Drawing doesn’t have to be perfect

December 7, 2018

Do you doodle at the top of a scrap of paper and long to add more details to your work? You might want to attend a sketch crawl in the company of many who share your passion.

A retired architect/landscape designer, my friend Greer, signed up to take a sketch class at the Rehoboth Art League last spring. The teacher, Rosemary Connelly, invited her to a “Sketch crawl,” a monthly event with Urban Sketchers of Delaware. Greer says it opened up a new world of enjoyment.

“This class hit all of my buttons. I could use my design background, but there was no stress. Sketching doesn’t require a straight edge and it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

Artist Connelly explains, “One of the things I love about this practice is that it attracts all ages, men and women, from all walks of life. Maybe some who’ve always wanted to make art but were discouraged as children, or used to do it but stopped because of raising families, work or simply life getting in the way!”

The three Delaware counties take turns arranging sketch crawls in their respective counties. They choose places with visual interest. Perhaps the architecture or the landscaping is inspiring.

Vivienne Cameron and Rebecca Howell are the administrators for New Castle. Rosemary Connelly covers Kent and Morgan Golladay covers Sussex. The leaders contact the local business to make sure they are not intruding  and to be certain there are bathrooms and ample parking.

Justin Call, a young tattoo artist from Clarksville, attended the sketch crawl in November at Jayne’s Reliable, a furniture, architectural salvage, and local art store in Dagsboro.

Justin says, “It was an amazing group of people. Although the weather was cold, I had a lot of fun and was able to duck inside to warm up. I’m looking forward to the next one.” 

Greer agrees. “It’s been a great opportunity to meet new people, and there is a real sense of community among us.” The Urban Sketchers have 91 members in their Facebook group and about 350 followers, including me. I am a wannabe artist who envies the talents of others.

Rosemary visited Barcelona a few years ago and decided to contact an Urban Sketchers chapter in Spain. “They invited me to come sketch with them. I loved it. The group included accountants and electricians, and people from all professions who simply share a need to create art.”

The Delaware chapter meets on the second Sunday of every month from noon to 3 p.m., alternating their location in three counties. Turnout for the monthly sketch crawls ranges anywhere from four to 24! The next Sketch Crawl in Sussex County is Sunday, Dec. 9, from noon to 3 p.m.

Rosemary explains, “We don’t ask people to sign up for the day, only to show up if they can, so we never really know who will turn up. We do send out press releases periodically but primarily depend on our Facebook events and word of mouth.”

The events are always free and open to all levels, but they do not offer lessons.

Urban Sketching is primarily done in a 5x8 sketchbook, although it can be done on individual pieces of paper too. You can sketch with a pen, pencil, colored pencils, ballpoint pen, or a fountain pen.

Rosemary uses a waterproof pen and a small watercolor kit and what is called a waterbrush. “It doesn’t require an elaborate set up and the supplies fit in my purse, making it easy to always have my sketching supplies with me! “

If you would like to try your hand at sketching, visit their page: for times and information about upcoming events. And to learn more about upcoming workshops for Urban Sketching or Watercolor Journaling, contact:

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