experience, and I learnt so much from all the amazing workshops and people I met from all over the world who were really inspiring. I’m looking forward to blogging and the London sketch crawl lineup looks exciting have already marked them on the calendar!

Just to finish these are the other things I do as well as drinking lots of tea;
I teach Graphic Design/Illustration/Photography part time at a Sixth form college and I have just started an MA in Communication Design focusing on Reportage Illustration.

You can find more of my work on 

Here are a few examples of my London sketches
Regent's Canal Kings Cross

Columbia Road flower market
The British Museum

The V&A Museum