UskAmsterdam Symposium

Imagine being in the company of hundreds of urban sketchers from around the world!  Just being here was fun enough with the sketchwalks in this beautiful city but I also took part in 3 workshops, a drink and draw, some demos and got a grab bag of product samples.


Each of the workshops challenged my sketching habits and my preconceptions about what a sketch is trying say.

For example, Rita Sabler, in her workshop, emphasized the story aspect of your sketch including the acivity of your main characters such as the vendor at a market stall by drawing him or her in various poses in a kind of timelapse recording.

Stephanie Bower in her workshop, suggested sketching in pencil only and use a straight edge because it saves time. I typically rough out my sketches in pencil and then go over the pencil in ink, effectively drawing them twice.  She also gave great hints on the geometry of difficult shapes such as towers.

Karen Jiyun Sung, in her workshop, led us in starting with a core element and then adding additional sheets of paper as necessary to complete the composition, literally drawing outside the box!


Amsterdam is uniquely in combining historic buildings with  beautiful canals, an urban sketcher’s treat.


Next year’s Symposium will be held in April, in Hong Kong!

Attending this year’s Symposium left me in awe of the comraderie, focus and talent of Urban Sketchers from so many places on our planet,




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