Blog Correspondents

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Dave Black

Hello, I’m Dave Black and I live in Wellington, NZ.

I discovered Urban Sketchers back in 2010 while living in London and was inspired to start sketching. Urban Sketching is a great way to explore a city, and there is plenty to explore in London.

I’ve now returned to Wellington and enjoy sketching and rediscovering this hilly harbour city. I love to draw in Wellington’s numerous cafes.

Sketching is a great way to document places. I see and experience more when I sketch, details and behaviours  that I otherwise would have missed.

I work as an IT Systems Engineer when I am not sketching.

Check out my personal blog or my Flickr account for more sketches.


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Murray Dewhurst

A few years back I found an old sketchbook that I had toyed with in the late 80's. Flicking through I found the sketches were mostly pretty average and the sketchbook was unfinished, but what surprised me was how those sketches brought back vivid memories. 

A rough sketch of some terrace houses in Brixton, where I lived at the time, took me straight back to Saturday mornings at Brixton Market, browsing for plantains and yams to the base heavy soundtrack of reggae soundsystems. A sketch done in Doğubeyazıt, eastern Turkey brought back vivid memories of drinking ayran with jovial Kurdish herders and the smell of brewing Turkish coffee.

Drawing on location is a refreshing analogue break from hours spent on a computer at my graphic design business and strangely makes where I live seem more interesting.

What stopped me from filling that sketchbook escapes me now — but I'm making up for lost time! See more sketches here and here.


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Brian Gnyp


When I was in art school, I would go into downtown Vancouver and draw the urban things that my suburban satellite city didn't have. There were things like tall buildings, alleys, tugboats and people in a much busier environment. I guess I was urban sketching before I even knew that 'this was a thing'.
I was drawing less as time went on but when I was living in Scotland, the relatively different look of things made me pick it up again. I also switched to using a ballpoint pen at that time. The pencil in my older sketchbooks were blurring from the gentle smudging of the pages.
I'm now living in New Zealand and it's motivating to find others, locally and internationally, who just want to draw, that like a good sketchcrawl and are generally into the urban sketching thing. Seeing everyone's great drawings makes me want to draw each sketch better than my last one.

Pretty much all my drawings here are done with a ballpoint pen on location. I don't use pencil first since I find that a ballpoint can make a light enough line without committing too much ink right away. I do however rip out a LOT of pages from my sketchbook. My technique is pretty unforgivable if something is majorly wrong. Often, I will return for more than one sitting or draw 'just enough' to finish it at home (like shading).

If I colour a sketch, I use Photoshop and a graphics tablet. I paint 'behind it' with the black lines on top since to me the sketch is still king and I like the comic book style result. Usually, my drawings are detailed enough with enough information that I can remember what colour everything is. Sometimes I might come back for a second look or take a photo to help me remember the types of colours things are. In many cases, I will just guess most of the colours! Visit my website for more.

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Theresa Grieben


Port Barton, Palawan, Philippines
Hello! My name is Theresa, I was born in 1985 in a town called Bernau close to Berlin. Maybe due to growing up behind the Wall I had a huge curiosity for pretty much every foreign country in the world. I wanted to travel as much and as far away as possible. My first trip abroad was to the South of France with my family in 1992 and as a teenager I did pretty much any trip I could lay my hands on (and afford).

Apart from traveling I have always loved drawing just as much, so it was only natural for me to enroll at the University of Arts and Design Halle after High School.
I've always kept sketchbooks, but used them rather for recording ideas then for drawing my environment. An important moment came when my lecturer asked me to create a visual diary of the town where we studied. 

I started with a couple of sketches, didn't like them, started anew and suddenly I couldn't stop: I drew the streets, the university, my flat share, the dome, the forest...entire panoramas of up to 4 meters. Once started there was no reason not to draw everything around me. Ever since I've been keeping extensive visual diaries of all the places I've travelled to or lived in and upload them regularly to my website.

From February 2012 till August 2013 Iived in Auckland, NZ to complete a Masters of Design degree at Unitec. During this time I've joined the USK Aotearoa as a correspondent, which was the perfect match for me, as it brings my passions of drawing and traveling together. 

After my return to Berlin I continue to travel and post drawings from places such as Budapest, Vanuatu or the Philippines.
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Mei Ling Lee

I came to sketching in a round about way. My artistic life started when I made my first pom pom in kindergarten. From there I went to art school to make sculptures that always started with a sketch. I love walking around a work and seeing it from all possible angles much like choosing the right spot for sketching outdoors. There is an immediacy to using a pencil to record what you are looking at. It is such a pleasure to draw a black line on a crispy white page. There is nothing quite like it.

I live in Auckland and found urban sketching through Big Draw. Drawing with other people remains a great way to spend the day. I am never with out my conté and notebook for capturing those quick moments that I come across during my day.


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Mário Luz


Hi, sketchers. I am Mario, a Portuguese living in Christchurch, New Zealand. I arrived in New Zealand about two years ago and started to sketch my new environment right away. The act of drawing makes me feel part of what surrounds me. If I draw, I see: if I see, I understand. This was my way of settling down.

I have been keeping a record of my surroundings since I was at college. Today I can say that my travel sketchbooks are the most precious objects I own. We write and draw in them, and they help us to remember places and situations, smells and sounds that we would never recall if we had only taken a photo.

Between me, my wife and my daughter, we are three sketchers, because usually if one of us is sketching, the others are either waiting or sketching as well. For Eva, aged seven, sketching is something all parents do, like cooking or driving.

What I like about posting sketches on the internet is being able to look at them as an outsider – this allows me to be the artist on site, and then the critic at home looking at the Urban Sketchers website.

Follow Mario's blog

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Eric Ngan


The Creative Life is the one for me!

I've been into Art ever since I can remember and my first inspirations were drawn from comics.

I'm so glad super heroes have become a multi-million dollar business now, because it justifies the many hours spent lost in the pages of Marvel, DC and 200AD. After four years of intense fun I graduated with a Craft & Design Diploma specialising in printmaking and installation. I subsequently produced a few exhibitions, public commissions and taught in class and workshops.

My main career focus right now is being an Event Producer, delivering festivals and major events in Auckland. These events still provide an outlet for, and require large amounts of creativity from me, so that keeps me energised.

But on weekends and after hours, I still return to my ever present sketch book to visually diarise my life, and sketch the world around me. I tend to take one year to complete a journal and it's a great way to capture the stuff that interests me.

I get my organised 'fix' of drawing with the monthly urban sketch BIG DRAW sessions in Auckland, where a group of us meet up at a chosen location and create memories.

You can see some more of my stuff here.

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Scott Wilson

I grew up in an artistic and engineering household in Southland.  My hobbies include carving in different mediums. Regular overseas trips have enabled me to practice sketching which I believe is the ‘Esperanto of travel’. It dissolves language barriers as people peer over your shoulder. I’ve loved those ‘chats’ irrespective of language. My home in New Plymouth, between a dormant volcano and the sea, provides various subjects for sketching. Weekly outings with ‘The Taranaki Sketchers' has enabled me to learn more about people, structures and scenes.  

My favourite kit consists of a black fine-liner and 100 Tombow ABTs – washed water-colour style with a waterbrush – a technique I’ve refined.

In my work I aim to capture a sense of brightness and light, but I continue to admire the diverse range of styles of the global Urban Sketcher community. The web has happily brought us closer.

Listen to Scott's 20min Radio Sketching Interview
Weebly slide show

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