About Urban Sketchers-Tacoma


 What is Urban Sketchers-Tacoma?

This is a group for all sketchers who love to draw the area where they live, work, or visit. Urban Sketches are always done on location (not from a photo or from memory) while looking out a window at home, from a cafe, standing by a street-corner, or other convenient location.


The original Urban Sketchers group was created in 2007 by Seattle Times journalist, Gabi Campanario, aka 'The Seattle Sketcher.' The Urban Sketchers blog began in 2008, and a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing began in 2009.

In our greater-Tacoma area, we are working to build a group of Urban Sketchers who regularly attend our outings and post their sketchers on our Flickr site or on our Facebook site, in support of the mission and manifesto of the global Urban Sketchers movement.  These Urban Sketchers always welcome all who would enjoy sketching with the Urban Sketchers community.

What do Urban Sketchers do?
We typically meet at 10:00 am at a designated location and then disperse to sketch until  12:30 pm, when we meet again to share our sketches and do a group photo.

During the summer months, there is an afternoon sketching session, beginning after lunch and ending at 4 pm. Sketches are shared in the afternoon, and a group photo is taken once more.

We have a regularly scheduled monthly sketch-outings on the first Saturday of each month and on the third Wednesday, year around.


We will occasionally have 'ad hoc' gatherings mid-week on varying days and at various times, to take advantage of interests of the sketchers, to allow sketchers to join us who can't meet at our regular meeting times, to take advantage of opportunities that arise, and/or to provide more frequent sketch-outings for all who are interested. These outings will often be announced closer to the time of the outing on our Flickr site.

After a sketch-out, we scan or photograph our sketches and post them on the Urban Sketchers-Tacoma Flickr site or in the Urban Sketchers-Tacoma Facebook group.   We Urban Sketchers check out and comment on the sketches posted by other  Urban Sketchers locally or globally.


Who may become a member of Urban Sketchers-Tacoma?

Urban Sketchers-Tacoma welcomes all who would enjoy sketching with us to attend our sketch-outings. Our sketching  community is open to sketchers with any level of sketching experience. We who regularly attend and post our sketches on Flickr or Facebook have met the minimum requirements to call ourselves "Urban Sketchers." As an all-volunteer organization, many hands make light work.  Urban Sketchers share tasks needed to maintain the organization, and promote its well-being,  growing our ability to serve the sketcher-community.

What does it cost to join and participate?

There is no joining fee or participation fee. If our sketch-out is at a location which requires an entrance fee, we try to be sure it is in a location that is equally interesting around the area, so a sketcher may decide whether to pay to enter the venue or not. ex. a zoo or a museum. Whenever possible, we reduce entry fees by applying for group rates. Most of our venues are free. When it comes to sharing lunch-time, it is our experience that some sketchers enjoy bringing a bag lunch while others prefer to go to a restaurant.

How do I go about becoming an Urban Sketcher?

  • Participate regularly in sketch-outings with other Tacoma-area sketchers,
  • Post Urban Sketches on our group's Flickr or Facebook sites. While there, comment in a supportive manner about the the sketches of other Urban Sketchers.
  • Agree to follow the Urban Sketchers Manifesto:
    • 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.
Monthly Outings Urban Sketchers-Tacoma holds three regular meetings per month in Pierce County, on the first Saturday, the second Thursday (in Gig Harbor area) and the third Wednesday. USk-Tacoma occasionally holds 'ad hoc' outings when interesting opportunities arise and there is a host for a special outing. These sketch-outings are on days and times different from our regularly scheduled outings.

Come join us for some sketching fun!!! Bring any type of sketching materials you would enjoy using. To sketch, all that is needed is a pencil or pen and some paper. You may bring that or any other sketching materials that interest you. One thing artists enjoy is sharing information about materials....so, it is always fun to see what everyone else has brought for sketching materials.  Some of us bring a folding stool or chair. We also sometimes just sit on ledges, stand, lean, etc., whatever works for us in that location.

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