Tuesday, August 12, 2014


© Barbara Weeks 

Every Tuesday Urban Sketchers-Chicago offers sketching tips and tricks on their blog. Four of us take turns writing the Tuesday posts. This week it was my turn again. I figured I'd share that post with you too!

The Urban Sketchers manifesto says “we draw on location”. That may cause a little stage fright, at least it did for me when I first started drawing out in the open. Here are a few things I’ve learned.


What equipment? Keep your gear to the minimum. It’s easier to manage in small spaces, easier to keep track of and easier to gather up when the day is done. Check out the USk-Chicago  Pinterest board for sketch kit ideas.

© Barbara Weeks

Where? A coffee shop is a great place to sketch especially when you’re just starting out. So many people are busy on their computers, tablets or phones they don’t even notice what you’re doing. Added benefits - you have a comfortable seat, a table and something to eat or drink!
Outside, try to fine a spot where people can’t come up behind you. Position yourself with a wall, corner or post at your back. It gives you something to lean on, too.

What about the public? People are curious when they see people sketching. They are also usually very complimentary and respectful. Children are fascinated. If you don’t want to be interrupted wear ear buds and listen to music (or pretend to) and avoid eye contact.

© Barbara Weeks

Sketch with friends. There is a comfortability in numbers. The tab “Sketch Crawls” on the Urban Sketchers-Chicago blog’s navigation bar tells you where and when we’re meeting next. Join us.


  • Sharpened powers of observation.
  •  Learn to work quickly.
  • Teaches you to take risks and improvise to get the sketch down. 
  •  Overcome selfconsciousness and become a more decisive painter.
  • Have fun meeting and learning from other sketchers.
  • “Show the world one sketch at a time!”
© Barbara Weeks 2014

No comments :

Post a Comment