Urban sketching for as long as I can remember

2016w urban sketching 2 Helen Wilding

I have carried a sketchbook on my travels for over thirty years, ever since I could buy my own pencils and paper. I was sketching on location long before the term “urban sketching” ever existed – before the internet, let alone mobile phones!

At the beginning I didn’t draw that often, and I was the queen of the sketchbook with only one sketch. I was such a perfectionist that I was scared to make a mistake, but when I did sit down to draw it really helped me to remember that special moment in time. Somehow drawing helped me soak in the environment around me like nothing else ever has – the sounds, the smells, the traffic and people going past, the shapes, colours and temperature. Even when my memory fails me on so many other things, looking at an old drawing brings that moment right back. To me, drawing is my version of mindfulness, of truly being in the moment. 

Urban sketching has also opened my world in other ways. When you sit and draw in public, people come up and speak to you. It is such a rich experience with so many positives. I hope my stories inspire you to pick up your own sketchbook 🙂

Brunch stop on our way home from Warrnambool. Stephen used to camp here as a child and apparently there used to be a shipwreck in the cove. #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #usk #travelsketch #panorama #portfairy #regionalvictoria #bockingford #watercoloursketch #portcampbell #globalsketch

Brunch stop on our way home from Warrnambool. Stephen used to camp here as a child and apparently there used to be a shipwreck in the cove. #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #usk #travelsketch #panorama #portfairy #regionalvictoria #bockingford #watercoloursketch #portcampbell #globalsketch ...

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Spoiler alert for anyone guessing where my last sketch was as this reveals it all. This was my first visit to Port Fairy - where, pre-covid, the plan was to sketch with a small group of other urban sketchers, run a workshop and exhibit. Sigh. Maybe one day! Regardless it was lovely to drop by @blarneybooksandart to say hello to Jo, and admire the bookstacks by @jodiwileyart on the building. Looking for a spot out of the wind, we ended up on the banks of the Moyne River. I was sketching one of my long panoramas while my husband patiently read and waited for me. I checked the time as I was drawing. 2.30. Going well - not too long - maybe an hour. The next time I checked it was 4.45 pm. Oops. Time flies when I sketch! #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #usk #travelsketch #panorama #portfairy #regionalvictoria #bockingford #watercoloursketch #moyneriver #globalsketch

Spoiler alert for anyone guessing where my last sketch was as this reveals it all. This was my first visit to Port Fairy - where, pre-covid, the plan was to sketch with a small group of other urban sketchers, run a workshop and exhibit. Sigh. Maybe one day! Regardless it was lovely to drop by @blarneybooksandart to say hello to Jo, and admire the bookstacks by @jodiwileyart on the building. Looking for a spot out of the wind, we ended up on the banks of the Moyne River. I was sketching one of my long panoramas while my husband patiently read and waited for me. I checked the time as I was drawing. 2.30. Going well - not too long - maybe an hour. The next time I checked it was 4.45 pm. Oops. Time flies when I sketch! #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #usk #travelsketch #panorama #portfairy #regionalvictoria #bockingford #watercoloursketch #moyneriver #globalsketch ...

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So who can guess where I sketched this? As a hint, we were in Warrnambool last night .... Not as windy today thank goodness and actually really lovely. Perhaps too lovely as afterwards I realised I was a little sunburnt. Alas. #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #usk #bockingford #sailboats #watercoloursketch #travelsketch #regionalvictoria

So who can guess where I sketched this? As a hint, we were in Warrnambool last night .... Not as windy today thank goodness and actually really lovely. Perhaps too lovely as afterwards I realised I was a little sunburnt. Alas. #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #usk #bockingford #sailboats #watercoloursketch #travelsketch #regionalvictoria ...

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It's a while since my last cafe sketch with my husband patiently reading his kindle while I finish. Speedy for me - about half an hour, but I think it was a good stage for me to finish. Lunch at  @2tartsbaking in Warrnambool, which is all glammed up for Christmas already. #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #helendrawsvictoria #sketchbook #sketch #portrait #cafesketch #warrnambool #patisserie #hospitality #bakery #hahnemühle #watercoloursketch #travelsketch

It's a while since my last cafe sketch with my husband patiently reading his kindle while I finish. Speedy for me - about half an hour, but I think it was a good stage for me to finish. Lunch at @2tartsbaking in Warrnambool, which is all glammed up for Christmas already. #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #helendrawsvictoria #sketchbook #sketch #portrait #cafesketch #warrnambool #patisserie #hospitality #bakery #hahnemühle #watercoloursketch #travelsketch ...

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Road trip from Melbourne (finally!) to Warrnambool, with pies for lunch @2tartsbaking  This is a close up of the lovely young woman who served us. #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #helendrawsvictoria #sketchbook #sketch #portrait #cafesketch #warrnambool #patisserie #hospitality #bakery #hahnemühle #watercoloursketch #travelsketch

Road trip from Melbourne (finally!) to Warrnambool, with pies for lunch @2tartsbaking This is a close up of the lovely young woman who served us. #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #helendrawsvictoria #sketchbook #sketch #portrait #cafesketch #warrnambool #patisserie #hospitality #bakery #hahnemühle #watercoloursketch #travelsketch ...

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A windy day spent sketching at the corner of Westgarth and Brunswick Streets, Fitzroy with my peeps. Another one of my long panorama sketches but as I was approached about my sketch of Fitzroy Cellars I thought I'd share that snippet first. Of course it still needs watercolour but that will be another visit.  #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #streetsketch #fitzroy #bockingford #urbansketch #brunswickstreet #penandink #inksketch #linedrawing @fitzroycellars @markdenverantiquesandvintage @vinylrevivalstore @pollybarfitzroy

A windy day spent sketching at the corner of Westgarth and Brunswick Streets, Fitzroy with my peeps. Another one of my long panorama sketches but as I was approached about my sketch of Fitzroy Cellars I thought I'd share that snippet first. Of course it still needs watercolour but that will be another visit. #helendrawsbrunswickstreet #brunswickstreetsketchography #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #streetsketch #fitzroy #bockingford #urbansketch #brunswickstreet #penandink #inksketch #linedrawing @fitzroycellars @markdenverantiquesandvintage @vinylrevivalstore @pollybarfitzroy ...

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Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dianne Colk

    Love your work!

    Reply
    • Helen Wilding

      Thanks so much Dianne – I feel likewise about yours! I just love how you draw people and really capture their characters:)

      Reply

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