Monday, 27 January 2014

Drawing on air at the BBC

I was invited to BBC Broadcasting House in central London this weekend to take part in Radio 4's Saturday Live, to talk, along with Manchester-based artist Simone Ridyard, about urban sketching and the sketchcrawl phenomenon. It's an easy-going programme with live guests and prerecorded elements. Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl fame, environmental activist Laurens de Groot and I sat around the table with the presenters Richard Coles and Aasmah Mir for 90 minutes to be gently grilled.

After the contribution from Simone and me (about 15mins in), I drew the scene as the programme continued, one of which is now shown on the programme's website as a time lapse drawing, condensed into about a minute. It's loose, and everyone, the subjects included, can be forgiven for not recognising Laurens on the left and Tracey on the right. (I showed it to her later and told her she is shown as such a blur I was afraid she might sue: "Don't worry. I'm not a suer," she said.)

The time flew by, with chatter breaking out around the table every time we went to a prerecorded segment. And having a photographer looking over my shoulder as I drew was a bit distracting. The hexagonal desk was a mass of paper cups, sketchbooks, microphones, clocks, monitors and unidentifiable bits of electronic stuff, through which the two presenters weaved their way as if it was nothing more than a chat around a kitchen table.

There's a link to the programme here. Look out for the gallery of work by London Urban Sketchers, too.

BBC Radio 4: it's a beautiful thing.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

On Radio 4's Saturday Live

Did you hear Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 today? Simone Ridyard and I were interviewed about Urban Sketchers, and the joys of drawing together in sketchcrawls.
• My book Sketch Your World is published now and available online and at good bookshops
• The London Urban Sketchers are exhibiting at Timberyard cafe, 7 Upper St Martin's Lane, London, until March. News of our next sketchcrawl will be posted at
• I have a small display of drawings and prints on show at Skylark Gallery 2, on the first floor of Oxo Tower Wharf, on London's South Bank, until the end of February. I'm there signing books on Friday 31 January from 6pm to 8pm, so come along
• Visit the wider Urban Sketchers community at
• And follow me on Twitter @jameshobbsart and on Facebook:
• Oh, and there are more of my images on my Flickr site. That's definitely the last bullet point.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Farewell to Skylark: showing until 31 January 2014

Skylark 2 at Oxo Tower Wharf overlooks the Thames
between the London Eye and Tate Modern
I have a small selection of prints and drawings on sale in a display at Skylark Gallery 2, which is on the first floor of the distinctive Oxo Tower Wharf on London's South Bank, until 31 January. Guess what? Signed copies of Sketch Your World are also on sale for £9.99.
I will be at the gallery all day on Friday 31 January, when it will stay open until 8pm for a wine-fuelled book signing event — everyone is welcome.
February will be, sadly, my last month at the artist-run space, at which I have been showing my work for the past five years. I'll miss it: but more about that later.
Tues-Sun 11am-6pm

Saturday, 4 January 2014

My must-take sketchbook kit

There's an interview with me about the art materials I use in sketchbooks on the Parka Blogs website, in which I run through my not-very-extensive list of must-take products.
If you've read it, let me know what you think, or what you use.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Sketch Your World published in the UK

Sketch Your World is published in the UK today. It's about drawing in sketchbooks, and includes the drawings and words of about 60 international artists who talk about how they go about it. Architects, reportage artists, students, journalists, illustrators, lecturers, retired people, Oscar-winning animators, people who squeeze drawing into lunch breaks and holidays... they are all here.
It's published by Apple Press and costs £9.99. It comes out in the US later this month.
There's more about it at