Saturday 26 December 2020

Sasala Wickramasinghe
My name is Sasala Wickramasinghe, I live in London.

I chanced upon the concept of urban sketching in 2017 whilst browsing the art shelves in Foyles Bookshop in London: a quick flick through the book, Urban Watercolour Sketching by Felix Scheinberger was enough: why didn't anyone tell me about urban sketching sooner?! I come from a scientific background - a clinical biochemist by day, working for the NHS. It is an immensely fulfilling and interesting role, although apart from the occasional flow chart, requires little or no artistic skill. 

My first official urban sketching experience was with USk London in December 2017 to the V&A in South Kensington. There was no turning back after that - I've become an urban sketcher! I promptly signed up for Liz Steel's online watercolour course which not only taught me how to mix watercolour properly, but inspired me even more to delve further into this amazing activity.

I attended my first USk symposium in Porto in 2018. Never before, have I met so many amazing and talented people in one place - such diversity yet with a single great passion - urban sketching! I learnt so much from amazing teachers like Matthew Brehm and Shari Blaukopf. I made so many friends and met sketchers I've been following on social media for a while before then; and Porto itself, a beautiful city full of character.

In the past 3 years, I have learnt and absorbed skills from workshops, symposia and fellow sketchers. They have only gone on to fuel the fire inside me for more urban sketching. For me, the greatest 'aha' moment has been when I realised that I'll never again be bored of waiting, for anyone or anything (train/bus/airport/cafe/street-corner), as long as I carry my urban sketching kit with me!

During these challenging times, knee-deep in a pandemic, sketching has been a life line for me. I feel humbled and grateful for the opportunity to share my experience and contribute more to USk London chapter as an admin.   

Instagram: @sasketcher_rw