Tag Archives: illustration

DRAWN T.O., The Toronto Urban Sketch Blog

Jerry Waese_Toronto-1

With the bleak weather lately, I’ve needed all the inspiration I can find. Lo and behold, I discovered it in the visual dispatches of Urban Sketchers (USK), a blog site showcasing sketches of artist correspondents around the world.

USK is a nonprofit whose mission is “to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing” and so from Lisbon to San Fran to Tokyo, sketchers employ varying media to record the visual experiences of where they live and travel, and use the site as an online outlet to share their observations. Some like pencil and ink to express themselves, while others get down ‘n dirty with conté or pastel. Whatever your means, drawing is good for you.

Eugene Zhilinsky_Toronto-1

There’s a fellow in Toronto who too is struck with the drawing bug and pairs ballpoint pen sketches and writings in-situ. He has organized Drawn T.O., a regional urban sketch blog (essentially the Toronto chapter of Urban Sketchers), encouraging Torontonians with a passion to draw to get out there and capture their city on paper. A frigid -9˚C temperature might not lend itself to a detailed streetscape scene but a furtive gesture drawing of the city’s soaring structures. If you’re so inclined, send your sketches to Richard at rjohnson@nationalpost.com.


Mauricio Munoz_Toronto-1

Images courtesy of Toronto sketchers: Jerry Waese, Eugene Zhilinksky, Richard Johnson and Mauricio Munoz.

For anyone interested in participating on a global scale, the 4th International Urban Sketching Symposium will take place in Barcelona this July. Instructors (including architects, illustrators, artists, and educators) from four different continents will lead workshops aimed at helping participants frame compositions from complex urban scenes, develop their personal style, master painterly effects, and create drawings rich in narrative.

4th International Urban Sketching Symposium

Urban Sketchers Manifesto: 1. We draw on location, indoors or out; 2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings; 3. Our drawings are a record of time and place; 4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness; 5. We use any kind of media; 6. We support each other and draw together; 7. We share our drawings online; 8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.

 See site for inspiration, information and worldwide sketch crawls near you.

Sketchers (not the shoe)

I am all about making changes this year.  New starts.  New challenges.  Newness.  On that note, instead of photography for this particular post in this, my travel photo blog, I’m sharing a sampling of graphite drawings I have done over the years.  They are urban sketches drawn in-situ in Krakow (Poland), Rīga, (Latvia), and Sitges (Spain).  (You can see more on my drawing site)

I am reminded of a little group that 3 others and myself founded 8+ years ago in Boston.  It was called Urban Record.  Anne, Isabel, EJ and I recruited some other art enthusiast friends and had a weekly location-drawing gig.  All of us recent transplants to Boston, we saw it as an opportunity to get out and discover the city through drawing.  It was also a good reason to have drinks and dinner after a little show-and-tell.  We were young, multinational, worked in multi-disciplines, were passionate about sketching, and had an ‘itch’ to scratch (thus, the pencil….).  Our backgrounds couldn’t have been more different.  We were architects, landscape architects, neurologists, biologists, cancer researchers, business entrepreneurs and even an accountant. We each had our own interests, personal styles, techniques and unique approaches:  some tackled the sketches with broad strokes, some with chicken scratches and other uncommitted flicks of the pencil, some paid meticulous attention to capturing detail, and some drew quasi-cartoon-like.  We’d take turns selecting a different neighbourhood each week and stake out our individual sketching posts, to regroup when we got restless or when night fell, whichever came first.  Naturally, as winter approached, our sketching sessions got shorter and our dinners got longer…  (note:  I gotta say, I don’t know why it is Chicago that bears the term ‘the windy city’.  If you compare it to the likes of Boston, you’d see they would be neck and neck…).  We maintained our drawing missions and even grew in numbers but it was short-lived because within a few years, we’d all spread out globally.  Just like our sketches, our group was a record of a time and place.