Thursday, 30 April 2020

I can’t go out urban sketching! What now?

[Jo Dungey and Lis Watkins write] As meeting up and drawing together is off the agenda at the moment, we thought we would draw up a list of other creative activities that you might find interesting as a replacement. We already have plans for a 'virtual' sketchcrawl in May and ideas for a further one in June but here are some other suggestions:

The Royal Drawing School blog provides a series of well thought out drawing activities developed by their art tutors.  Some of these are based on their new book ‘Ways of Drawing’.  They are designed to be done at home, although some require a second person to act as a model. #drawingfromhome

Twice weekly emails from Leith School of Art provide a drawing activity which is explained and can be done at home.  Mostly focussed on observational drawing.  Visit their website and sign up to the mailing list to receive the emails. #leithschoolofart  #wakeupanddraw

Many of London’s major public art galleries have virtual tours, films and other activities:

Their website includes video tours of exhibitions such as Picasso and Paper.  There are family art activities, short information films and a regular column where artists share their experience of lock-down.

The National Gallery website features information and images of 2,600 paintings in their collection.  Visit their website to sign up for their e-newsletter, visit their YouTube channel which has many films about their exhibitions, gallery talks and films about their conservation work.  Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.  On their Facebook page, there are short videos with art activities for children, based on their collection.

West Dean College in Sussex usually runs many art and craft courses.  Their Facebook page now includes many art projects demonstrated by their expert tutors including botanical painting, ceramics, mosaics, using sketchbooks and other topics.

Enjoy art wherever you are: the Tate website includes a wide range of interesting material. Artist A-Z shows the Tate Collection with artists of the past and present. Studying art provides career advice for art students, and coursework guides for students/adults covering a very wide range of ideas from the collection such as assemblage, still life, using news and events, mark making, light and dark, outlines. Create like an artist has ‘how to’ videos for children and adults. Tate Kids has short videos with art activities for children, some of which could be fun for adults too.

Sketchbook Skool, run by Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene, have created a ‘Coronovirus Creativity Guide’ with lots of free resources.

Somerset House now have an cultural programe online with an interesting range of events and activities.

The Other Art Fair are running ‘The Other Creative Challenge’ via their website and social media using the hashtag #TheOtherCreativeChallenge

The blog ‘That’s not my age’ has an article, ‘Armchair Culture: gallery-going from your own front room’ where they have curated a good international list.

The typography magazine ‘EYE’ also has a thoughtfully created page of events.

The Van Gogh House in London has created a podcast “narrating a unique journey that considers Van Gogh’s time at 87 Hackford Road” and “is a free downloadable audio walk that can be experienced and applied to any geographic location.” 

Isolation Art School has free tutorials from artists on Instagram with activities for both adults and children.

Lucy Tiffney is a designer creating fresh and colourful patterns. She is creating easy and inspiring activities on Instagram.

The Drawing Room based in London has a selection of online resources for both adults and children.

And don't forget that international Urban Sketchers are hosting a live chat and setting interesting challenges each Sunday on Instagram Stories. USkTalks is at 4pm GMT each Sunday.

Please let us know in the comments if you have any more to add. Thank you!


Sunday, 26 April 2020

Virtual Sketchcrawl 'Let's Draw Twickenham' 9th May 2020

Welcome to the 'Let's Draw Twickenham' virtual meet up for May 2020. 

We have created a virtual visit to Twickenham in the form of a Google Tour.
Follow the link at the bottom of this post; here you will find links to the places we had intended to visit, so that you can find them online. 

Like the virtual sketch challenge of 25th April: Sketch in Colour, we will meet at 11am on the intended day of the real event, May 9th. We will have a preliminary throw down at 1pm on social media, using the tags #uskathome #usklondon #letsdrawtwickenham and also posting onto the Urban Sketchers London Facebook page. Please continue to work on your sketches and post after that if you would like to, so that we appreciate each others' work.

How to do it:
Click the link below, or copy and paste it into your browser. Once in, click on each of the titles to the left of the page and you will be taken to the map and street view for that place. Home in, explore and follow the links to find out more about these locations.   Choose one or more for a virtual sketch. We invite you to show sketches inspired by this virtual ramble.

Lets do it online until we meet again.


Saturday, 18 April 2020

Sketch in colour: A virtual art challenge - Saturday 25 April 2020

You are invited to Sketch in colour: a virtual art challenge on Saturday 25 April 2020, from 11am to 1pm.

We would like to preserve as much as possible the idea of a sketching event taking place at a particular time.  Of course, if this date and time is not practical for you, feel free to do the challenge on another occasion.

This replaces the joint meet-up planned for Urban Sketchers London and Urban Sketchers Cambridge.  Posting on social media, use the hashtags #uskathome #sketchincolour #usklondon #uskcambridge

Summary: The theme of this challenge is colour.  We hope you will experiment and move beyond your comfort zone.  For this challenge, it is suggested you find yourself a subject which you can sketch from observation on the day.  On the day, you will do a preliminary sketch (maybe in pencil), then three quick colour versions of this subject - each will show a different use of colour.  Read through the description below, as before the challenge starts, you will need to prepare three different coloured backgrounds on which to draw or paint.

Materials: You can use any coloured materials for this: paint, coloured inks, coloured pencils, crayons, coloured pens, oil pastels, chalk pastels, collage.

Advance preparation: A few days before the date of the challenge, prepare three different coloured surfaces on which you will paint and draw.  These could be:

·         Paper coloured by washes of watercolour or diluted acrylic ink, or something similar

·         Coloured paper (manufactured): do experiment a bit rather than choose beige, grey and buff

·         Collaged surfaces suitable for your painting/drawing materials

As you will be working quickly to produce three small studies, I suggest these prepared sheets should not be too big.

The aim is to move away from the natural colours of the scene, and experiment.  I suggest you choose colours for your backgrounds as follows:

·         A colour which you find uplifting, which makes you happy

·         A colour which to you is calming

·         A colour which you find warm and energising

These examples are done in gouache on backgrounds of diluted acrylic ink.  Your approach could be quite different, with more emphasis on line drawing with coloured pens, for example.

Choosing a subject to sketch: choose any scene it is practical for you to sketch from observation on the day, inside or outside, a view from a window, a balcony or garden.  Don’t make your subject too extensive or complex – the aim is small colour studies.

What to do on the day:

11-11.10: Make sure your art kit and prepared sheets of paper are ready (10 minutes) 

11.10-11.30: Start with a warm-up sketch, in a sketchbook, perhaps simply in pencil, to clarify your subject and composition in your mind (20 minutes)

11.30-11.40: using your three different coloured sheets, choose a different selection of colours to sketch on each.

Then, do three colour studies/sketches of the same subject from observation (20 minutes each)

11.40-12 noon: Colour study 1

12 noon-12.20: Break (optional!)

12.20-12.40: Colour study 2

12..40-1pm Colour study 3

1pm: Finish.  Congratulations!  Please photograph or scan and post your sketches and enjoy the sketches of others too.

Posting on social media, use the hashtags #uskathome #sketchincolour #usklondon #uskcambridge

Follow-up: Having done the three colour studies, you could choose one of the colour ranges and make a more developed sketch/drawing/painting.