Urban sketching for as long as I can remember

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 🙂

Instagram post 18007875403249796 Evening flight home to Melbourne from Brisbane yesterday, thus formally ending my visit to #brisbanesketchfest2019 - as is traditional I had to draw the seat view, which was easier from the aisle seat, but complicated by the lack of light and sudden eruptions of ink splurting from my  fountain pen every so often. It didn’t enjoy the change in air pressure at all, but time flew by (literally). #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #flight #virginairlines #virginaustralia #planesketch #travelsketch #travelsketchbook #sketchbook #sketch #hahnemühle

Evening flight home to Melbourne from Brisbane yesterday, thus formally ending my visit to #brisbanesketchfest2019 - as is traditional I had to draw the seat view, which was easier from the aisle seat, but complicated by the lack of light and sudden eruptions of ink splurting from my fountain pen every so often. It didn’t enjoy the change in air pressure at all, but time flew by (literally). #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #flight #virginairlines #virginaustralia #planesketch #travelsketch #travelsketchbook #sketchbook #sketch #hahnemühle ...

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Instagram post 17860768105558391 My mission to draw Brunswick Street one building at a time continues ... slowly! This is the community health centre north of Gertrude Street. I’ll confess that I thought it might be boring to draw, but then I noticed the flats opposite were reflected in the windows. While I was drawing I had visitors from the urban grocer outside the flats - that was very special :) #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #citysketch #streetscape #cityofyarra #bockingford #cohealth

My mission to draw Brunswick Street one building at a time continues ... slowly! This is the community health centre north of Gertrude Street. I’ll confess that I thought it might be boring to draw, but then I noticed the flats opposite were reflected in the windows. While I was drawing I had visitors from the urban grocer outside the flats - that was very special 🙂 #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #citysketch #streetscape #cityofyarra #bockingford #cohealth ...

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Instagram post 17866796152505147 Delicious lunch at Bon Ap Petit Bistro in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy today. This is the view looking north along Brunswick Street with one big oopsy that I decided to ignore. I wonder if anyone will work out what it was? We were sad to say goodbye to a fellow sketcher from France, but it was a lovely day with some new visitors, including @jodiwileyart , Lizzy and @paulwang_sg - thanks for the inspiration and company to all! #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #fitzroy #cityofyarra #citysketch #sketchbook #sketch #hahnemühle

Delicious lunch at Bon Ap Petit Bistro in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy today. This is the view looking north along Brunswick Street with one big oopsy that I decided to ignore. I wonder if anyone will work out what it was? We were sad to say goodbye to a fellow sketcher from France, but it was a lovely day with some new visitors, including @jodiwileyart , Lizzy and @paulwang_sg - thanks for the inspiration and company to all! #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #fitzroy #cityofyarra #citysketch #sketchbook #sketch #hahnemühle ...

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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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