Art is generally a solitary activity, which is often part of the attraction, but most artists jump at the chance to sketch, draw or paint alongside others when the chance arises; not just to share the experience, but also to learn from one another. This is why Urban Sketchers organise sketch crawls and how I got to combine a holiday in Canada with sketching alongside and learning from two urban sketching masters. Urban Sketchers is a worldwide community of amateur and professional artists, dedicated to sketching on location (visit www.urbansketchers.org or www.facebook.com/urbansketchers).

Beware though, once you find these sites, you’ll be glued to them for hours! Thanks to the advent of digital technology and social media, it’s this ‘sharing’ aspect that differentiates the urban sketching movement from solitary sketching. As a continuation of that sharing, Urban Sketchers also undertake to support each other and to draw together, which is where sketch crawls come in.

Below you can see Tony (centre) with experienced urban sketchers, Shari Blaukopf and Marc Taro Holmes in Montreal, Canada.