A curious group of people
In front of me a group of people were rhythmically drawing in sketchbooks. They were a curious group of people. I had to see for myself what this was all about. One said ““It is time to toss out all the digital conveniences, we love ink spots, drips and stained fingers.” They call themselves Urban Sketchers, a worldwide “movement” of 6.461 artists from 30 countries, and were participating in the 4th International Urban Sketching Symposium 2013 in Barcelona.
What are Urban Sketchers?
Urban Sketchers is a not-for-profit movement that fosters the art of in situ drawing. A pictorial form of travel writing originating from the time travel was not as quick and easy. As a consequence travellers prepared their trip well in advance and some documented their experiences in notebooks. These notebooks became treasure troves of information showing their adventures and what was important to remember or report home. The traveller was creating one’s own time capsule on paper. Today, travel blogs and digital cameras rule the world, but there are exceptions, not everyone has surrendered to photography. There are fortunately still plenty of people who maintain the tradition of a travel log notebook, where they draw and write down impressions. The modern version of travel log writers are known as Sketchers.
The Urban Sketchers following a specific method. The illustrator spends at least ten to twenty minutes observing the environment, appreciating a vast amount of details and nuances, and than starts translating it into a drawing with whatever “tool” he or she was able to bring along. It is a kind of pictorial, journalistic reporting in its purest form.
Barcelona is pure eye-candy
Why Barcelona? “It was a tough decision to pick the host city of our 4th international symposium, but Barcelona stood out. First there is a great local community of urban sketchers and second Barcelona is pure eye-candy for anyone who loves to draw,” words from Urban Sketchers founder journalist Gabriel Campanario, a native of Barcelona. Gabriel Campanario moved to Seattle in 2006, where he edits a price winning blog at the Seattle Times, and has a weekly column, Seattle Sketchers. He is also the author of The Art of Urban Sketching. Drawing on Location around the World.