Saturday, October 22, 2016

how to make an urban sketch in ten easy steps

How to make an Urban Sketch (in the North of England in Autumn (i.e. it's cold)) in 10 easy steps;

(Optional step; Turn up to the location and realise you've brought all your inks but no pen. No really (I told you I was a rubbish urban sketcher). Go buy pens)
Step 1. Find a coffee shop with a window seat and a view
Step 2. Have a coffee and sandwich. This is one of the more complicated steps; I'm in the Northern Quarter, of Manchester, so will have to decide between ten different coffee beans, made in fifteen different ways, then there's the bread...sour dough, brioche, rye....
Step 3. Make a mess of the table
Step 4. Ah shit. Why did I put colour on it?
Step 5. Have another coffee. And a Danish pastry. Try to hide the mess you've made of the table when they bring it over.
Step 6. Add lettering to try to take away the focus from the awful colour work
Step 7. Pigeons
Step 8. Scrub the table then go outside and take the obligatory out of focus urban sketcher photo, whilst holding your book in front of the building with one hand and trying to take photo with the other hand whilst worrying that somebody is going to snatch your phone.
Step 9. When all else fails go shopping
Step 10. Reassess at home over a cup of tea. Followed by either throwing it in the bin or feeling a little bit smug.

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Blogger Melliott said...

You're hilarious. So perfect.

7:35 PM  
OpenID sherylmcdougald said...

Haha yes, the Ah Shit why did I colour it? should turn to Wow that colour is perfect... :)

7:56 PM  
Blogger rosie bradshaw said...

Like the drawing,definitely one to feel smug about. The commentary made me smile, so thanks for both :)

8:49 PM  
Blogger MyLittleBlueDog said...

Well I think it is great and I like it b&w and in colour. I'd be more worried someone would pinch the nice sketch. So I didn't detect a mess on the table... What kind of coffee and sandwich did you decide on???? Seems much more civilised that sitting on the footpath and getting a cold bottom.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Missy Jean said...

Andrea, this is fabulous and so true! I was in Seattle last week in Pike's Place Market trying to do an urban sketch (which a very rarely do!) of the "Public Market" sign. Not only was I fighting the good 'ol Pacific Northwest wind, but I was also fighting oodles of tourists taking selfies, and the raindrops that were tenaciously trying to muddle up my page.

In the end, it is a memory. And a story. And you worded it so well here. Thank you once again . Cheers!

P.S. I like the color. :D

11:28 PM  
Blogger Vicky said...

This is delightful in so many ways! I've had similar experiences. So glad you didn't throw it in the bin.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Katherine Tyrrell said...

Posted as a salutary tale to my Facebook Page about Drawing and Sketching!

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Ruby Opaltones said...

Dear Andrea
I had no idea that anyone else's urban sketching experience was so similar to mine. The only thing different is that I don't have to have forgotten my pens to go pen shopping ha ga.oh, and we just don't have the views you have, out of our cafe windows!

Thanks for the belly laughs; a great way to start a gloomy Sunday.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

This is so funny! Thank you.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

So true, so funny. Thank you

5:26 PM  
Blogger Karen Z said...

Hilarious! And not at all a bad sketch outing. So what kind of coffee did you have?

11:28 PM  
Blogger Desiree said...

Haha, laughing out loud here! Great tutorial! Thanks, makes me feel like I could actually do this. I am in Norway, so the cold is taken care of. That's one check. Now for the rest of the steps ...

8:42 AM  
Blogger sheryl pond said...


6:00 PM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I'm glad this struck a chord.
I can guarantee it'll be cafes right through until next April/May now. Our sketching outside season is very short.

Thanks. You make my day.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Andrea Palma said...

Step 1. Learn how to use inks like Andrea Joseph, and bring out the the whimsy in ordinary buildings.

Just loving this style of yours!

1:28 PM  
Blogger Cheryl Wright said...

Oh Darn, just 10 steps - how simple is that! So glad you outlined those steps. Now I have all I need to do some killer urban sketches. But I'm gonna make sure I carry my pen. Thanks Andrea.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Terry Banderas said...

Great sketches!!!!

4:33 PM  
Blogger Alix said...

I'm pretty sure that if I ever did get out to do some urban sketching, this would be how it would go for some added disaster and maybe half-finished everything!

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Derek Snowdon said...

Just found you from a tip off by one of the top most silversmiths in the country, who is starting to sketch. I'm an Urban Sketcher in the Southampton group.
Amusing and smashing work thanks.

1:25 PM  
OpenID said...

oh, this is *exactly* my experience -- thanks for the giggle!

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

oh, this is *exactly* my experience -- thanks for the giggle!

2:03 PM  

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