Sunday 22 March 2020

2020 sketchcrawl programme suspended

(Jo Dungey writes) Given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the predictions of public health experts about its possible spread, Lis Watkins, Isabel Carmona and I (the group’s named administrators) have decided:

  • The proposed sketchcrawl for Saturday 25 April 2020 is CANCELLED.
  • In place of this, we will have a virtual art challenge timed for that date, and will publish more details about the proposed activity nearer the time.  This will be something to be carried out at a safe location of your choice.  As our April meet-up was to have been a joint event for Urban Sketchers London and Urban Sketchers Cambridge, Cambridge sketchers are particularly encouraged to take part. 
  • The remaining sketchcrawl programme: Let’s draw London in 2020, is SUSPENDED.  We cannot at this point predict when it may be safe to resume these activities.

We are very sorry to have to do this; we would much rather be meeting with fellow sketchers.  We hope to continue with suggesting sketching activities and challenges.  However, this is a group run by a small number of volunteers who share everyone else’s stresses and problems at this difficult time, and I think we need to be cautious about the capacity of the group.

The advantage of having an active interest in art at this time is that there are also many other resources of interest available online: art ideas, virtual tours of galleries and museums, forums for different types of art and crafts.  For example, as the major public art galleries and museums in London are closed to the public, their staff will be developing an extended range of online material. 

So, continue to enjoy your sketching.


Tuesday 17 March 2020

The Thirty Day Indoor Sketching Challenge

The Thirty Day Indoor Sketching Challenge
Urban Sketchers London

Start date: Thu 19 March 2020

In view that we are going to be staying at home for a while and trying to keep sane through sketching we propose an #uskathome challenge for those of you who want to take it up. Let’s see it as an opportunity to get to know each other better through urban sketching from home.

It would be good to follow the list and do one topic a day but it is fine to do them at your own time and we look forward to seeing the shared sketches. Each topic may suggest more than one interpretation or need more than one drawing. It is important than the drawings are done from life as observed in your environment but experiment with media, ways of drawing, using colour, shading, backgrounds and surfaces and so on..

While sketching think about telling us a story of what the situation is like, not just focusing on the object(s) you are drawing - as urban sketchers we show the world around us one drawing at a time - this cartoon from USK HK tells you to focus on the context as well as the object to enrich your story.

Also we would love to see the sketchbook(s) live next time we meet in person so please bring them along when we are able to meet again - we hope very soon.

Here is the proposed list of 30 topics (take them one a day or every two days and share with the urban sketching community for encouragement and to keep in touch).

Use the hashtags: #uskathome #usklondon #30daysuskinside #urbansketchers
Share in Facebook, Flickr or Twitter [tag @UrbSketchLondon]

30 Day Urban Sketching Challenge

1. Hello I am . . . . . . (selfie) - introduce yourself
2. Working (from home)
3. Doing daily chores
4. What are you reading?
5. Keeping entertained
6. Do It Yourself
7. Cooking
8. Collecting
9. Gardening (or balcony gardens or pot plants)
10. Keeping Healthy - exercise

11. Hobbies (other than sketching)
12. Favourite film watching
13. Music listening
14. Looking at the sky
15. Taking stock (objects in the cupboard or assessing our lives)
16. Bird watching
17. Giving or receiving presents
18. Hanging on the wall
19. Spring is in the air
20. How are you feeling? (selfie)

21. Choosing clothes from your wardrobe
22. Watching TV
23. Telling the time
24. Playing games
25. Bug watching
26. Looking out of the window
27. Eating fruit
28. New and old in your life
29. Adding flavour
30. “A day in the life of . . .” storyboard (A three minute sketch every hour composed into a story of your day)

Let’s keep urban sketching from home!


Sunday 15 March 2020

Prudent, Wise and Correct......

(John Webb writes)  The decision to cancel yesterday. Sadly I couldn't sketch at home on the 14th but did the day before at Brentford Community Stadium which is nearly finished - but who knows when we'll be able to use it.  There were to be two 'test events' with reduced capacity in April/May which I would have used for some rapid sketching to conclude the project...will do in due course.  Its been over two years - lots of sketches and a great discipline to keep regularly drawing.


Friday 13 March 2020


About the coronavirus outbreak – update

(Jo Dungey writes) Lis Watkins, Isobel Carmona and I have discussed the situation, and we have decided to CANCEL the  Urban Sketchers London sketchcrawl on Saturday 14 March to Elephant and Castle. 

This is in the light of the government emergency COBRA meeting on the Coronavirus which has changed the official policy from ‘Containment’ to ‘Delay’. We have decided to be very cautious, as public health advice seems to be moving towards cancellation of unnecessary gatherings.

We apologise to those who are disappointed and for the late change to what we had said about this event.

We will decide on future events one month at a time: so check here and our Facebook page for updates.  Please stay safe, and post your sketches on our Facebook and Flikr pages.  Remember the draw 100 people challenge, wherever you live.  Do use our Facebook page to suggest small informal meet-ups and challenges.  Keep sketching.

Again, we are very sorry to do this - it was not an easy decision.