Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Symposium Participant: Alanna Randall

I am very excited to participate in the Urban Sketchers Symposium and I feel lucky that my current city of residence was chosen for the location! It looks like I'm the first participant to introduce myself here; I hope my nervousness at that doesn't show through too much! I look forward to meeting you all in person!
I've dabbled in drawing for much of my life, but in 2006, while living in Tucson, I stumbled upon Dan Price's Moonlight Chronicles and was so inspired by his simple line drawings.

Through Dan Price, I found Danny Gregory's Creative License and quickly joined the Everyday Matters yahoo group. I started my own blog, Painted Cats, to start posting my EDM challenges.

It was while living in Tucson that I began participating in Worldwide Sketchcrawls and enjoyed sketching urban scenes and the camraderie of fellow sketchers.

When I moved to Portland in June 2008 I immediately looked for other sketchcrawlers, but I couldn’t find anyone actively meeting. I was so surprised at the lack of interest! I had a hard time motivating myself to go out and sketch by myself.

I was persistent, however, and kept posting on the sketchcrawl forum until I finally had a small gathering.

Fall 2008, I set up a Google group as an easier way for us all to communicate. Since then, we’ve steadily grown in size. There were 11 of us at our last sketchcrawl!
We try to meet monthly. As we’ve come together as a group, we decided we should try connecting with Urban Sketchers. We got all set up with an Urban Sketchers Portland blog and also a flickr pool. I love the camraderie and support the group gives and think they are all such wonderfully talented people!

I have noticed that the weather really impacts my desire to sketch outside. The rainy days in Portland mean more indoors sketches or views from the window.
Fingerless gloves and dressing for the elements have helped for sketching on colder days, but I've yet to master the art of holding an umbrella and managing to sketch in the rain. Maybe that comes after years of living in the Pacific Northwest!

I'm really looking forward to learning about the tools other people use and learning how to improve my sketches. One thing I've learned since I started on this sketching journey, is to just keep sketching. So I try to as often as possible. I sketch during meetings at work, in my private journal, while I'm sitting around talking and when I make a big effort to go out and sketch.
See y'all in July!


  1. Well done for starting us off and great to meet you Alanna!!! Same inspiration for me too - Dan and Danny! looking forward to meeting you and sketching with you in Portland!

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  2. bravo, for starting the presentations looking forward to meetyou in Portland.

  3. Hola Alana,
    Thank you for breaking the ice. Excellent post. See you in Portland!!!

  4. Great post Alanna, looking forward to seeing you again in Portland!

  5. Thanks for starting us off. Sure looking forward to seeing you in PDX. SO much to sketch there. See you soon.

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