|4/5/14 Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink, Canson XL 140 lb. paper|
Yesterday when I saw the “Drawn to Seattle” exhibit at MOHAI again, I transcribed the placards that included tips from Gabi Campanario. The exhibit ends next month, but his thoughts on urban sketching will continue to remind me of why I’m an urban sketcher:
- Urban sketching gives you a chance to step away from the computer and just draw for the sheer joy of it without deadline or objectives. It has the power to turn a moment of boredom into a creative pastime.
- If you make urban sketching part of your routine and continue it in your travels, you not only end up with a work of art in your hands, but you also create a de facto journal of your life. The sketches will bring back memories like a picture wouldn’t, evoking the sounds, smells and recollections of the place where you did it.
- Sketching is a form of visual documentation that is accessible to all. No easels or expensive oil paints needed, just a pen and a piece of paper, and you are all set to get started.
- My sketching tools are simple: fountain pens loaded with waterproof ink and watercolors. I try to finish the sketches on location, but I add washes of color later if I don’t have enough time to do it on the spot. I don’t use photographic reference.
- As hobbies go, urban sketching gives you a lot of bang for the buck. With as little as a piece of paper and a pencil, you are equipped to start drawing your city or village, the people who live there and the things that are happening in it.
- A sketch can be completed as simply and quickly as you like. It may be a five-minute study of the view from the window, or you could spend an hour or two capturing the way the light hits that beautiful old church in your town. In either case, sketching stops the clock and lets your mind turn off the noise.