Symposium Blog

This Site Has Been Archived

You're browsing an archived site from the 2011 Urbansketchers Symposium. This site is no longer active. Login and comments have been turned off to prevent spam comments and user registrations. Feel free to look around, though. Don't forget to visit our main site at for all future Symposium plans as they develop.

  • Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 15:53

    If you have already registered for the Symposium and chosen your workshops, you may be thinking: "Now what? Wait until July to get to know fellow participants and instructors?"

    You don't have to. The purpose of this site is to help participants and instructors connect with each other. By sharing our work on the blog we can start learning even before we hit the Lisbon streets with our sketchbooks.

    If you have already registered, you can start blogging right away, sharing links to your sketches and telling the group more about yourself and what you are expecting from the Symposium.

    This system is not like WordPress or Blogger so there's going to be a little learning curve. To help you get started, here's a quick primer of steps to take.

    1. After you have logged into the site, you'll see a series of menus at the top the page. Mouse over "Content Management," continue over "Create Content" and then click over "Blog Entry."

    2. Before you start writing your post, click over "Input format" and change it to "Full HTML."

    3. To add your sketches or photos to the blog post, click on "Choose File" to find the image in your computer, then "Upload."

    4. For automatic sizing to full width, you may select the 700 pixels-wide option from the drop-down menu next to the image. To place it in the body of the post, hit "Insert." The image will then appear wherever you had your cursor.

    5. And last, to publish the post, click "Save."

    Feel free to ask questions by leaving a comment. There are no bad questions! We can always edit or fix a blog post, so don't be afraid to try.

    You may browse through last year's blog to see how participants introduced themselves.

    Looking forward to your posts! 

  • Monday, March 28, 2011 - 13:03

    Registration is now open (refresh your browser if you don't see a "Register Now" tab in the navigation bar.)

    After you complete the registration, you can sign up for the different workshops right away.

    Go to the "Session Info" tab on the navigation bar and click the link that says "Add to your schedule" below the session you want to attend.

    Some things to remember:

    Only sign up for one workshop in each time period.

    Don't sign up for the same workshop more than once. In other words, you can't attend "Cityscapes" at 10 a.m. on Monday and take the same workshop again at 4.30 p.m. or the next day, as you would be taking a spot away from others who may want to attend that session.

    If you change your mind, you can "remove from your schedule" and pick a different workshop.

  • Monday, March 28, 2011 - 15:51

    Symposium registration opens Monday, March 28, at 5 p.m. GMT (You may use this time zone converter to calculate what time of the day that is where you live.) Here are some instructions to help you complete your registration successfully:

    1. Create a site account

    As part of the registration process, you will be asked for your login and password to the site. If you haven't created a site account yet, you will be asked to create one.

    2. Why do I need a site account?

    After your registration is completed, your site account will be upgraded and you'll be able to sign up for the sketching sessions of your choice where space is available (see How to sign up for workshops.) With your site account, you will also be able to interact with fellow participants, change your workshop choices at any time and start blogging on the site — you know us urban sketchers, we don't just draw the world, we share our sketches online and learn from each other!

    3. Payment processing

    At checkout, you will be directed to the Urban Sketchers Pay Pal page to select your method of payment. You may pay with credit card or use your Pay Pal account. You'll be redirected back to the Symposium site after you place your order.

    4. Questions?

    If you have questions before, during or after the registration process, please don't hesitate to contact us at and we'll try to answer your questions as soon as possible. We anticipate high demand, so the sooner you complete the registration, the sooner you can secure your spot and start looking forward to a great experience in Lisbon this summer.

  • Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 01:13

    Hello sketchers,

    We've been working hard to get the Symposium schedule up on the site. You can see our progress here.

    We are planning 45 workshops led by a fabulous team of more than 30 professional illustrators, architects, designers, anthropologists and artists who make a habit of daily urban sketching. In line with our mission of "Showing the World, One Drawing at a Time," we're proud to have every continent represented, with artists coming from as far as Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Johannesburg, just to name a few cities. You can learn more about each instructor here.

    Armed with pens, watercolors and sketchbooks, instructors will lead small groups of Symposium participants (about 17 per group) through the lively cobblestoned streets and picturesque squares of Lisbon's city center. These field sketching workshops will cover a wide range of urban sketching subjects, from drawing movement and understanding the principles of light and shade to getting over the fear of sketching in public and becoming a visual storyteller.

    We've also lined up a series of lectures that will take place in the middle of the day as a break in between field sketching sessions. Each day's program will wrap up with an evening meet-up at 7 p.m., but I have a feeling that the sketching will continue well into the night, with "impromptu" sketching sessions happening while enjoying a drink or taking in the panoramic views of the city from a hilltop.

    Participants registering for the event can expect to gain useful artistic instruction, countless energy and inspiration to fuel their artistic passion and valuable friendships and connections that will continue to thrive afterwards thanks to the online urban sketching community.

    Online registration will open Monday, March 28 at 5 p.m. GMT. Tuition fee is €200. Because of limited availability, we encourage you to register early to secure your spot in your preferred workshops.

    Please consult the FAQ page if you have any questions or write to us at

    Hope to see you in Lisbon!

    Best regards,

    Gabi Campanario

    Eduardo Salavisa

    Urban Sketchers

  • Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 17:42
    Mario Linhares

  • Monday, March 7, 2011 - 20:08
    gabi campanario

    The field sketching sessions with instructors are the core of the Symposium. At last year's event in Portland we enjoyed drawing interesting bridges, parks, fountains, squares, crowds and everything else we came across within walking distance of Pacific Northwest College of Art. Standing, sitting or on the public transportation, we swarmed the streets of Portland with our sketchbooks and made wonderful memories, learning from the instructors and from each other, and bringing a smile to friendly Portlanders curious about our art. 

    Todd Serrano, an artist who flew all the way from Chicago for the event, says “participating in the first ever Urban Sketching Symposium was an excellent opportunity to experience a new place, meet fellow sketchers, share best practices and gain some helpful instruction as an artist.”

  • Friday, March 4, 2011 - 02:54
    gabi campanario

    To follow up Monday's post, here are some more images from last year's Symposium at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. These correspond to the morning panels, which gave everyone an opportunity to comment on the experience from the previous day's sketching workshops. Instructors fielded questions from participants and there was a lively exchange. The panels were very informal and lasted less than 30 minutes, as everyone was excited to hit the streets of Portland again for more urban sketching.

  • Monday, February 28, 2011 - 01:32
    gabi campanario

    These are some images from the opening day of last year's Urban Sketching Symposium, our first ever! It was hosted by Pacific Northwest College of Art, a fabulous college in Portland, Oregon. We designed the event for a maximum of 70 people and it filled up by early June. In addition to a great representation of Portland Urban Sketchers and people from other states in the U.S., some participants also came from as far as Australia, Belgium and the Dominican Republic. On the slideshow you can see participants checking in and receiving art supplies and sketchbooks courtesy of Moleskine, Canson, Faber-Castell, Legion Paper and Art Media, a local art store. We hope to have generous sponsors in Lisbon as well!

    After participants checked in, PNCA's Director of Continuing Education Patrick Forster had some nice welcoming words to everyone and declared the event started. It was a very friendly and casual atmosphere —just count all the people wearing shorts! Everyone was anxious to open the sketchbooks and start drawing around the city so we didn't waste too much time with the introductions that followed Patrick's welcome.

    We'll do a few more posts recapping the experience of Portland to start warming up for Lisbon! Feel free to drop a comment or send your questions about this year's event to

  • Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 00:57




    The Portuguese capital of Lisbon will be the host city of the 2nd International Urban Sketching Symposium July 21-23, 2011. This 3-day event is organized by Urban Sketchers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing.

    The Symposium will consist of hands-on sketching workshops around the historic city center and panels and lectures which will take place at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon (FBAUL.) The school is centrally located in the historic district of Chiado, within walking distance of major Lisbon attractions like Largo do Chiado, Largo Luís de Camões and Praça do Rossio, among others.

    The sketching workshops will be led by a top-notch team of local and international artists including, among others, Eduardo Salavisa, José Louro, João Catarino, Pedro Cabral and Richard Câmara, authors of the book of sketches “Diários de Viagem em Lisboa,” which was just published last December by Editorial Quimera.

    "Lisbon is a very attractive city for artists," says local artist and Symposium organizer Eduardo Salavisa. "Because of its luminosity, clear skies and hills that offer unexpected views of the river Tagus, Lisbon is ideal for sketching."

    Among this year’s panel of international instructors and speakers are: author and professor Frank Ching (Seattle), artist and historian Ruth Rosengarten (Stamford, UK),  architects Asnee Tasna (Bangkok) and Norberto Dorantes (Buenos Aires), and artists and illustrators Nina Johansson (Stockholm), Marc Holmes (Montreal), Cathy Gatland (South Africa), and Melanie Reim (New York City).

    “With the Symposiums, our goal is to call attention to the art of urban sketching and give participants who may only know each other online an organized forum where they can meet in person and learn from each other in the field,” said Urban Sketchers founder Gabriel Campanario, a Spanish journalist and illustrator based in Seattle, USA.

    The Lisbon Symposium is the second annual event organized by the Urban Sketchers nonprofit. The first symposium was held in Portland, Oregon, last July and it was hosted by Pacific Northwest College of Art.

    Portland Symposium instructor Matthew Brehm said sharing sketches on line is an effective way of learning and making connections, but face-to-face time is where the real learning and connecting takes place on a much deeper level. “The enthusiasm and good spirits of all those who attended the workshops in Portland was completely energizing.”

    Our instructor from Asia Tia Boon Sim said her work is about her spontaneous response to the immediate surroundings. “At the last symposium in Portland, the people I met, places I went, objects I saw and activities I witnessed, excited me. I had a wonderful and unique experience far away from home. With each and everyone in our own artistic field, we came together and showed the world what sketching on location is all about.”

    Here’s what some urban sketchers who attended last year’s Symposium had to say:

    “Since the Portland Symposium, I’ve been seeing my city anew. It’s full of untold stories waiting to be found and sketching is a way to get there. I was surprised by how much our energy became amplified when we all got together. Just three days seems like it triggered some major transformations – not just of our art skills and styles, but of practice, attitude, diligence, and receptivity.”
    Kalina Wilson
    Portland, Oregon

    "Intense, powerful, a great energizer! A definite summer break for many years to come, it felt like I was catching up with old friends who I have been following up through their blogs for months and finally decided to sketch together."
    Orling "Arty" Domínguez
    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    “The symposium here was such a rich, inspiring experience for me. I’ve sketched all my life, but not always on a regular basis. Being around people from all over the world who were so enthusiastic in sharing their sketching experiences was  just what I needed to ‘rev my artistic engine’!  Can’t say enough about what a positive experience it was, on all counts.”
    Linda Engstrom
    Portland, Oregon

    "Three days going out to draw with talented urban sketchers from around the world was an absolute joy.”
    Don McNulty
    Vancouver, Canada

    (Symposium logo design by Mário Linhares)


    Gabriel Campanario:
    Eduardo Salavisa:
    Attendance questions and sponsorship opportunities:
    Symposium website:
    Urban Sketchers site:



    Lisboa, a capital portuguesa, acolhe, de 21 a 23 de Julho, o 2º Simpósio Internacional Urban Sketchers. Este evento de 3 dias, organizado pelo Urban Sketchers (associação sem fins lucrativos), pretende incentivar o desenho de observação directa na rua.

    O Simpósio consistirá numa série de workshops em vários espaços do centro histórico de Lisboa a par de conferências na Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa (FABUL), situada no Chiado, um dos bairros míticos da capital e a curta distância de zonas graficamente apelativas como: Largo do Chiado, Largo Luís de Camões e a Praça do Rossio, entre outros.

    Os workshops serão coordenados por uma equipa de topo nacional e internacional, entre os quais, Eduardo Salavisa, José Louro, João Catarino, Pedro Cabral e Richard Câmara, autores do livro “Diários de Viagem em Lisboa”, publicado em Dezembro de 2010 pela Editora Quimera.

    “Lisboa é uma cidade muito atractiva para os artistas” diz Eduardo Salavisa, um dos organizadores do Simpósio. “Devido à sua luminosidade, às suas colinas e vistas inesperadas para o rio Tejo, Lisboa torna-se uma cidade ideal para desenhar”.

    Entre o painel internacional de conferencistas deste ano, estão instrutores e conferencistas como: Frank Ching (Seatle), autor e professor; Ruth Rosengarten (Stamford), artista e historiadora; Asnee Tasna (Bangkok), artista; Norberto Dorantes (Buenos Aires); Nina Johansson (Stockholm); Marc Holmes (Montreal); Cathy Gatland (South Africa) e Melanie Reim (New York City).

    “O nosso objectivo, com os Simpósios, é chamar a atenção para a arte do desenho urbano e dar aos participantes, que podem conhecer-se apenas online, um fórum onde possam conhecer-se pessoalmente e aprender uns com os outros no terreno”, diz o fundador dos Urban Sketchers Gabriel Campanario, jornalista e ilustrador baseado em Seattle.

    O Simpósio de Lisboa é o segundo evento anual que os Urban Sketchers organizam. O primeiro foi em Portland, Oregon, em Julho de 2010.

    Matthew Brehm,  instrutor no Simpósio de Portland, diz que partilhar desenhos online é uma forma efectiva de aprendizagem e de estabelecer contactos, mas é no encontro cara-a-cara que a verdadeira aprendizagem acontece de forma mais profunda. “O entusiasmo e bom ambiente de todos os que participaram nos workshops de Portland foi contagiante.

    Tia Boon Sim, instrutora da Ásia, diz que o seu trabalho é uma resposta espontânea do que a rodeia. “No último Simpósio, em Portland, entusiasmaram-me as pessoas que conheci, os lugares onde fui, os objectos que vi e as actividades que testemunhei. Foi uma experiência única e maravilhosa longe de minha casa. Com cada um, no seu modo artístico particular, mostrámos ao mundo como é desenhar directamente no lugar”.