Fascinated by the work that so many urban sketchers turn out, and further inspired by a few Sketchbook Revival 2023 sessions, it’s no wonder I wanted to try my hand at Urban Sketching. Joining the Albuquerque Urban Sketchers, my first outing was to a very iconic New Mexico shop called Jackalope. In some ways, this was a great place for lots of newbies (we didn’t have to brave the still freezing February temps), but then again it was very challenging. So many things to choose from! Here’s a few of my sketches. Because there were so many interesting trinkets, I decided to spend no more than 15 minutes on each, including some quick watercoloring.
All of that was really fun, but not as easy as some urban sketchers make it seem. So I began practicing and searching on-line for a bit of sage advice.
On Saturday (April 15th) the Urban Sketchers met again, this time at Old Town Farm, downtown Albuquerque. With the chance of sketching some rusted farm equipment and broken down barns, I wanted in on this event. And besides, the breezy day was supposed to be warm … ideal for a bit of plein air sketching! Well, on a Saturday, this place was buzzing with visitors, ranging from bikers and hikers; people sitting and enjoying a morning coffee and carrot cake; several teams playing something like bochi ball; venders; puppies for adoption. This definitely broke my fear of public sketching while giving me an opportunity to improve on my people sketching skills. Here’s what I found to draw in a few hours.
Hope you enjoyed my urban sketching efforts! Look for more posts in the future.
For the last 6 years, I’ve participated in an annual, 2-week long sketching/mixed media event, Sketchbook Revival, founded and hosted by a talented sketchbook artist, Karen Abend. Every Spring, Karen brings together a cast of creative artists for a mega on-line teaching marathon, where each day, 2 1-hour sessions are shared with hundreds of participants. These sessions cover topics like basic mark-making, collage, caricature creation, drafting and perspective, composition, urban sketching, flowers, mammals and birds, portraits, map making, story telling, and on and on! This year a session in textiles was even included. Techniques were taught in using a wide-variety materials, such as watercolor, gouache, markers, pencil and pen, colored pencil, and many forms of mixed-media.
The whole fun event is designed to stretch your creative comfort zone by trying new things and experiencing new approaches to art making. And as incredible as it sounds, all you need to participate is your time and whatever materials you have on hand. Otherwise, it’s totally free! Wowza!
If this sounds irresistibly intriguing, and you just gotta-wanna participate next year, I’ll include a link below to find out more. Meanwhile, check out the photos of my Sketchbook Revival 2023 creations, filling up my handmade sketchbook (oh yeah, the pre-work session includes instructions on how to make your own sketchbook). I never expect to create works of art during the event; many of my pages are just plain awful. But no matter the result, I always made it fun! Enjoy!
So if you’ve made it this far, and want to learn more about future Sketchbook Revival events, follow the link below: