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Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes by Gabriel Campanario

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F39_Job:05-41203 Title: RP-The Urban Sketching Handbook
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(Text)
Á When drawing the
White House, regular
sketcher Guido Seoanes
was confronted by the Secret
Service. “This is the third time
that we see you around the
area, what are you doing?”
they asked him. “Just exercis-
ing my freedom of sketching,
sir,” he replied.
Nice job. Are you an artist?
People will stop and peek over your shoulder when you draw on the street.
Don’t brush off their positive feedback by dismissing your work or skill with
toss-off comments like “It’s just a sketch” or “I’m not really an artist.” You don’t
want to insult their taste. Take the opportunity to ask them about the building
you are sketching. Do they know about its history? Do they have a story about
that place? Remember that urban sketching is about immersing yourself in your
city or the places you travel. You’ll miss out if you wear headphones or don’t
welcome interaction.
Can I have that sketch?
It will happen sooner or later. Someone will want your sketch, the original or a
digital file, for a brochure, a calendar, a save-the-date wedding card, or just to
decorate a room. You may be flattered but, please, take my advice: Think twice
before you agree to let others use your artwork. You may offer the sketch in
exchange for valuable exposure, or because the person asking is a relative or
a friend, but, for example, you don't want a business to put it on T-shirts without
fair compensation. You see, in some cases you may be undermining the work
of professional artists and illustrators who draw for a living. When in doubt,
consult a professional illustrator. The takeaway here is simple: Teach people that
a sketch has value. While it may have only taken you a few minutes to make, its
quality is the result of many more hours, even years, of learning and practice.
Sketching in public puts you in contact with the world. Be prepared to handle
human interaction in a courteous manner.
You have the right to draw in public spaces.
As long as you are not trespassing on private property, you should be able to
draw to your heart’s content, just like news photographers can’t be prosecuted
for taking photos on the street. Buildings are not “copyrighted.” Nor can a
security guard chase you away from a public space because you are drawing
the building he’s guarding. Of course, laws vary by country—and you should
always respect the law—but I think we can all agree that sketching is part of our
freedom of speech.
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