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Urban Sketching: Sketch Your World

About Urban Sketching

What is a sketch? 

A sketch is defined as "a rough drawing representing the chief features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study". In art, a sketch is more specifically defined as a drawing that simply shows "the essentials of the subject - the overall form and perspective, a sense of volume, movement, and feeling. The sketch may also include the suggestion of light and shade." (Helen South)

Who are Urban Sketchers?

According to Wikipedia, the Urban Sketching movement, or USk, was created in 2007 by journalist Gabriel Campanario on Flickr. Today Urban Sketchers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting and representing a grassroots community of sketchers. 

Their organizational mission is "to raise the artistic, storytelling, and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people worldwide who draw on location where they live and travel." (

Why try urban sketching?

Sketching involves stopping, truly taking in your surroundings, and thoughtfully putting them on paper. This can be a meditative stress reliever and allows us to take a look at our world in deeper ways, even if our sketch is simple! As we share our work with one another in our community, we can tell our collective stories and show how we observe the world. This shares similarities to the scholarly research process and conversations which we engage with in our University environment. 

If you're interested in getting involved, you can search for local chapters on the USk website to join meetups in your area! Or just sketch from your location and share online with the community. 


Gesture & Contour Drawing

Nightly News Feature

What are sketches?