Display your Sketches in the New Library

Hi  Calgary Urban Sketchers,

The new public library has a wall dedicated to the “Calgary Story” and they would be quite happy to display our sketches of buildings and scenes of the city. The wall space is on the third floor. This would be nice publicity for us personally and for urban sketching in in our city.

Here is a photo of a current exhibit of photographs. The pieces are suspended from a bar on wires so there are no wall mounting hooks required.


This is wall available for us.


I recently had a request for copies of my Hong Kong sketches. Staple print services will scan your sketchbook and make pretty good prints. I was reluctant to rip the pages out of my sketchbook and this allowed me to keep the sketchbook intact..

In the two photos below Staples printed the sketches on foam board with a glossy finish. One is 8 1/2″ x 11″ and the other 11″x17″. Scanning, printing and foam board mounting on the larger size was under $10.00.



The exhibition display wall is available in either July or August of this year so there is time to organize your submission. I shall issue a reminder in early June.

Keep Sketching!!!!



Recent Sketches

The longer I live the more behinder I get! Its been a while since I have posted sketches.

When I came back in November the new library had just opened and our first sketchcrawl was eye-popping. We returned many more times and it became a default go to place. I had to make one visit without a sketchbook just to look at the books! I tried to capture some of the interaction between the people and the architecture.C61C71BF-DE45-40D7-86C2-BB60F827FB16

This is one of my favourite sketches. Sketchers in a sketch. the cat was there only in my imagination.


Last Friday evening we were permitted dry media only in the designated heritage building of Knox United Church. This sketch was done from the upper floor balcony and the woodwork of the trusses and rafters was impressive! I had sketched the church from across the street just before Christmas so seeing it on the inside was a great opportunity.


Happy Sketching!!!


Amsterdam Symposium July 2019

Hi Sketchers,

Registration for the event begins February 2, 2019.

I have cut and pasted the following info.

There is a link to frequently asked questions about the event:



When and where is this year’s Urban Sketchers International Symposium

The 10th International Urban Sketchers Symposium will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 24 – 27, 2019.

Where is the Main Venue for the Symposium?

The main venue will be at the Zuiderkerk

The Zuiderkerk (“southern church”) is a 17th-century Protestant church in the Nieuwmarkt area of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The church played an important part in the life of Rembrandt and was the subject of a painting by Claude Monet.

Where can I get news or updates on the Symposium?

To stay abreast with Symposium news, check

Symposium webpage

Symposium Instagram

Symposium FB group


You can subscribe to Drawing Attention for updates:




Sketching Hong Kong

We spent three weeks in Hong Kong, a modern city with an ancient culture, an amazing place with lots of sketching opportunities.

I enjoyed doing these sketches on a Pentalic 11″ x 14″ watercolour fieldbook.

This one was done one our last day in Tokyo.



And on our first full day in Hong Kong I found this narrow apartment building flanked by a descending lane on both sides. On the lower right, just down the steps is a sidewalk shrine with odour of incense greeting you as you pass by.



When I saw this building with the tree on the roof I thought it was abandoned but there’s an open shop on the ground floor.fullsizeoutput_188a


The cats ambled  around my legs as I sat on stool sketching.

I had the opportunity to meet up with Urbansketchershongkong on one of their sketch crawls. This mansion was once the residence of the family that owned Tiger Balm ( the ointment). After two hours of sketching they gather and do a show and tell session. They are a very active, popular and hospitable group!



This building lies in the Kowloon side of Hong Kong and its mottled weathered paint colours caught my eye.fullsizeoutput_1885


There is street market with a tram line running through it in the North Point neighbourhood on Hong Kong island.


It also rains in Hong Kong.


Over 200 hundred Canadian soldiers are buried in San Wan cemetery and it was another rainy, gloomy day.



Sai Kung was once a fishing village but is now a trendy area for expats and still has great seafood restaurants. Blue Girl beer藍妹啤酒 was my favourite beverage.



I’ll end with this sketch of the Star Ferry, the iconic symbol of Hong Kong.fullsizeoutput_1a6dfullsizeoutput_1a74

While I miss the warm mostly sunny weather in Hong Kong, being able walk outdoors wearing T-shirt there is still a lot of Calgary to sketch.

Have fun sketching!















Sketching Japan

Hi Calgary Sketchers!

I have been fortunate to travel in Japan and have been able to do sketches while on a cruise stopping at the following ports.

Ishinomaki was once known for its Manga culture and founder and many manga figures populate the sidewalks. That changed in 2011 when the tsunami swept away thousands of its people leaving a testament to human resilience tinged with enduring sadness.FBCD603A-DB84-422D-9540-E31E955F7DD0

Hakodate lies on the south end of the northern island of Hokkaido. The red brick warehouses were built when the new imperial government opened up Japan to trade with the world.29525921-DD54-4599-9631-326F832E3BA7

Akita has the same name as the breed of dog first bred in this region. I sat outside in a Starbucks to capture this urban scene.A7521642-6F50-44C7-B3E1-2CC438809C68

There is much more to Busan to sketch but a hectic shore excursion left me with time on the deck of the ship before we left the harbour.501D2C65-89AC-4FFB-8FD5-01DB0D0DB1B4

Kagoshima lies on the southern end of the main island of Honshu. Across the harbour lies a quietly steaming volcano.
This nearly forgotten shrine laid in the sideyard of a bigger temple complex.37CE2B2E-FCF6-4257-9F93-EDDFB2900A6F

In Yokohama i found a bigger version of red brick ware houses now filled with trendy shops.
To my disappointment, they were setting up in front of me, while sketching, for a massive Oktoberfest celebration to take place after we left this beautiful city.80A34072-0ECC-49F6-89ED-F02EED7A8174

I hope to post more sketches soon!

Happy sketching,

More Sketches

Last Saturday was great weather to do the back lane. I thought it was a good opportunity to practice wall textures, perspectives and shadows.fullsizeoutput_1846


The Odd Fellow’s Hall looked like an easy one but when you sit, study and try to capture a building you become aware of all of its detailing and unique features. I sat for two hours and could only do the line work. The extra detail and watercolour ( and cats) were added in the days following.fullsizeoutput_1824


The George C. King Bridge ( who is he? ) was a challenge with with those leaping, flying structural arches. Due to my little misunderstanding I ended up alone on the island, just me my bicycle and the geese.


Downtown West Kerby Station was another exercise in drawing curved elements. It was a windy and smokey morning.




The are many opportunities for indoor urban sketching. One of them is coffee shops. Capturing coffee shop patrons is a good way to practice people sketching.


Juliet’s Castle on 16th Avenue northeast is a pub with live musicians every Saturday from 3:00 to &:00 P.M. They are happy to invite you to sit and sketch the band along with great music and your favourite kind of beverage.

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I am out of town for a few weeks but will post my travel sketches.

Happy Sketching Everyone!