Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Urban Sketching

I've been seriously pursuing "Urban Sketching" for about a year.
The first few times that I went, my pen marks were very light...kinda wobbly and probably not to good.
I was not feeling secure about sketching in public.

But the longer that I sit in public places and sketch, the less I worry about the end product - the actual sketch.
I'm loving the practice of urban sketching.
It makes me feel a little more secure in my abilities, a little less concerned about what other people think of my sketching and, above all, it lets me stop and really see the world around me.

That's one of the "side effects", if you will, of this urban sketching activity.
You begin to truly look at and see every little thing in your world.
Not just the things that you are drawing but the potential subjects.

Everything begins to look like a sketch waiting to happen.
It makes the world a more beautiful place.

It allows you to celebrate the beauty in the ugly things around you.

I've got page after page of urban sketches - some of them aren't too bad, some of them continue to hide in my sketchbook - embarrassed by the thought of being shown in public.

I'll share a few more with you today.

This is a partial sketch of the Greenville Art Museum. I added a tiny bit
of watercolor on site but wasn't able to complete this there.
I usually don't add any more details/paint at home.

A playground robot stands guard over the playground .

I plucked some lavender from the garden and drew it before I took it in the house.
I was drawing on a piece of cold press watercolor paper -
I love the way that the uneven paper grabs the graphite.

While sitting in my car, waiting on my sketching  buddies, I drew a local
McDonald's as a warm-up sketch. I had forgot my water brush so I used
watercolor pencils instead.

This is a metal sculpture in Greenville SC. I love the lines of it.
I had to draw it several times to get the lines right...
I can see from this sketch that I need more practice with it!

This is one of the beautiful old buildings in downtown Greenville SC.
Our city has spent many, many hours (and dollars) on revitalization of the area.
I am so proud to call this area home. I love to see people milling about downtown, enjoying
this beautiful and busy city.

I hope that I have tempted you to step outside your comfort zone and do some urban sketching.
It will reward you in ways that you would not expect if you just give it a chance.

My plan now is to step a little farther out of my own comfort zone and begin sketching more people.
Real live moving people...

What's your plan?


  1. Loved seeing your sketches - the old building is especially wonderful - the charm is so evident in your sketch.

  2. Amazing sketches :) I adore those with a little bit of watercolor too :)
    A while ago I sketched some scene in other town, place, where I was for the first time and it was wonderful, really should do that more often. :)

  3. Lovely sketches - the last one, the old building, is superb.

  4. I myself love old buildings. Your sketches are sweet. Judith, Texas

  5. You put into words what I've been noticing lately. It's not the end result, it's the sketching process that is treasured. See you at the next urban sketch session!

  6. Really enjoyed your post, Carol - you hit the nail on the head with your comment that everything begins to look like a sketch waiting to happen. I love taking my pencils or watercolours into the shopping centres and finding a spot to sit and draw or paint the world going by. I'm not good at buildings, so I admire your skills with those sketches! I love to draw people.

  7. Thanks for the comments everyone! I am so glad to see more people getting out and sketching the world around them.

  8. I am loving that old building sketch.

  9. Oh, that is eerie! I posted such similar things on my blog this week about the effects of urban sketching. Just... wow. lol

    It's been a great experience. I came back to the sketchbook challenge at just the right time, for me. :)

    I don't really have a plan, so much as a lot of things I want to try (and to try again, in some cases). I finally practiced drawing faces this morning though.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.