When In Manila, there are many beautiful sceneries and memories to be captured every day and how do we record them? Through photographs? Through journal entries? Well, Urban Sketchers Philippines captures them one sketch at a time.
I remember Arnold Arre’s talk back in Graphika Manila 2010. He advised artists to sketch everyday to get better at their craft. By sketching everyday, he meant capturing everyday happenings by sketching like the people in the coffee shop or the scenery where you’re at. The list goes on and on. I myself wasn’t an artist so I wasn’t really engaged with sketching but I did like his tip. I never really tried it after the convention though.
Last May 19, I tagged along Urban Sketchers Philippines‘ First Anniversary Sketch Walk. Urban Sketchers Philippines is a chapter of the international Urban Sketchers organization. It wants to prove that despite all odds, they are able to share a glimpse of the beauty (and not) of our cities or otherwise about life through their sketchbooks. They share their works online after every sketch walk so people can view their works.
Now, I can’t sketch to save my life but it looked like fun. Plus, Urban Sketchers Philippines believes that it has less to do with skill level or technique. What is more important is experiencing the process of looking, seeing, feeling and recording on paper.
I arrived at Quezon City Memorial Circle around 10:00 A.M. I walked around to look for people who are sketching. When I got to the Quezon Memorial Monument, I saw a guy in the middle of the field and sketching under the intense heat of the sun! Now that’s what I call dedication!
Urban Sketchers Philippines’ Janeil Arlegui, all geared up for some sketching!
I thought, Where are the other sketchers? After that, I went around to look for the other sketchers. They had their own spots where they were making their magic. Some drew alone while others drew in groups.
I saw what he was drawing in his sketch pad. Really great stuff!
The two lovely ladies were talking about their art.
The architecture people looking seriously engaged at their drawings. I spot a spectator there!
Lovers that share a love for art. How awesome is that?
I took a glance at what some of them were working on. Some were just sketching. Some were sketching then inking. Some were sketching, inking, then adding watercolor to their works. Not all of them made the Quezon Memorial Monument their subject. Some were drawing other objects from the surroundings or the people who were also at the park that day.
Also, before going to the sketch walk, I checked out the Urban Sketchers Philippines blog site. They weren’t limited to sketching on sketch pads. I saw some sketches on receipts. Also, someone sketched on his Samsung Galaxy Note. Who would have thought these everyday objects can be utilized as a canvass for art?
A masterpiece in the making by Constancio de Guzman
Comic book artist Randy Valiente while drawing a tree. He’ll be at the Summer Komikon too!
A cool thing that happened was when a family was passing by, they noticed the Urban Sketchers Philippines by the street. The young boys were observing the sketchers so a member approached them and asked if they wanted to draw with the group. The kids were lent sketch pads and pencils so they can join. After drawing, their parents said they would definitely be on the look out at the Urban Sketchers Philippines blog site for updates on future sketch walks.
Their works were great. When I was seven years old, all I knew to draw were stick men! Really good to stimulate an interest for the arts with the young ones.
Buz Walker with two very talented young boys
After walking around, I was sweating like there was no tomorrow. The sun’s heat was intense and here were these people, not minding the heat because they love what their doing. All for the love of the arts.
I finally found a spot for sketching and decided to make the Quezon Memorial Monument my subject.
Now look who’s taking a shot at sketching… me!
In case anyone is wondering what I drew, here it is.
I know, I know… Not really the greatest sketch artwork you will find but hey, it’s a start. More sketch walks, more improvement!
The youngest active member of Urban Sketchers Philippines, Ampao Roxas (6 years old).
This kid’s got the energy of 10 kids combined, no kidding!
Looks like they’re having fun!
At around 11:45 A.M., the members were starting to gather around and chat with each other. Some of the members were far off so I only got to see them during this time. Some were students while some were professionals but one thing’s very certain: they all have a passion for the arts!
All gathering up before ending the sketch walk
Janeil Arlegui called them up for a quick meeting before going out for lunch. He was thanking everyone for a great turn-out that day.
A few words from Janeil Arlegui before parting ways
A photo session was done to cap off the day. First they laid down all their sketchbooks for a group shot.
As what they said, “Good harvest for today everyone!”
Close-ups. Really nice drawings!
And next was the Urban Sketchers Philippines group shot with all the artworks!
Happy First Anniversary Urban Sketchers Philippines!
Urban Sketchers Philippines have monthly sketch walks and also attend some events to capture them on sketch. Everyone is welcome to join them on occasional trips on foot around the city.
So When In Manila or any part of the world, why not try sketching as a way of preserving memories and capturing sceneries like Urban Sketchers Philippines does?
Urban Sketchers Philippines
Facebook group: Urban Sketchers Philippines