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Urban sketching, a light approach to art
Old 06-13-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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Urban sketching, a light approach to art

I've done a lot of sketching in the past and some watercolor. Then I came across this really cool site: Urban Sketchers The concept is to do a lot of work with a sketchbook out in the streets, cafes and fields -- anywhere.

There are amateur and pro artists with all kinds of styles on the site. If you poke at the drawings and watercolor sketches you see some more of the artist's works too. It just seems like a fun activity.

If you were ever thinking of starting into art or gave up on it sometime ago, this might be a great source of inspiration.

One can do this on a shoestring budget too. I made a "light carry kit" to use when I am not wanting to pack around a heavier one. For the pallette and paint I used an Altoids tin with little plastic boxes inside for a few primary watercolors. If there is any interest I'll post a picture of it. DW went one step further and used a mini-Altoids tin. Brushes are those light water holding plastic types. I just got a Strathmore watercolor sketchbook (140 lb, nice thick paper, can work on both sides) here: Amazon.com: Strathmore Visual Journal 140lb. Watercolor 9x12: Home & Kitchen I've used the smaller journal they offer and it's great if you are doing washes or even full watercolor.

Here is one of my favorites so far of the artists on that site:omar-paint: Berlin
If you click around on his site using the country links on the right you'll see an amazing body of varied artwork. He also mentions some material ideas. For instance, he favors Faber Castell Pitt pens with a color like Sepia for drawing with watercolor. I think the lighter pen value is sometimes more pleasing with the watercolor but you will see he uses a lot of varied media.

Maybe sometime if there is interest we could start up an ER Urban Sketchers thread to show off our sketches.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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I've seen this site before - very inspiring.

I have all the supplies, and a little skill that sure could use some practice, but I seem to spend all my time photographing instead. Right now - busy photographing sunsets.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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There's some very good "how to" info posted at trumpetvine.com.

(Disclaimer, I've known that author/artist since the 4th grade. LOL)
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I've seen this site before - very inspiring.

I have all the supplies, and a little skill that sure could use some practice, but I seem to spend all my time photographing instead. Right now - busy photographing sunsets.
I've enjoyed photography over the years. And when I sit down to landscape paint I always take a photo first of the landscape I'm doing.

What I get out of oil painting is a chance to sit for maybe 2 hours and really study one little area of the world. But it does take patience and a willingness to quiet down that inner critic (logical left side of the brain).

One might look at it as doing "just" a study. Somewhere I heard that your first 100 paintings should be discarded. At least just think of the earliest ones as other then precious. For urban sketching, my guess is the learning curve would be a lot faster then oil painting.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:32 PM   #5
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Hum, makes me want to use my watercolor pencils again. I bought a new camera a couple a months ago and have been walking around San Francisco in search of interesting architectural elements to photograph. You really miss a lot when you walk around looking no higher than eye level.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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I enjoyed pencil sketching many years ago as a twenty something and have thought about rekindling as another retirement hobby, thanks for posting.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
I enjoyed pencil sketching many years ago as a twenty something and have thought about rekindling as another retirement hobby, thanks for posting.
Since I was a teen I liked art but there was no money in it and I lived in an out of the way town that didn't stimulate that area. So went off and did technology.

Now I have the time to do what is really stimulating to me. I find that the more I get into art the more it grows on me. Once you do your own art the galleries and museums take on a new dimension. It's amazing how many material and stylist differences there are out there.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:00 PM   #8
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This sounds really cool. I might check it out just to see what some people come up with. It'd be really cool to see the world through people's sketches. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to look.
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