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Announcing: celebrates 10 years with a new long format art program

January 21, 2017

This from USK head office : “In 2017 Urban Sketchers celebrates its 10 year anniversary and we want to commemorate by introducing the first year long USk program ever! We invite all sketchers around the world to attend 10 on-location classes with USk official instructors in a city near you to learn or improve the core value of Urban Sketching: sketch the world, one drawing at a time“.

Right now the program is being offered in various self-selected locations. I’m not personally one of the instructors,  but I know many of them from the annual symposium – and can say the program looks excellent so far.

It’s worth noting- you can take a whole year of courses, or you can pick and choose individual days. So it’s perfect for travelers. Choose your holiday destinations to mach up with a USK 10×10 workshop!

Find out more over here on’s page for 10×10 classes.

Testing out Google Tilt Brush: Sketching in Virtual Reality

January 20, 2017

Here’s a bit of fun for you! Enjoy a minute and a half of sketching in virtual reality :)

I did this down at Centre Phi, here in Montreal. You can find out more about this high-tech art space on their website here.


Just back from the SKTCHY livestream :)

January 19, 2017


Ok! Here’s the culmination of my week practicing portraits on the SKCHY app. We’ve just wrapped the live stream. If you’re a facebook user, you can watch the archive over on their page.

Thanks to Megi Shubalidze for the inspiration, and to everyone who tuned in and kept the show going with questions!



A few more Portraits via the Sktchy App

January 15, 2017


Remember that app Sktchy?

They noticed the sketches I posted, and I’ve been invited to do a live-stream on their facebook page next week (Jan 19).

If you’re on facebook, here’s the event. Stop by and say hi in the comments!

I’ve been testing out my on-air setup, doing a few small portraits (about 5×7″).  These start with a linear pencil sketch, and a big washy silhouette. I hit it with the hair dryer, and lay the small details on top. Larger-to-Smaller, Lighter-to-Darker! That’s all you need to know for watercolor :)

If you tune in on the day, I have 45 minutes to do one of these start-to-finish under the camera.


The app certainly makes it easy to find inspiration. Every so often I’ll add someone to my picture queue – and last night I did these three all in a row.

I was asked what I look for in a subject – and that’s a tricky question to answer. Something about the person’s character just shows through in their photo.

Sketching Zeona, you see a very European face of course – but then the little clues, like she’s stretched her ear lobes, and has an alternative haircut (I’m guessing it’s a mohawk). Suddenly you’re making up stories about this person. I see a lot of underground bars and zine conventions somewhere like Berlin or Amsterdam.

Funny co-incidence – or maybe the Sktchy app is match-making behind the scenes? But turns out Zeona knows Stuart – one of my first Sktchy portraits. Small world on social media :)


So download the app and post you selfies! Artists everywhere are waiting for inspiration!

Your Secret Winter Drawing Spots: Send my publisher a Comment and Win a Copy of The Urban Sketcher!

January 12, 2017


Hey everyone! I wanted to point to an article of mine about winter sketching: Drawing Inside, Looking Out.

It’s up on my publisher’s blog as of this morning – AND – they’re running a contest!

If you’re a US citizen – all you have to do is post a comment on their blog and you’ll be entered to win a package of art supplies. (I don’t know what – probably donated product samples) – as well as a copy of The Urban Sketcher. Which all of you have already I am sure, but will make an excellent gift to a friend, or donation to your local library.


The idea of the article is to collect your secret spots where you can stand inside, and draw looking out.

Like this view from the third story lobby at the Hotel Bonaventure, overlooking Place du Canda. (Link to Map). I found this spot by accident while attending a conference, and have been back to draw it a couple of times. They have another spot – a glassed in faux-Japanese garden – so you get two for one here. Plus the hotel bar if you are so inclined.


Or this fun one from the Montreal Science Center (Link to Map). You can stay as long as you like in the giant lobby without paying to get into the exhibition. Use their huge windows to sketch the old port in all directions, even sketch from the museum cafe.


This little church is hidden in a courtyard behind the Palais des Congrès de Montreal, seen from the ground floor lobby, facing Rue de la Gauchetière. (Link to Map). You can get there from the metro without even going outside :)

If we all post with our city and our favorite ‘secret winter drawing spots’ everyone benefits :) They can even be used in warmer weather on a rainy day.

At the end of the month I’ll summarize the list here for everyone to use. Feel free to include a link to your own sketch if you like. You’ll be helping out everyone as we hunt for good places to sketch this winter.


Urban Sketchers Montreal is Going Sketching for Chinese New Year: Jan 22!

January 8, 2017


If you’re in Montreal on Jan 22, maybe you’ll join us at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum to sketch their exhibition From the Lands of Asia.

Check out the USK:MTL blog for details: HERE.




Announcing: Early Registration for USK Chicago, Feb 11

January 5, 2017

The registration site is now live:

Basic Info:

  • Early Bird Registration
    Opens February 11 at 8 am CST (14:00 GMT)
    Workshops pass US $415
    Basic pass US $12
Find out more, including instructions for a successful registration at this post on
I have applied to teach a workshop, but we don’t know for sure yet – I’ll keep you updated on my own plans. Either way, hope to see  you there :)