Monday 13 July 2020

USk Talks

In case you have missed any of the ‘USk Talks’ which have been recently broadcast on Instagram Stories, they have been archived on the main Urban Sketchers website at

They are a very enjoyable listen and all the guests that are interviewed set a drawing challenge, which is great if you are looking for inspiration at this time.


Wednesday 8 July 2020

July Urban Sketching Challenge - Words into sketch - 25 July 2020

[Isabel Carmona writes] Given the restriction on outdoor gatherings are still restricted to six people of different households and with social distancing in any case, we propose an urban sketching challenge for you to do at home on the day our July London meet would have been on Saturday July 25, 2020.

Words into UrbanSketch
The proposal is to look around us and take inspiration from Words into an urbansketch (done on location and from observation telling a story of your own surroundings). Look at actions of your normal day that you do often and also your normal phrases and sayings and think how to draw them?  Focus on context, don't prepare too much just draw things as they are. Look for phrases that inspire you to focus your sketches.
Below are a few actions/time of day selected phrases or sayings that could inspire you to draw.  Don’t restrict yourselves to these but think of your own individual sayings or phrases too.
  • All things grow with love
  • As fast as a cat up a tree
  • Bare as a tree without fruit
  • Colourful as a flower shop
  • Every path has its puddle
  • Home grown
Early morning:
  • Wash and go
  • Wake up and smell the coffee 
  • Everything but the kitchen sink 
  • You can't make an omelette without breaking the eggs
The Challengue - make it quick and spontaneous, it can be done along the day or just the morning or whatever suits you: 
  1. Choose a phrase above or your own phrase,
  2. Do one of these:
    • One pen drawing (max 30 min)
    • One pen & colour (max 30 min)
    • One colour only (max 30 min)
  3. Then repeat with another phrase but not the same medium 
  4. Finally choose a third phrase and the remaining medium 
  5. Photograph and share your drawings and inspiration on social media


Thursday 2 July 2020

United Sketchers

On Saturday 27th June I took part in the NYC USk  Collaboration Creation. 
What is that, I hear you cry? I’ll explain. 

A little while ago I joined the New York City Urban Sketchers because my daughter was due to move there this month. She’s off as soon as the travel ban lifts, so I have been following the NYC group in anticipation of joining them on my regular visits. They introduced the Collaboration Creation as a way of sketching virtually but together, using Zoom to create sketches in small groups. I felt that this couldn’t be missed.

In advance we were sent instructions and the photos we were to use. When I joined the scheduled Zoom call, we had a general introduction and were assigned to breakout rooms of 5, which included a tech member. We were able to chat and compare notes throughout which made it my first social sketch in three months. Our task was to create a row of Brownstone Houses. Each of us was allocated a house, and the prompt photo was divided to show the ‘join’. We drew our houses to the same proportions, and when done we sent them in to our tech person who joined them together to create a sketched row. Simple but effective, and it was a joy to see the posted rows on Facebook.

In the afternoon we worked in different groups, and together we created a flower bed. Again, we were each allocated a section, and could do whatever we wanted. I went out and sketched my garden for my section and enjoyed the result which included a blend of fantasy and reality.

NYC USk showed me a way to reengage with humans while sketching and I appreciate the welcome they gave me during these topsy turvy times. The question is, would it work for Urban Sketchers London?

I’d welcome your thoughts