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 🙂

Another small stretch of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Another small stretch of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, collected in my sketchbooks. Today I reached James Street. I was really enjoying drawing  the classic Aussie advertising - beers, dim sims and Four 'n Twenty meat pies. I'll ignore the cigarettes!  A beautiful day out today with clear skies and a gentle little bit of sunshine on our shoulders. Thanks @alf.green @robcandywatercolours @diannecolk Lisa and Rohan for the company. #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #fitzroy #cityofyarra #victorianarchitecture #archisketch #sketchbook #bockingford #deatramentisink #brunswickstreetfitzroy

Another small stretch of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, collected in my sketchbooks. Today I reached James Street. I was really enjoying drawing the classic Aussie advertising - beers, dim sims and Four 'n Twenty meat pies. I'll ignore the cigarettes! A beautiful day out today with clear skies and a gentle little bit of sunshine on our shoulders. Thanks @alf.green @robcandywatercolours @diannecolk Lisa and Rohan for the company. #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #fitzroy #cityofyarra #victorianarchitecture #archisketch #sketchbook #bockingford #deatramentisink #brunswickstreetfitzroy ...

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Delicious lunch today @elektrafitzroy in Brunswick Delicious lunch today @elektrafitzroy in BrunswickStreet, Fitzroy - and no I didn't draw it because I was far too busy eating. Yumm - those fritters!!! My apologies to Jo and Rohan who were sitting in prime position for me to draw. How could I resist? Rohan's eyes only look closed because he was looking down at his sketchbook. Angela narrowly escaped because I ran out of paper and Rene, Annica (excuse my spelling), Alf and Jill were safely out of view. You might recognise the Victorian lacework outside the window which I drew  close up during my last visit nearly a year ago when I consumed a great deal of their special Himalayan chai (which was just as good today). I was very chuffed that the staff recognised me from that visit! Thanks so much for your hospitality :) What a lovely way to start the year! #brunswickstreetsketchography #fitzroy #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #cafesketch #urbansketchers #sketchbook #hahnemuhle #watercoloursketch

Delicious lunch today @elektrafitzroy in BrunswickStreet, Fitzroy - and no I didn't draw it because I was far too busy eating. Yumm - those fritters!!! My apologies to Jo and Rohan who were sitting in prime position for me to draw. How could I resist? Rohan's eyes only look closed because he was looking down at his sketchbook. Angela narrowly escaped because I ran out of paper and Rene, Annica (excuse my spelling), Alf and Jill were safely out of view. You might recognise the Victorian lacework outside the window which I drew close up during my last visit nearly a year ago when I consumed a great deal of their special Himalayan chai (which was just as good today). I was very chuffed that the staff recognised me from that visit! Thanks so much for your hospitality 🙂 What a lovely way to start the year! #brunswickstreetsketchography #fitzroy #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #cafesketch #urbansketchers #sketchbook #hahnemuhle #watercoloursketch ...

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My top 9 for 2019. An interesting mix of Brunswick My top 9 for 2019. An interesting mix of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy and Germany, as well as a train trip from Amsterdam. Good memories, all of them. Thanks for all your support this year - I love to spot a new message and a chance to connect over a simple sketch. I am truly very fortunate :) #top9of2019 #urbansketchers #urbansketching #brunswickstreetsketchography #sketchbook #sketch #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchersberlin #urbansketchersfrankfurt

My top 9 for 2019. An interesting mix of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy and Germany, as well as a train trip from Amsterdam. Good memories, all of them. Thanks for all your support this year - I love to spot a new message and a chance to connect over a simple sketch. I am truly very fortunate 🙂 #top9of2019 #urbansketchers #urbansketching #brunswickstreetsketchography #sketchbook #sketch #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchersberlin #urbansketchersfrankfurt ...

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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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