Urban Sketching, with Todd Cumpston

“When I started sketching and urban sketching, what I liked was it let me create in spaces of my day that would otherwise be on the phone, or just staring off into space… Being able to be creative wherever, whenever, really appealed.” ~ Todd Cumpston

“Urban Sketching” is an international movement of people who draw on location — indoors or out — capturing what they see from direct observation. The drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel. Todd Cumpston is both a practitioner and a teacher. I couldn’t wait to talk with him about this delightful curiosity practice.

Such power in sitting still, paying close, appreciative attention to the world around us…

Listen to Choose to be Curious #175: Urban Sketching, with Todd Cumpston

You can find Todd Cumpston on Instagram and Tumblr.

My inspiration was several-fold for this episode. Check out my first sketchbook teacher and original muse Susan Abbott; the source of that course, the Art League School; and the Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass exhibit that so transported me –and, of course, that glass of Coke!

Want to know more about urban sketching? Take a peek at urbansketchers.org. Todd mentioned he enjoys the work of Shari Blaukopf.

The Urban Sketchers Manifesto

The UrbanSketchers.org statement of vision and values is lovely — curious, communal and slowed-down. A perfect antidote to so much in the world:

We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live, and where we travel. Our drawings are a record of time and place.

We are truthful to the scenes we witness.

We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.

We support each other and draw together.

We share our drawings online.

We show the world, one drawing at a time.

My “Throw Down”

Because I promised, here are some of my sketches. SO fun — and so much to learn!

Our theme music is by Sean Balick. “Town Market” by Onesuch Village, via Blue Dot Sessions.

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