Kiah Kiean, 'Mecure, Leicester'

 Kiah Kiean Chng (Penang),  'Mecure, Leicester, Grand Hotel'


Above: Emma Fitzpatrick, 'Rutland Street, Leicester' (detail)

Over 70 visitors from across the globe including China, Japan, Australia, Costa Rica, France created over 100 drawings and paintings in a 'virtualsketch' walk in Leicester organised by Emma Fitzpatrick on Sunday 10 May 2020.

Artist and designer Emma Fitzpatrick set up an online Facebook group called #virtualsketchleicester and with the help of Google Street maps, people were able go sketching ‘together’ at home. The Facebook group #virtualsketch, which has a global following of sketchers and visits different cities around the world, invited the group to host a virtual sketch walk in Leicester. It was a opportunity to show off some of the fabulous buildings in Leicester city and also a chance for the group to invite some favourite international sketchers to see what they would make of Leicester. 

"It was an amazing turn out," says Emma Fitzpatrick.

Yap Yeen Yee, sketch of 'The Exchange, Leicester'

Yap Yeen Yee, (Kuala-Lumpar), 'The Exchange, Leicester'

 "We were delighted to attract not only beginners but some of the very talented and skilled artists at the top of their game in the world of urban sketching. It is great now to have this wonderful collection of paintings depicting the city."

On Sunday 10th May, people starting uploading work according to their time zones. Emma held a Zoom meeting for those wanting to pop in and out for some company while sketching. She had taken a series of photographs of the city during lockdown as a suggested tour with some notes so there would be enough views to work from, alongside Google Street map links. Some went off exploring the city by themselves and found some real hidden gems.

A number of people from Leicestershire took part, including five LSA Members - Sue Clegg, Tony O'Dwyer and Toni Northcott, Vivien Blackburn and Emma Fitzpatrick - scroll down to see images.

"Even though we were separated across continents, it felt to me that we were actually all in the city drawing together," says Emma.  "A very strange but lovely experience. This would most likely never happened outside of a lockdown situation."

 Emma is keen to encourage more people to take up sketching and drawing to help them mentally get through the lockdown period and beyond.  "By drawing something, you can become distracted from your worries for a time," she says.  "It can help you find time and space just for yourself, help you slow down and can give an opportunity for the creative part of our brains that we all possess to come out."

Leicester Mercury published an article about the virtual event on Friday May 15, 2020, and 33 sketches from the day from across the world can be seen online click here.  

More images can be viewed if you're signed up to Facebook, using the hashtag #virtualsketchleicester