Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Am An Urban Sketcher

Whenever I tell someone that I am an Urban Sketcher, I get a number of different responses. "You mean like a graffitti artist?" or "Do you draw all over sidewalks?" 

In order to explain what Urban Sketching is, let us first dispel some misconceptions about what urban sketching is not.


1. Urban Sketching is not a super hip retail clothing and apparel chain based out of Philadelphia, PA.

2. It is not a crowd-sourced, online dictionary of common slang words and phrases

3. It is not a line of sneakers and athletic shoes popular with skateboarders

4. It is not the name of the current head football coach for The Ohio State Buckeyes

5. And finally, Urban Sketchers is not the country male vocalist who once lived in Australia.

Urban Sketching is the activity of capturing a scene from an urban setting, whether that be architecture, nature (such as parks and forest preserves), people going about their lives (there is a whole list of urban activities that people can be caught doing that are just made for the urban sketcher), modes of transportation and any combination of all of these. We sketch with pencil, markers, watercolors, chalks, or anything else we have in our tote bags into our sketchbooks (although I have yet to see anyone sketch in lipstick). The best thing is that Urban Sketching is a group activity where companionship and sharing of technique is a big benefit to belonging with this group.

Urban Sketching (USk) is a global community of artists that practice drawing on location in cities, towns, and villages in which they live, work or have traveled. It is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to raising the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location. 

USk Chicago (USk Chicago) is the local community of diverse artists united by a passion for sketching, discussions, socializing and sharing their unique visions of the world around them with others. In fact, the Urban Sketchers motto is "we see the world, one drawing at a time."

I hope this helps explain the movement in which I am involved. I hope this helps your understanding of it but if you still have questions or comments, please reply to this post and I will be happy to clarify anything for you. 

Wes Douglas, Urban Sketchers Chicago

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