Urban sketching is a great way to document your travels, practice your art, and fill time while waiting for things! The cool thing about urban sketching is how each artist’s unique style shines through due to the unpolished and free-flowing nature of the art form.
Everybody’s hands and minds are different, so there’s something new to learn with everybody’s art! We looked all over Instagram to give you this list of the most inspiring urban sketch artists! Click on the links to their profiles and show them some love!
1. Uma Kelkar
Uma Kelkar has incredible techniques and has taught us here at Etchr as well! She did an amazing job explaining her wet-on-wet technique in her Mini Workshop. Her Instagram is full of lively buildings and landscapes in loose watercolour.
She paints people too! Her sense of colour theory is highly advanced, and by following her, you will observe how to work directly with watercolour without too much sketching beforehand. She uses beautiful browns and greens in her work and knows how to capture the atmosphere of different times of the day.
Jeff Carter has a wonderfully whimsical approach to urban sketching! He takes photo submissions of buildings from his followers and reimagines the buildings in wacky perspectives and shapes! He has done a few classes with us where he teaches us how to achieve his unique style!
His work is an excellent example of how you can bend the rules to see what happens once you know the fundamentals of art. If you don’t know perspective very well, you won’t be able to manipulate it as successfully as Jeff does, so carefully watch what he’s doing to learn.
For beautiful, subtle washes and gradients, look no further than Tere Lojero. She allows the watercolour to spread however it wants into the wet page, leaving areas she wants blank dry. The result is these free-flowing, textural pieces that display the exclusive benefits of watercolour.
She paints in all kinds of colour palettes, with her monochrome works being some of the most stunning. She even does pen and ink wash sometimes! Follow her for great all-around inspiration and some breathtaking techniques.
4. Lynda Gray
Lynda Gray is a Cumbria-based urban sketcher who does a fantastic job with a subtle colour palette. She paints her scenes mostly in neutral-tinted shades of blue, orange, and purple, and the resulting colour scheme reminds me of early spring rains before the grass is green.
Her sense of atmosphere is impeccable, and when I look at her work, I feel a sense of nostalgia and longing that I can’t quite place. The vague nostalgia is what keeps me coming back over and over.
Pedro Loureiro, based in Lisbon, is a master of urban sketching. In his FREE Live Demo with us a while ago, he showed us all about using Google Earth as an art tool to find the perfect sketch locations from the comfort of home.
Pedro is an incredible painter who captures the essence of a scene in just a few clever brushstrokes, whether he’s using Google Earth or an in-person location. He’s also great at drawing people, so check out his page and his classes for some tremendous overall art knowledge!
This is a smaller account, but the artist is super cool, so please go show some love! The architecture on this account is really cleanly drawn, the greens are realistic, and the compositions are engaging.
This artist creates a wide variety of urban sketches, ranging from clouds to indoor scenes, to traditional architecture, to newer architecture! I think this account will get big, and we’re going to start making it big now!
We hope this list of urban sketch artists to follow gets you inspired to create your next masterpiece! Remember, it’s always okay to do a study where you copy someone else’s painting, so long as you don’t claim it as your own or sell it.
Copying is how we all learn new techniques. So if any of these artists have a technique you want to learn, try copying one of their pieces in your sketchbook!
You may think you have seen all the details of a painting until you go to paint it yourself. You will see that many more details go into making a painting great than what you had realized!