Activity 7: Putting the ‘Urban’ in Urban Sketching

Instructor: Suma CM (USA)

Location: Albert Mall Trishaw Park

Bodega Darien sketch -Suma CM

Urban sketching, by definition, is always connected to a location. In this activity, we’ll make that connection more tangible by using materials we find in the urban environment to create and enhance our drawings. Cities are full of objects — the daily ephemera of urban life that we often don’t think about. We’ll be putting the city quite literally into our sketch, while being mindful of the composition, format and the stories we are telling. By doing this, we’ll be imbuing our work with a concrete sense of place — but also getting comfortable with improvisation. And in the unpredictable world of urban sketching (transport delays? less-than-optimal weather? left your trusty Lamy at home?) that’s always a plus!

We’ll do the following exercises:

  1. Use any paper or support you brought with you, but use only what you find in your environment to draw on it. (A marker borrowed from a shophouse? Asking several stall owners or patrons to draw in your sketchbook? A chopstick dipped in tea? A joss stick?)
  2. Use any drawing/sketching tool you brought with you, but draw only on something you find in your environment. (A menu? A poster? A newspaper?)
  3. Use any drawing tools and any paper, but incorporate something from your environment into your sketch using collage. (Tickets? Magazine scraps? A teabag wrapper?) After each exercise we’ll gather to share our “location connections” and consider the success of our compositions. Supplies Please bring different drawing tools (pens, markers, colored pencils, watercolor); various papers or a sketchbook; and a glue stick or other adhesive for collage.

Ganso Brooklyn NY sketch Suma CM