Stumpy McDunce Writes...
“Some Impressive Urban Sketching from Lapin”

Every now and then I come across an artist’s website which makes me want to burn all my drawing implements, cut both my hands off and fashion for myself the biggest dunce cap in the world, from all my remaining sketchbook paper –all the while whilst kicking my arse to Putney bridge and back, for being the lazy, feckless twonk that I am.

Here is one such site, that I came across, only t’other day. Let me introduce you to Les Calepins de Lapin, a blog by a French illustrator, who practices the art of Urban Sketching, ie. drawing out in the ‘wild’, on the streets. Judging from the size of his ouevre [oo er, missus!], monsieur Lapin seems not only to practice this Urban Sketching malarky very well, but seems to practice it on an almost daily basis. Something for me to reflect on, next time I’m whingeing and moaning about having to set aside ten minutes to produce a risibly half-arsed scroodl in the evening.

As if the existence of Monsieur Lapin wasn’t depressing enough, I subsequently found out that there are dozens, if not hundreds of these Urban Sketchers, busily beavering away, all around the world, while the rest of us are sat on our fat arses, picking our noses. They have their own not-for-profit organisation, based at urbansketchers.org, which features the top 100 or so Urban Sketchers or, if you fancy having a go yourself, there is also a flickr group, which anyone can contribute to.

And finally, if all of that has fired up your artistic juices, I also came across this website called The Tools Artists Use, which features mini interviews with artists and illustrators from around the world, wherein they spill the beans on what types of pens, paper, paints, hardware, software etc. they use to produce their artwork. It’s quite interesting in a kind of nosey, net curtain-twitchery way. Especially so if you find that an artist uses the same type of pens as you –whereupon you get a momentary feeling of ”Woah! – go me. I’m hanging with the professionals here!”. Unfortunately this is then closely followed by a sad realisation that drawing willies on the back of your bus ticket with the same type of pen that a professional artist uses to produce their work, no more makes you and them kindred spirits than access to chalk and a blackboard puts you in the same intellectual league as Albert Einstein.

Oh well, c’est la vie! —as monsieur Lapin might say, if he ever stopped drawing long enough to catch his breath.

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