Urban sketchers

Someone just asked me about urban sketching so I looked some information up from the urban sketchers page on Facebook. The following text is copied from their page so apologies to them in advance if this is not acceptable. Urban sketchers are a world wide group. This is what they say (edited) :

Dear fellow Urban Sketchers,

This post serves as a reminder that images you post to the Urban Sketchers Facebook group must follow the Urban Sketchers Manifesto.

Your post will be removed if we find your sketches & content not in line with the manifesto.

URBAN SKETCHERS MANIFESTO
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• We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
• Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
• Our drawings are a record of time and place.
• We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
• We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
• We support each other and draw together.
• We share our drawings online.
• We show the world, one drawing at a time.

GUIDELINES
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Before sharing your drawings in the group, make sure they meet these basic criteria and they are done in the spirit of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto.

• You did the drawing on location, not from photos, memory, or your imagination.
• You have written the location of the sketch (town and state/country) in the headline or caption.
• We encourage members to write descriptions and stories associated with each sketch.
• We post our OWN work, not that of someone else. Please don’t share other people’s work here.
• Your post must be public, not private. If you post a private picture it will be deleted because the group can’t see it – all we get is an “Attachment unavailable” notice.
• No sketches from figure drawing sessions or posed models.

As long as your art conforms to the above, the medium used is not an issue, be it anything from a pencil to an electronic tablet.

DRAWING PEOPLE
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Draw VERBS, not NOUNS (Thank you, Walt Stanchfield!)

That means draw people doing stuff in context and not just noses, faces, hands and feet. Please avoid people that are posed or without an urban context. Posed people includes self-portraits, too.

Giving an environmental cue to a portrait is very helpful. Drawing the ENTIRE person is even more helpful.

ADDITIONAL NOTES
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Anyone is welcome to join, but please DO NOT ADD SOMEONE ELSE! These requests will not be approved. This group is huge enough without adding people who don’t necessarily want to be here. It’s a public group so they don’t need to be members to see the art in it.

Below is a quote from it, and note that he includes rural:

“The way I see it and try to convey in The Art of Urban Sketching book, being an urban sketcher isn’t merely about drawing cities, big or small, urban or rural, with a pen or with your fingers on an digital tablet.

“It’s about drawing places that can be put on a map, and everything that happens in those places. It’s about showing the world with drawings, taking people to locations they may never go through artwork you can only create.

“You were there, you saw it, you sketched it, you told us what happened with your hand drawn art, sketched in the moment but perhaps touched up later because you ran out of time or can’t resist the urge to fix something up.”

Smile

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I came across this last week. It was something I doodled when I was at work and I had it stuck on my computer for a few years…. that tiny little hand/paw trying to hold things together…the mouth stretched wide, with huge jaws…

It says smile,  but really it was a grimace, a smile through gritted teeth. I was feeling very low but didn’t want to tell anyone. It was about work, and people, but I used to just get on with things. I wouldn’t let them know they were getting to me. I would just look at this drawing and smile.

Sweet smile you tear at my mouth,

You pull the sides upwards into a rictus grin.

Corners pulled up like a weight lifter raising kilos above his head.

Crocodile smile?  No, more of a dinosaur grin…

Ancient, creaking, trying not to give in to atrophy.

Smile for the camera, twist your lips, show your teeth.

No don’t cry! Grin!

 

Sea Horse

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Sea horse, racing through the surf, galloping over turf.

Sea horse, give it all you have, kick your hooves so hard.

Sea horse, flying through the air, foam round your feet.

Sea horse, don’t stop for breath, racing with the tide.

Sea horse, today is your day, race for your life.

Sea horse, see your life flash by, waves of time wash over you.

Just the ocean, sea and you, in your wake I follow.

Red

Red is bold!

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Red blood, red heart

Red lips, red nose,

Red wine, red hat,

Red berries, red shoes…

 

I saw you smile, your mouth so neat,

Red cherries dripped their liquor sweet.

 

Red is the colour of anger and heat,

Red hot poker, flower, meat.

 

Red is gaudy, little red hood,

Red for strawberries, red for bud.

Red for roses, red says stop,

Red for danger, red for what?

 

I dont know what else to write,  I can think of names for red, like carmine and crimson, vermilion and scarlet, close to red are mauve and magenta. I found it difficult to write something that makes much sense I’m afraid. But at least I tried. ..

Eye dont know!

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Playing with apps,                                                                                  dreaming in naps,                                                                                   I see your eyes…                                                                                                                                  ,,                       what a surprise!

I see your lips                                                                                          like pomegranate pips……..

I see your nose                                                                                                                                      ,,                   the beauty it shows!

I see a face, hidden in lace                                                                   historical place,                                                                                                                                  ,,                   wonderful Grace.

 

Just playing with rhyme,                                                                       enjoying this time .

 

#digitallydoodling

It’s time to show you some of my recent digital drawings posted to my instagram account…

 

While I usually draw and paint in traditional materials like paint on canvas, or ink and pencil on paper, I regularly draw on various apps aswell.

This started when I found a web site called Youdraw around 10 years ago. At that stage I did not have a drawing tablet so I went out and bought a small one with the pen attached by a wire. I was really pleased with what I could do, and I eventually progressed to a bigger tablet but still with a pen that was attached by a wire. I used it so much and did so many drawings I wore the knib of the pen down!

Then I was offered a second hand wacom tablet, it was a revelation. I had got a photoshop programme and I was learning about layering and cropping, basically all the little things that help you morph pictures. In the meantime I had found various drawing web sites, like 2draw and wetcanvas and floating ginko. I was using their apps, which were quite complicated, but the results were fun. I frequently got told off on one site for drawing too fast. I was not allowed to be an expert on it because I didnt take enough time!

It was then that I came across a site called sketchfu. (Now closed) this had the simplicity I was looking for, large, medium and small pens, an ability to change the opacity and a colour picker, but the way it worked meant that you could create really interesting drawings without all the finicky bits.

This site and its sister Muzy were closed by its owners a few years ago. I think they were getting too much traffic and not enough revenue.

I decided to do more drawing, I got a bamboo tablet, and for a short while posted on line on instagram and Facebook. But then I got another tablet, a computer…I downloaded a few apps like sketcher free, ArtRage oils, kaleidoscope, and others, all free. The only problem then is having to draw by finger. It’s not as smooth and clean as a tablet pen. I have used stylus pens, I think I will do that again.

Currently I have lots of art on instagram, and some if the digital art has the hashtag #digitallydoodling if you want to find it.

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Last year I learned about Batik.

I’ve always wanted to learn this.

 

I have a friend called Belinda who runs various art classes. So last year I had a go at doing batik.

It’s a while, so I don’t recall the technique, but first you draw out a design and use hot melted wax on top of it to add areas which will resist the coloured inks that make up the bright colours of your design. This was to give us an idea of how to make an art work. I drew fish in a Piscean sort of pose.

Once we had done this we went on to draw our designs on a peice of cotton in wax ( you could use silk). After the wax had dried we then painted inks onto the design. I had done a yin yang kitties design …see photos.

But you then have to remove the wax. This is done by putting the material between  paper and ironing with a hot iron. As you heat the cotton up the wax melts again and is absorbed into the paper. you can add more wax and build up more layers of colour. I would say start with the lightest inks or dyes first as you would with watercolour painting.

Finally I added some stitched details on the cats faces to define their eyes and noses.

I was surprised with the result, very happy with it, and I think that was down to the teacher.  All the people at the group were pleased with their peices.

I would recommend anyone to have a go at this. I have since had the peice mounted and framed.