Monday, August 22, 2016

I Survived the West Coast Urban Sketch Crawl!

On Saturday Tina and I ventured out to Tacoma for the West Coast Urban Sketchers sketch crawl, an all-day event that happens once a year in rotating cities.  This was the Tacoma group's first time hosting and they did a fabulous job.

We got there around a quarter to nine.  About 150 sketchers from all up and down the coast (and inland, too!) met at the Washington State History Museum, where we were give free parking and free admission for the day (bathrooms!  water fountains!  air conditioning!  sketchable exhibits!).  We got a brief introduction to the event, the area, and the activities, and were given goody bags full of art samples and other fun stuff (the Almond Roca bar from local candy maker Brown & Haley was my fave).

We were then turned loose to sketch until 11:30.  While the high for the day was predicted to hit 92, at 9am it was only around 75 and comfortable. 

There are plenty of great buildings to draw in the museum area, like these:

I knew that a lot of sketchers would do those buildings and I wanted to do something different.  So I had used Google Street View to check out the area around the museum, and I found a building I wanted to draw a few blocks away that nobody else was sketching. 

I finished around 11am, and with only 30 minutes left in the morning session, decided to go inside the history museum for a quick sketch of a train car exhibit.

At 11:30 we all met at a plaza by the Museum of Glass to share drawings and have our group photo taken.  With so many people, it was a tad chaotic.

Museum of Glass

Tina and I met up and had lunch at the museum cafe.  The afternoon sketching session was from 1-4pm with more sharing/photos at the end.  It was about 85 by the time I headed out again after lunch, and I decided to stick it out for at least one more hour because I wanted to check out some older buildings in the theater district about a mile and a half away.  I hopped on the free street car and got down there in just a few minutes.  I found a clock tower and another fun building and did two quick sketches.

Then I headed back on the street car to the museum district, where I finished up the 90-degree afternoon inside the air-conditioned history museum.

At 3:30 I got a text from Tina -- she was feeling done for the day and ready to leave.  Since we had done the morning group sharing, we decided we didn't really need to stay for the afternoon one, and we headed home.  It was a great day of drawing fabulous things!

See also the Tacoma Tribune's online article about the event here:


  1. I really like all the cool older buildings that one can find in big cities. Nice job! That was a nice article in the Tribune too. At least you didn't have to suffer the heat too much.