GUEST DOODLEWASH: Urban Sketching

Urban Sketching by Amara Strand

These wonderful doodlewashes are from Amara Strand (follow her on Instagram @a_strand), who lives in Toronto, Canada (originally from Thailand). Her background is in Interior Design. She says, “I used to sketch and paint for my everyday work until computers have slowly taken over traditional hand methods. I seldom touched my watercolour palette since then.”

When Amara moved to Toronto in 2010, painting was the thing she had missed. This is the reason why she joined Toronto Urban Sketchers and another art journey with her first sketchbook has begun! Amara says, “I got a very warm welcome from the group, especially MJ who is the host. I have learned so much about techniques, styles, and tools of each artwork from professional and amateur artists. Sharing artwork is very valuable and fun. Lately, I have been helping out the group by blogging on their website.”

Tumbler by Amara StrandAmara loves drawing on location with her Urban Sketching group as well as doing it on her own. Whenever she goes sketching, she takes a small bag which contains: a watercolor palette (Winsor Newton pocket), sketch book (Moleskine pocket), fine liner pen, pencil, eraser, paper towel and water brushes (Koi and Derwent).

An urban sketch is always drawn from life and direct observation versus something drawn from a photo or simply imagined. Urban Sketchers is a wonderful nonprofit group whose mission is “to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing.”

When asked why she loves drawing on location, Amara had this to say: “Many unexpected overwhelming situations could happen. For example, people came to me having a little chat about the art work with big smiles. Some people even offered free drinks, sang songs while I was sketching. I had some good company! It makes me happy to be connected with others through art.” (Couldn’t agree more with this!)

Be sure to follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and by checking out her Tumblr blog. We love your urban sketches, Amara, and can’t wait to watch as you give us more glimpses of what you see each day!

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
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27 Comments
  1. Sand Salt Moon 2 years ago

    Amara’s work is amazing – so juicy and rich! Superb. I can’t wait to see, too.

  2. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Wow, magnificent artwork, thank you for bringing Amara to us.

  3. kungfunaomi 2 years ago

    The sketches look better than the real thing!!!

  4. Damita M-S 2 years ago

    I love Urban Sketching. I belong to a Urban Sketching group in Austin. I really enjoy it and learning from people. I love these sketches!

  5. Kari 2 years ago

    I love your style! I just lie it when I see a pairing, I get the mood of the place. And they definitely convey different moods. Thank you for including your urban sketching gear. I always take a small sketchbook with me but rarely do I take my coloring tools. I will be following! Thanks, Amara and Charlie!

  6. Jodi 2 years ago

    Thanks for introducing us to Amara’s awesome work! I’m a new fan!!

  7. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    I bought a book called Urban Sketching. I wonder if it was published by the same non-profit group? I’d love to be able to do architectural paintings/drawings that well!

    • Author

      Depends on which book as there are several. The one by Marc Taro Holmes is great as is his Crafsty course! He’s directly involved with the core group. And I would love to be this good as well…hehe…that’s why I started following Amara! She’s great!!

  8. Jacob 2 years ago

    Beautiful stuff. There can be so much charm in an architectural scene captured well, and Amara’s are full to bursting with it. Thanks for sharing another wonderful artist, Charlie!

  9. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Love all the details in Amara’s work! She is talented in painting such beautiful color washes! Thanks Charlie for introducing her! 💜🎨😊

  10. Margaret Hunt 2 years ago

    Wow these are amazing!!!

  11. ann christina 2 years ago

    I´m out of words… WOW!!! Absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing, Charlie!!!

  12. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful art. Love the blending of hard edge of the buildings and the loose saturated watercolors, really brings life and grace to the urban landscape.

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