We are pleased and proud that we are now an authorized chapter of urbansketchers.org, the international organization of the tens of thousands of urban sketchers across the globe.

 Keep sketching and be sure to direct the urban sketchers you know to visit this site and ask to join our group. Upon approval they will be able to post their work, as long as they adhere to the Urban Sketchers Manifesto which is posted on the right side of this site.

Sketch Crawl – Sculptures – East End

What a beautiful day to be out sketching.  Considering the weather the day prior, we were very fortunate.   The number that attended was low, but feedback was positive.  For those of you who did not attend, could you please comment as to why so we know whether to have another event like this in 2020.  Maybe you don’t like to sketch alone, or the day or time does not work for you, or maybe you wanted to attend, but had other plans.  We are open to format changes for this type of event, and other events.  We do have a sketch crawl for the west end scheduled at the end of July, so if you want to give it a try……

See you Thursday evening for sketching the iconic Chicken on the Way chicken and building.  Hopefully the weather cooperates.

July and August schedule will be posted soon.


New Central Library – Calgary Urban Sketchers

Back on March 5 of this year, Rod posted a note about an upcoming opportunity for the Calgary Urban Sketchers group to display our sketches of this great city. Our opportunity is quickly approaching – August we will get to display our sketches on the “Calgary’s Story” wall on the top floor of the library.

I am posting this note to solicit sketches of Calgary from the members of the Calgary Urban Sketchers group. We are looking for contributions from all members of the group, as long as they are urban sketches of Calgary.

Original sketches can be taken to the print shop at any Calgary Staples store (or a similar business if you have another preference), and they will scan your sketch or sketches, then crop and enlarge as you wish, and print on foamcore (also known as foamboard) in the size you specify. Letter size is the most popular so far, but there is also room for 11″ x 17″ inch if you so desire. Landscape or Portrait format as appropriate. Typical processing time is 2 to 4 days and the cost is quite reasonable. You keep your original sketches.

One to four sketches per member, mounted on foamcore, is what I’m looking for. Please sign your prints so you receive credit for your work.

I REALLY want to avoid a last minute scramble to get the prints, so please review your sketches in the next week or two, and give me the copies by Saturday July 20. The easiest way to find me is to show up at one of the upcoming group sketching sessions. Also email me at jgill0987l@gmail.com to let me know you have some sketches to contribute and when you will be bringing them. The July schedule should be posted on the “Events” tab shortly.

Please let me know if you have one or two”most favorites” in case we get too many sketches for the wall space available and have to prune.

When August is over, we will take the prints down and return them to you. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility of damage after a month of being on public display. That is why we want prints of your work, not your originals.

I am also looking for as many volunteers as possible to help mount the sketches on the wall. There’s an old adage about “many hands make for light work,” meaning the more volunteers the lighter the work for each of us. I expect we will be mounting the sketches on Thursday August 1 but will confirm once we have a firm date from the library.

This is our time! Let’s make it an event to remember.




Downtown Sketch Crawl – East End Sculptures, June 22nd

This Saturday, rain or shine, is a first for our Urban Sketchers group, but follows a different format than our usual: it’s a sketch crawl! The general idea is that everyone spreads out along a roughly predetermined route, and meets up at the end to share their series of sketches from the crawl. The emphasis is on trying quicker sketches of multiple subjects over the allotted time.

In this case, we’re going to be showcasing the public art and sculptures around the east side of downtown. Using resources like the Downtown Art Walk brochure, and the City of Calgary public art map, choose a few different subjects east of 2nd Street and plan your route; anything goes! Aim to start at 10am, and a good plan would be to try to rotate locations every half hour, or whatever you’re comfortable with.

By 1pm, everyone will convene in Olympic Plaza at the Famous Five Women are Persons! statue (plan to arrive before that if you wish to sketch it). Likely we’ll head over to a nearby coffee shop to compare sketches afterwards.

Given the forecast, you may want to pack an umbrella, but keep in mind how much of this art is sketchable from sheltered vantages and have fun exploring our city! Stay tuned at the end of July when we’ll tackle the West end sculptures!

Image result for women are persons statue calgary

A Pleasant Morning at Connaught Park

2019 June 15

Arrived early and grabbed a coffee.  I did two sketches.  Started a 20 minute sketch before the others arrived.  This statue is a replica of a soapstone carving, which is originally 14 cm tall.  This statue is part of the Civic Art Collection.


In my second sketch I am playing around with preparing my support prior to the event.  I used watercolor and some gesso.  I applied using a combination of brush, knife and stamping.  I like how it allows me to relax, and I can just concentrate on the drawing.   I added thicker pen at home and some marker for shadows.  I also added plant material to the planter, poor thing only has a couple of weeds 😦



Three More Sketches

It was a cold day in May when we came downtown.I found a great spot on the plus 15, warm and dry, to capture these beauties. They are curved steel wind baffles to mitigate the wind tunnel effect of the large plus 15 bridge.

And they were so complicated that I spent my 90 minutes struggling with the line work and coloured it up at home!


At Barb Scot park I was drawn to the Carl Safran building, the stone work is amazing!!!


Another sand stone building that fascinates me is the McDougall Building. I did this one in two sittings, weeks apart.


Happy sketching!

I shall follow up with the logo soon……