Thursday 25 March 2021

Let's draw: All creatures great and small - Saturday 17 April 2021



In April, our challenge is to sketch live creatures: animals, birds, fish, bugs, whatever you can find.  By April, although we will not be able to meet as a group, it should be possible and legal to do some quick location sketching, and to sketch with a few companions.  The challenge has options to sketch at home if you prefer.  Follow the public health rules and stay safe.

Sketch when you choose, post on social media as you prefer, using the hashtag: #usklondon

We will have a ‘virtual’ throwdown of sketches on the Urban Sketchers London Facebook page at 3pm on Saturday 17 April 2021.  

What to sketch

Start by thinking of as many examples as you can of living creatures other than people in the city, including wildlife and domesticated creatures.  Some possibilities:

·         Wildlife and park life: waterfowl, squirrels, deer, foxes, birds, dogs

·         Working animals: police and cavalry horses, riding schools, other working horses and dogs

·         Zoos, city farms, pets’ corner in the park – not all will be open, so check

·         Home and garden: pets, garden birds, chickens, pond life, bugs, fish tanks

·         Evidence of life: footprints, feathers, nests, bird boxes, bee hives

·         Sculptures, signs and symbols: equestrian statues, fishy fountains, decorative carvings, pub signs and other representations of creatures.

Sketching suggestions

This month the challenge is to sketch living creatures, so plan to work fast.  Some possibilities:

Warming up: try some quick warm-up sketches, some pages of small sketches, timed sketches taking one or two minutes, drawing with one continuous line, drawing looking at the subject not the page, using your ‘other’ hand.

Movement: continue this with quick sketches, making bold marks and lines, focusing on observation and learning about what you are seeing, not worrying about the results.

Context: for a longer sketch, animals and other creatures can be one element of a bigger scene – dog walkers, ducks on the park lake, birds at the garden feeder, bees at the hive, a fish tank at home.

Sculptures, signs and symbols: if drawing live creatures is not practical for you, look around for sculptures, carvings, models, signs and other representations of creatures in your area, from your window, in your home.

Urban sketching is about observing and drawing direct from life, so try and find real world subjects, whether at home or elsewhere, rather than drawing from photographs.

The April sketching challenge is devised by Jo Dungey.  The sketches are by Jo Dungey (top and bottom) and Lis Watkins (middle two), done on location in St James’s Park, London.