urban sketchers of the world

gabi sketches me

The Urban Sketchers Correspondents met up at Henry’s Tavern on the night before the Symposium kicked off, and it was an instant whirlwind of sketching minds. Everyone knew everyone, though for many it was the first time we’d met. Five continents were represented right there: Liz (and Borromini Bear) from Australia, Isabel from Mauritania (though she’s Portuguese), Lapin from Barcelona (though he’s French), Gerard from Belgium, Simonetta from Italy, Kumi from Tokyo, Tia from Singapore, and the US contingent of Jason (Brooklyn), Veronica (NYC), Shiho (LA), Matthew (Idaho), Laura (North Carolina), Frank (Seattle), Gabi (Seattle, though he’s Spanish) and me (Davis, though I’m from London).

And I sketched people! Well, I had promised myself that I would try more, and here I didn’t have to worry about it being ok. I wasn’t the only one who doesn’t normally sketch folk on the spot. I certainly need practice and to find a technique I’m comfortable with, so i gave it a try, mostly in my little brown paper book, and picked up a few pointers. Above are Gabi Campanario, the tireless Urban Sketchers founder, Gerard Michel, of whose Liege drawings I am a huge fan (they remind me of my year in Charleroi), and a group of urban sketchers (the one in the hat is Prof. Frank Ching, who told me I’d drawn him looking like a Columbian gangster). I was sketched a few times too; there is Lapin above, sketching me holding my pen in a funny way, “l’incroyable tenu de crayon de pete”, he called it. There’s a name for a new book!

The highlight was probably looking through Gerard Michel‘s jaw-dropping sketchbook. Seeing it online, it is unbelievable just how good it is, but in person right in front of you it is just incredible, and also surreal, work you know so well is right there, right in front of you. I can say that about pretty much all of the sketchbooks I saw that night, certainly. Sufficiently humbled and inspired in equal measure, I went back to the hotel, and spent midnight drawing from my bedroom window.

night view from mark spencer hotel

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5 thoughts on “urban sketchers of the world

  1. Ryan says:

    I would have loved to attend the symposium. Being able to check out everyone’s sketchbooks in person would have blown my mind.

    • pete scully says:

      oh it was mind-blowing. I didn’t know how to handle it all, this amazing amazing work everyone was producing, it was an honour to see it all there in person. I am so glad I went to the symposium.

  2. Paul Heaston says:

    I’m also terribly disappointed not to have been able to go. It would have been great to meet you and all the others. Love the people sketches. Keep ’em coming.

    • pete scully says:

      Paul, you were missed, it would have been great if you’d have been there. One of my favourite moments was in Frank Ching’s lecture on perspective, I was sitting with Gerard Michel and asked about curvilinear perspective, which you do so well, and Gerard (the master of this!) showed the class his notes and gave an impromptu lesson in it, mostly in French with some English and lots of animation, it was great! Definitely a highlight. The Symposium was so much fun.

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