SketchCrawling is a really fun way to share your love of drawing: it turns a solitary activity into a group event! SketchCrawls are open to everyone, whatever their age or ability. 

There is no ‘teaching’: it is about the buzz you get from sketching alongside other people, inspiring and empowering one another. Anybody who enjoys keeping a sketchbook (or who fancies giving it a go, even for the very first time) is invited to take part. 

SketchCrawling provides an excellent opportunity to take those sketchbooks out into the world, as drawing among friends gives many people the confidence they need to sketch in public.

There are informal groups all over the UK (and all over the world), many of them aligned to the international sketching group Urban Sketchers. Our group is one of those, and is called Urban Sketchers Yorkshire. I organise a monthly, free SketchCrawl. We meet up at a pre-arranged venue, somewhere different each month, all over in the north of England. 

On a typical SketchCrawl, we walk around together, stopping at various places for about an hour at a time to capture the things we see around us in our sketchbooks. There are no rules - you can draw whatever takes your fancy, using whichever medium you wish (as you can see, we sometimes draw each other!)

We stop for lunch together midway, in a pub or cafe, or for a picnic if it's summer. Some people carry on drawing even as we eat! 

We try to finish in a cafĂ© or bar too, where it is fun to pass round the sketchbooks, so we can share what we have created and learn from each other.

No art materials are provided: you will need a sketchbook (A6 – A4 are the easiest on the move) and your favourite media. People use coloured pencils, pastels or watercolour, but many are content with just a pencil. If you are new to SketchCrawling, I suggest you begin with whatever you're comfortable using, but you're bound to find yourself inspired to try new media next time!

You don't need much else. Warm clothing is a good idea - even on a warm day you can get chilly sitting still. I have fingerless gloves too, for those extra nippy occasions. You might also want to bring a pad to sit on, as not everywhere we go has handy seats (or a portable stool if you can’t sit on the ground).

In Sheffield, we are so keen on sketching together, we have developed 2 spin-off activities: the Tour de Sketch, which is SketchCrawling on bikes:

...and the SketchJam: drawing live music:

I always write up our days here. If you would like to be on my mailing list, to be notified about where to meet for our SketchCrawl events, let me know. You don't have to commit to coming regularly, or at all, you don't even need to reply - just turn up if you fancy it or ignore my message if not. Easy as that.

The sketches here are all from my own sketchbooks, but you can see some of the work done by other people if you look in on our Urban Sketchers Yorkshire group on Facebook. Once you have been to an event, why not join the Facebook group yourself, so you can show people your sketches?

If you enjoy sketching, you might be interested in my short film about how and why I keep sketchbooks, or in looking through some of my sketchbooks, both from the UK and from my travels in Europe or further afield.


Maureen said...

Inspired by your blog I did the Sketch Crawl here in Chichester - a group of one - just me. First time - very scary!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Well done Maureen!! It will get easier as you get used to people. Hopefully you can make contact with some other folks for next time!