I began an Istanbul sketching group yesterday, creatively called "Istanbul Sketchers." We are a group of people from all sorts of places who live in Istanbul and feel the urge to draw this gorgeous and unique city. We'll meet every week at a different predetermined location, armed with sketchbooks, pens, pencils and various other artsy tools.
On our first outing, we chose to draw some of the vibrant café life in Cihangir, known for its Bohemian flair and interesting characters. While I was working on the sketch below, the guy in the sunglasses surprised me by coming up and asking to see the drawing of him he knew I was doing. I handed over my sketchpad with shaky fingers and a slight pink in my cheeks, hoping I'd get a positive reaction. He showed his friends, who all seemed to approve, and as he handed back the drawing, he confided with a smile that he wished he could have it.
I thought I'd include some sketches I did yesterday while out with my friend E, also in Cihangir. The last drawing was on the metro.
Once we get some more work behind us, I'll set us up with a blog and link us to Urban Sketchers, the international group of sketch artists that I am proud to be a member of. I hope to eventually turn Istanbul Sketchers into something with gallery shows and maybe a published book. Hopefully it'll catch on and more people will join us for an afternoon of drawing and endless glasses of çay.
If you are in the Istanbul area and would like to sketch with us, post a comment and let me know. All skill levels are welcome.
The lovely and skilled hands in the photograph belong to illustrator Jo Hodgkinson.