:: blog ::

Sketch the Missions 2020 : An all-California Sketch Crawl

Sketch the Missions logo

In Spring 2020, sketchers from across California will join together to sketch the historic Alcala missions. Starting in San Diego in April and ending in San Francisco in May, urban sketchers will gather to capture the full experience of the missions…not just the buildings and grounds, but also the impact of colonial expansion on local tribes and the cultural devastation that resulted. This event is an opportunity to explore and express the full historical impact of missions in California.

I’m excited to participate in this event in multiple ways: by creating the event website, by hosting two of the sketching events, and by attending as many of the sketch events as possible. It’s going to be an amazing way to learn more about California history from a broader perspective than usually covered.

Why sketch the missions?

In 2020, in lieu of holding an international Urban Sketchers Symposium, local USk chapters are hosting events in various locations around the globe. California Urban Sketchers are jointly organizing a statewide sketch crawl of the Spanish missions of Alta California on weekends in April and May.

Urban Sketchers (USk) is an international nonprofit dedicated to fostering a global community of artists who practice on-location drawing to “show the world, one sketch at a time.” We highlight the artistic, storytelling, and educational value of on-location drawing, connecting people around the world. Our members post their work on blogs and other social media platforms to reach many communities and thousands of people.

Sketch the Missions 2020 website

To create the website, I had the pleasure of working with Urban Sketcher Patricia Chow. She’s the editor of Drawing Attention, the official monthly ‘zine of the Urban Sketchers community, and the main brain behind the event. My job was to create a site to promote the event, including both logistics and the overall ethos.

Starting from the dates and locations, we assembled the content, found example sketch images (great work from Alice Picado, Carmen Daugherty, Virginia Hein, and Patricia) then organized the information to help participants feel welcomed and informed.

I picked Weebly as the site host, since the event is all-volunteer and budget is thin.

Home screen of the site at launch.

With the wonders of Google street view and maps, each event listing has a map showing the location and an interactive view of the mission site.

You can scroll around and get a sense of the sketching location.

Including street views got me excited about visiting the missions, and encouraged me to research local tribal lands and learn more about the native cultures in the mission areas.

To add some visual interest to the site, I created line sketches of each of the missions. Because they were done for site branding, they are much simpler than a full urban sketch, which must be done from observation and on location. The line art appears at the top and bottom of each page.

Events I’m hosting

Saturday, May 2nd, 10:00am
• San Carlos Mission, 3080 Rio Rd, Carmel, CA 93923

Sunday, May 3rd, 10:00am
• Santa Cruz Mission, 210 High St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

I hope to see you there!

Resources & Links

Urban Sketchers:

Native California & Tribal Culture

Weebly: https://www.weebly.com/