Featured image by Dudley Svendsgaard

This Saturday, January 23, is WorldWide SketchCrawl Day! Wait, what’s a SketchCrawl? Who can go, and what do you do? We got the info from Koosje’s pal Dudley Svendsgaard, an illustrator from the San Francisco Bay Area who now lives in The Netherlands. Dudley shared everything you’ll need to know to join in this global sketching event!

When did you first fall in love with drawing? Dudley: I started drawing as soon as I could pick up a crayon or pen and make marks. I’ve always had this need to do it; if I’m not doing it, I don’t feel complete. Even if I take a break, I find myself doodling in a meeting and thinking, Yes, drawing, you’re right, I love you.

What are your favorite things to draw? Definitely people, on the street or in cafes, or life drawing sessions. I also love drawing animals, food, buildings, landscapes, anything and everything. Everything that exists is something to be drawn. You can give a drawing of a rock just as much character as you can give to a portrait of a loved relative, or a loved puppy, or a loved doughnut!

What are your favorite materials? Probably the simplest: a pen and a sketchbook. I don’t have a studio set up, and I don’t have a lot of time, but I always have a pen and a sketchbook on me. If I forget my sketchbook, the whole day I think about getting back to it, giving it a hug, and adding in a sketch.

Koosje tells us you’re also a Sketchbook Skool student. Yes, I’ve taken the Beginning kourse! I loved all the lessons, especially the ones with Prashant Miranda. I really enjoyed his personality and seeing how he works and travels.

What is Worldwide SketchCrawl? The WWSC is an event takes place about every three months in which local urban sketching groups from around the world all participate in a SketchCrawl on the same day. A SketchCrawl is a day of getting together with other sketchers at a particular location to draw what’s around us for a while, and then moving to another location or two. Then we hang out and share our drawings and experience. The next WWSC is taking place January 23rd. You can visit the WorldWide SketchCrawl website to check for the general information. There’s also a link to forums in which people all over the world post information on where they’ll be meeting for the WWSC.

Clearly you don’t have a problem sketching in public! Did SketchCrawls help you get past that shyness? Actually, sketching in public is still tough for me; I’ve just found that not doing it is much harder. Going on SketchCrawls absolutely helps to overcome the shyness of working in public. One of the things I enjoy most is seeing the way some people in the group evolve from being timid public sketchers into absolute sketch beasts, sharing not only with the group, but even with the random people they might be sketching!

How do people find groups of sketchers to join? When I came to Amsterdam, I needed more motivation to get out sketching, so I started a group just to see what would happen. Amazingly, hundreds of people joined! I meet interesting people from all over the world and make new friends. Along with the SketchCrawl.com site, you can search for groups on the official Urban Sketchers page that lists Regional Chapters, as well as on Facebook, or Meetup.com. If you can’t find a group in your area, create your own! It’s easy to do on Facebook or Meetup, and more than likely there will be people in your area looking for a group like yours to join.

Do you have to be at a certain level of skill to join? There are members at every level—just come along and enjoy the drawing and the company! The sharing of sketches isn’t a requirement, but it can be a big inspiration for everyone.

What should SketchCrawl participants bring? The classic pen and sketchbook combo is really all you need; maybe a small watercolor kit. Water, snacks, and maybe a small portable folding chair. Experience will be the best way to learn what tools work for you and how to best approach the SketchCrawls. Get to as many as you can and enjoy!

For more info, visit SketchCrawl.com. To see photos from Dudley’s Amsterdam group, visit Facebook and The Amsterdam Urban Sketchers.

How do you feel about drawing in public? Do you have a story of how you overcame public sketching shyness? Leave a comment below to start the discussion!

Sketchcrawl drawing by Koosje Koene

Filed under categories: Community