Monday, June 23, 2014


I recently became acquainted with the term “SketchCrawl”, and while this type of artist activity has been around for a few years now, its popularity is growing. A SketchCrawl is basically the gathering of a group of artists at a designated location, (museum, zoo, park or another interesting spot ), for the purpose of doing loose, observational drawings in a sketchbook, using simple materials such as pens, pencils and/or a small watercolor set.

From Enrico Casarosa of the SketchCrawl website: (

“The basic idea: to record nonstop everything I could around me with my pencil and watercolors. A drawn journal filled with details ranging from the all the coffee I drank to the different buses I took. After a whole day of drawing and walking around the city the name seemed quite fitting: “SketchCrawl” – a drawing marathon. The crawl was more tiring than I imagined but also more fun and exciting than I had thought. Giving yourself this kind of mandate for a full day changes the way you look around you. It makes you stop and see things just a tad longer, just a bit deeper … needless to say I loved it.”

Children’s book illustrator Lynn Chapman often posts about her experiences doing a SketchCrawl  here:

Using this idea as a fun summer activity for you, your friends, or a group of children, gather together at a designated location for a day-or just a few hours. Spend about 15-30 minutes at each SketchCrawl stop. Pick out one single element (such as a flower, park bench, etc.)… or an entire city block to record in sketch form. The idea is to be quick, loose and not worry about the finished product. With the written word, record other details that you see or hear (or taste!) at your location.

In the photo posted, I’ve organized a simple SketchCrawl kit. An inexpensive drawing pad, pencil, colored pencils and/or markers placed in a small backpack would make a great kit for kids. Regular Crayola markers will dissolve into a watercolor-like paint when brushed over with water. You just need to use a heavier weight paper in your sketchbook.
Happy summer…and happy SketchCrawling!

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