USk Symposium Porto 2018

It’s a wrap!

Beautiful Porto went by so fast and filled everyone with inspiring memories, sketches and warm circles of old an new friends. As we get back into our home cities and look forward to the next, here’s a toast to everyone for making it to Porto for the 9th International Urban Sketching Symposium.

Special thanks to USk Portugal Norte, our instructors, sponsors, volunteers, all the participants who made this gathering a big success!

Read the reports from our three symposium correspondents!

Keep sketching and sharing. See you all in Amsterdam!


Here’s a quick link to the Symposium Schedule again for your your reference.

Click link here



We would like to thank Derwent for their generous support to the Urban Sketchers International Symposium in Porto, Portugal, happening from 19-21 July 2018. 

Derwent pencils are made in the UK at their own factory in Cumbria. They have been making pencils since 1912 and combine traditional pencil making skills with state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques. Today, Derwent has a well-established reputation for innovation, inspiring artists with fantastic product ranges such as Inktense, Graphik Line Painters and Tinted Charcoal, alongside their classic range of Artist, Graphic and Watercolour Pencils.

Don’t miss their booth at the Symposium and pick something classic or revolutionary to inspire you on your next sketch!

Visit their website for their full range, blog and a tour of their Pencil Museum!

Give them a like or a follow at:

Instagram: derwentpencils

Facebook: @welovepencils

SPONSOR POST: Leuchtturm1917



Thank you, Leuchtturm1917, for being an avid sponsor of the Urban Sketchers International Symposium since 2015!

Founded in 1917, Leuchtturm1917 is a family-run company and backed by over 90 years of experience in the production of high-quality stationery. They are convinced that small details can make a big difference.

Check out their booth and their showcased products at the Symposium to see what’s all in the details! For more information about them and their entire range, visit

Instagram: @leuchtturm1917

Facebook: Leuchtturm1917

SPONSOR POST: Faber-Castell Featuring Jens Hübner

Urban Sketchers thanks Faber-Castell for sponsoring the International Symposium in Porto, Portugal this year. They’re also a big supporter of artists and their work! Here they feature Jens Hübner, who loves working with Faber Castell Polychromos Color pencils.

“Last week I travelled to Hamburg to teach an Urban Sketching class. Besides working with watercolours, I love sketching with watercolour pencils since they allow for techniques such as “wet in wet”. I combine these pencils with fineliners or ballpoint pens and create washes with my water brush.

I love walking on the Elbe river banks during low tide, looking at the exposed rusty wrecks which are submerged at high tide. Even just a few shades of Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils help to create a sketch in no time. For this artwork for example I used dark indigo, light ultramarine, burned umber, and burned ochre. Later, I completed the sketch with some dots of bright colours to create the clothes.




The fabulous „Zoologisches Museum“ in Hamburg, where no entry fee is charged, is a paradise for sketchers especially on rainy days. Walrus „Antje“ is the mascot of a North German TV station.

People get impressed with the show when it’s feeding time at the penguin enclosure at the famous zoo „ Tierpark Hagenbeck “. The water seems to boil. I drew just lines with less details in my watercolour sketchbook.




When staying in Hamburg, I usually camp just a little outside of the city. During the week it is quiet there. Only on weekends young families join to camp there and kids are running through the deep white sand around the tents. I always set up my tent right beside the river where huge container ships pass by day and night.

One night a band from Texas (USA) gave a concert at the camp grounds and I tried to catch them in my sketchbook.



In the morning, just before sunrise, the world appears in pale blue colours.



On my way back to Berlin I stopped over in a small village to get some coffee and watched nearby storks securing their nest before an upcoming thunderstorm.”

You’re in a for a treat! Check out the Symposium goodie bag for some premium art tools from Faber-Castell’s wide range of versatile products.

For more information about their full range, where to get them and the excellent tradition behind the makers, visit

IG: fabercastellglobal



We thank Da Vinci brushes for the generous support to Urban Sketchers International Symposium 2018 in Porto, Portugal! Made in Germany, Da Vinci has a long-standing experience and expertise in the careful making of a wide range of top class brushes.

Make sure to check out their booth at the Symposium and try the new Casaneo travel brushes. Each beautiful watercolour brush is carefully shaped by hand into a perfect brush body and a very fine tip. CASANEO travel brushes (series 1593TP) are available in the sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. This state-of-the art tool is perfect for Vegan artists who prefer expressive, light, resistant and animal friendly materials.

For more information, visit their website at


IG: davinci_artistbrushes_official

SPONSOR POST: Kingscreek Color Connected

Urban Sketchers thanks Kingscreek for the generous support to Urban Sketchers International Symposium 2018 in Porto, Portugal! Kingscreek offers exclusive, beautifully handcrafted watercolor paint boxes for the global sketching community. They are a joy to use while sketching on location.

Made of recycled French oak wine barrels, the paint boxes are a treat for the eyes. They’re warm and smooth to the touch. The different models are all compact and very convenient to work with. They easily fit into any bag or pocket. A stylish felt cover is included which keeps your paint box safe and dry.

You can always have your colors with you wherever and whenever you go, commuting, travelling or sketch walking with friends – in other words, they keep you color connected.

Kingscreek paint boxes will be available at the Symposium. Visit their booth fo find out more. Check out their website at


Public Events at #USkPorto2018

Sketch: Hugo Costa                                                     Sketch: Pedro Loureiro

There is so much happening during the 9th USk Symposium in Porto. Even if you are not a pass holder, there are a lot of activities you can enjoy and take part in.

We will have a public exhibition for Sketch Tour Portugal and a small Art Materials and Supplies Market alongside, at Alfandega do Porto, which you can visit at the following times:

July 19th (Thurs) – 20th (Fri) from 9am to 7pm

July 21st (Sat) from 9am to 12pm

It’s a great way to see the country, one sketch at a time! It features all the wonderful work from the local community capturing Portugal’s rich culture in landscapes, seascapes and its people. Also, not to miss are some great deals, books and new products straight from the owners, authors, manufacturers, and official distributors.

You can join the evening Drink and Draw sessions that will be around the area of Praça Ribeira, Porto city itself. Sketchers will usually hang out after the symposium hours. Meet other sketchers, sample the night life, enjoy the grand view and immortalize it with a sketch!

And, of course, please join us for our Final Sketchwalk and grand group photo at the Aliados Avenue (in front of Porto City Hall) on 21 July, 15:00 to 18:00, This is a perfect time to meet new and old friends while sketching Porto together. Prepare to be inspired!

Please stay abreast with our Symposium news and updates here:

Day or night, see you sketching in Porto 🙂

Symposium Special: We’re Booked!

Look out for the Urban Sketchers Bookshop at the International Symposium this year in Porto! We will be featuring hand-picked titles and limited edition collectibles from this year’s Instructors who are teaching workshops. This is an awesome one-stop-shop, to get books from your favorites in one go, without the wait and shipping. Plus, you get the privilege to get your books personally signed!

What’s in store? The following authors and titles are available at he Porto Bookshop:

Marc Holmes

Urban Sketcher

Direct Watercolor



Paris Je T’aime

Barcelona Original

Lapin Au Japon

Inma Serrano

A Sketching Hodgepodge

Javier de Blas

Viajero en Tindouf / Traveler in Tindouf

Sebastian Koch

Urban Sketchbook

Eduardo Bajzek

Rio Sketchbook

James Richards

Freehand Drawing & Discovery

USk Portugal

Portugal Urban Sketchers

Lojas Historicas em Lisboa

It is a great way to support our instructors who are all volunteers and independent artists. Make sure there’s space in your luggage for these treasures!

Follow Symposium News at:


IG: usksymposium

A Big Buzz for Portugal

We’re a big crowd from around the world visiting Portugal for the 9th Urban Sketchers International Symposium in July 2018. That’s a lot of buzz with sketches and memorable stories about Porto in a few days! The good news is Tourism Portugal is supporting Urban Sketchers and USk Portugal with a grant that will help fund the Symposium’s operational and volunteers’ expenses. This will make our event an even better experience for you. On top of that, you get a chance to win a Workshop Pass for next year’s International Symposium! (Please take note that the prize is non-transferrable and cannot be converted to cash.)

From 11 June to 28 July, 2018, all it takes is to complete the Accommodation Survey via this link. Every form of accommodation within Portugal for your trip during this time is relevant information. The aim of this survey is for the Tourism Bureau to find out how events like the Symposium impact interest and tourism in the country.

Your cooperation is very much appreciated. (The information you provide will be strictly confidential).

For any questions about this form or accommodation in Portugal, please contact

Here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions for your easy reference

Things to Know Before You Arrive in Porto

Sketch by Pablo Mendes

USk Porto 2018 is just around the corner. Here are a few things that you need to know before you start packing! Our Frequently Asked Questions article is also a good must-read if you haven’t yet. We update it often so be sure to check it in case you have some questions.


  • On Wednesday, July 18, check in at Alfandega do Porto between 11:00 and 18:00 (we are using 24-hour time for the schedule. So, 18:00 = 6:00 PM, etc.)
  • Porto Urban Sketchers is hosting a Welcome Sketchwalk from 14:00 -17:00. More information will be available at the event.
  • After the Sketchwalk, join us for an Opening Reception at Alfandega do Porto between 18:00 to 20:30. This is free for Symposium attendees. At 20:00 is the Launch of Sketch Tour Portugal Exhibition. 
  • Schedule information for Thursday, Friday and Saturday can be found here on our site. The Closing Reception on Saturday is free to Symposium attendees. More information about receptions will be available at the event.
  • The Big Sketch will take place on Saturday, July 21, 15:00 – 18:00.
  • Silent Auction is at 18:00 – 19:00.
  • Raffle Draw is at 19:00 – 20:00.
  • More information about meeting locations will be available to you when you check in at the Symposium.



  • Print your schedule from Eventbrite or use their app! Log into your Eventbrite account (use the same email you purchased your ticket with), click on the link for 9th Urban Sketchers Symposium – Porto 2018 under Upcoming Events, click Print Tickets on the left menu to download a PDF of your schedule.
  • An umbrella is handy, but don’t forget the sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and drinking water. A large portion of events take place outside, so be prepared for the elements.
  • Bring your favorite sketchbook and sketching materials. A few sponsors will also be selling materials onsite.
  • Some sketchers like to bring small, portable stools.
  • For those who have signed up for workshops, remember to check your Art Supplies List for the workshops you have selected.  Click here to check your Workshops Lineup  for workshop writeup and the materials you will needing to prepare for the workshop.
  • Remember to leave some space in your luggage for the materials you will receive or purchase from sponsors booths at the Symposium.
  • Consider bringing pre-printed or handmade cards with your contact information to trade with other sketchers.

Sketch by Pedro Loureiro

Straight from some of our friendly local urban sketchers, here are essential tips to help you prepare for the upcoming Porto adventure!


  • Although in the Atlantic shore, Porto’s temperate weather is Mediterranean. Be prepared for sunny days and warm evenings, with low humidity. An occasional summer breeze will alleviate the high daytime temperatures, which range between 25ºC and 35ºC (77ºF to 95ºF).
  • Sunscreen and hats are a must, as sunburned tourists are a typical sight in the steep streets of Porto. Sandals or light footwear are recommended, as well as light shirts and shorts. Bring a light jacket for the odd windy evening.


  • From Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, the surface metro (Metro do Porto) runs regularly to the city center, along the E line, to Trindade Station. From Trindade, take the D line to São Bento. The train coming from Lisboa stops at Campanhã Train Station, also served by several metro lines, all heading to Trindade Station. You can also skip the metro and change to a train bound to São Bento central station. São Bento is the train and metro station closest to the venue – a 20 minute downhill walk. Taxis and Uber are readily available in both locations. Alternatively, the 500 double-decker city bus will take you straight to the venue. Another option, if you’re coming from Lisbon, is the long course bus that stops at Campo 24 de Agosto, where you’ll find a metro station. To ride the metro or the city bus, you must purchase an Andante card, which costs 0,60€ and is chargeable with tickets. A ride to/from the airport (Z4) costs 2,00€. A ride within the city (Z2) costs 1,20€. Each traveller must purchase his/her individual Andante card.
  • Porto is a hilly city, spanning dozens of meters of altitude from the riverside (Ribeira) to the northern plateau. Be prepared to climb steep and charming streets and stairways. The Symposium venue is the riverside Alfândega, a former customs building. Most sketching locations can be found east and north of the venue, within a 30 minute walk uphill or along the river Douro.
  • Traffic-wise, Porto is hard to navigate without a GPS device, and some streets are often congested. Parking can be challenging in the city center (where the venue is located), and parkimeters are unavoidable. Parking costs 0,50€ per hour in the area around the venue and 1,00€ per hour in the city center. Tariffs apply between 8am and 8pm on week days, but it’s free otherwise. The venue has its own parking lot, with the 1,00€ per hour tariff. There are a few 24-hour garages in different parts of the city, to park for the whole day, for around 15€.

Other interesting reads:

Sketch by Pablo Mendes


  • Coffee, port wine and francesinhas are a must! The default measure for coffee in Portugal is the espresso shot. The south bank of the Douro river is peppered with port wine cellars, which warrant at least a visit to taste the famous sweet wine that got the name of the city where it is matured. The francesinha is Porto’s staple dish – a french toast with different sorts of pork meat and a secret sauce to tie it all together. In the docks of nearby Matosinhos (a 20 minute metro ride away), you can enjoy fresh grilled fish and seafood. Not all restaurants have vegetarian options, so be sure to check with the staff before ordering.
  • Meals can be as inexpensive as 5€-10€, but there are more costly meals, especially in touristic areas. Usual tips go from 1€ onward, but tipping is not compulsory. Some restaurants offer a reduced price lunch menu, complete with soup, bread and coffee included.
  • The venue is a bit tucked away from the main touristic area, so there are plenty of traditional restaurant options in the venue area. The tiny Taberna do Barqueiro offers a selection of codfish recipes. Casa Mara, next door, has some other home cooking options. AlmaAtPorto is a hip tapas-bar-antique-shop-art-gallery with that vintage feel, good for an afternoon drink. But you can find a Porto family atmosphere in Refúgio 112.
  • Time-saving tip: the daily specials (“Pratos do dia”) are usually the quicker options, as they’re ready to serve. For some fancier options, or a hearty breakfast, try the places in the beginning of the Rua das Flores, 10 minutes away from the venue.




Most restaurants and coffee spots provide wi-fi. When not evident, be sure to ask the staff. Chain restaurants and coffees like McDonald’s or Jeronymo offer free wi-fi for customers.


Portugal uses type F sockets (2 round pins), with 230V standard voltage. Same as continental Europe and Russia. Participants from North and Central America, UK, East Asia, and others, will require adapters.


The currency in Portugal is the Euro (€). ATM are easily found in most parts of the city – bank branches, shopping areas and supermarkets. Most will be signaled as “MB” (Multibanco). There are some currency exchange agencies (Câmbios) to be found in the touristic areas and in the airport.


The emergency services number is 112. Pharmacies operate in variable business hours. A few designated ones are available 24/7.

Sketch by Pablo Mendes


  • For general requests, questions, or information of accommodation in Porto, please email us at


  • You can view your registration at any time by visiting
  • Print your schedule from Eventbrite or use their app!
  • During Check-in, remember to pick your choice of Demo (19th July 2018, 17:00hrs)




  • To ensure a quality experience for all, we expect you to follow your selected workshop schedule during the Symposium. Attendance will be checked by Instructors’ assistant; so let them know you have signed up for the session


  • Visit the Symposium blog for information from instructors and updates about the event.
  • Follow us on Twitter,Instagram and join the Facebook group to meet other attendees.
  • Use the hashtag #USkPorto2018 to connect on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to share your experience.

More questions?

  • Contact
  • More Information in a booklet will be provided at check-in.

See you in Porto!

Sketch by Pedro Loureiro


Connect the Dots All the Way to Porto! 

Map out where all our attendees are coming from this year.


The International Urban Sketching Symposium is very unique as it travels to a different breathtaking corner of the world every year. What is equally unique is the mix of people who make it to these different locations.

Our global community is wide and we share the world one sketch at a time. Every year, we have this beautiful experience of meeting the people we follow from the world wide web and be able to sit, drink, learn, and draw together.

Some make it to the Symposium and share the experience. Some tag along online and share the experience wherever they are. However which way you join in, it’s great to see how wonderfully big and varied our sketching community is!  Remember our hashtag: #USkPorto2018


If your chapter is curious about hosting the symposium at some point in the future, we’re here to answer your questions and to guide you through the process of becoming a host chapter. You’ll receive the support and advice you need to bring the symposium to your city.


To apply, it’s important to read the Symposium Host Selection Handbook . Get a walk-through with this comprehensive guide that has all the information you need regarding the International Symposium, pitching, timelines, requirements and the selection process. Then, fill out this form and submit.

Send your questions to

A Lucky Draw to Draw! 

10 Symposium Scholarship Winners 

Sketch by 18-year-old Joao Mota, Scholarship Pass holder from Porto

In its commitment to promote urban sketching to the local drawing community, Urban Sketchers gives 10 Symposium Workshop Passes every year to sketchers from the host city. Now on its 9th year, Urban Sketchers is delighted to announce the 10 lucky winners from Porto! This year’s recipients of the International Symposium scholarships are: Fernanda Fernandes, Bruno Viera, Teresa Mendes, António Procópio, António Freire, Maria Leonor Janeiro, João Mota, Pedro Alves, Paula Cabral and Ana Pato. Congratulations to all of you and see you in Porto!

Catch the lucky draw at


9th USk Symposium Porto Schedule & Programme

Evaluating and selecting 36 out of 158 workshop proposals received wasn’t an easy task for the Education Committee. 37% is represented by regional instructors and 63% is coming from the global community. We are also introducing all-new instructors to join our respected pool of faculty this year which makes up 25% of our offerings. Have a look at the amazing line-up and pick something new, something old or just an exciting spin to inspire your sketching from the diverse selections!

Click on this link for a closer look at the Event Schedule & Programme

Workshop selection starts on March 3.  Here’s another look at the Workshop and Instructor line-up for your reference! See you in Porto!

               Click here to browse publication about the instructors and workshops.

Don’t miss out! Follow the Symposium Instagram and subscribe to Drawing Attention for the latest news.

Workshop selection starts March 3rd, 2018 at 3pm GMT  onwards.  Here is a step-by-step guide to helping you with your workshop selection process:

Guide to Workshop Selection on your Eventbrite account

For other questions, check out

2018 USk Porto Symposium FAQ

Table of Contents

When and where is this year’s Urban Sketchers International Symposium?

When and how do I register for the event’s passes?

When do I select my Workshops? Can I make changes to my choices?

What type of Symposium passes can I get?

Why is the Sketch Pass chargeable when my local sketchcrawl is free?

Why do we buy the pass now and register workshop later?

I missed the Registration and saw all passes sold out.  What should I do?

If I’m on the Wait List, how soon will I know if I am able to get a pass?

What is the refund policy?

Can I buy a pass for someone else?

Can I upgrade my pass type?

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Can I have recommendations of hotels in Porto?


Urban Sketchers International Symposium 2018


Announcing the world-class line-up for the Urban Sketchers International Symposium Porto 2018! Registration starts 17th February, Saturday, 15:00hrs GMT on the Eventbrite USk Symposium 2018 Porto event page here .

To make sure you got the right time for your time zone, check here to convert to your local time zone.

Click here to browse publication about the instructors and workshops.

  1. SIMONE RIDYARD, UK: Archisketcher’s guide to sketching the Big Picture using the ‘Rule of Thirds’
  2. CHARLINE MOREAU, France: BEYOND THE TREES – How to Include a Wooded Foreground in Order to Enrich a Panoramic View
  3. EDOUARDO BAJZEK, Brazil: Graphite is the Matter
  4. FRED LYNCH, USA: See What I Mean – Sketching Like an Illustrator
  5. GABI CAMPANARIO, USA: Pocket Urban Sketching
  6. IAN FENNELLY, UK: Watercolor and Pen in a Busy Space
  7. INMA SERRANO, Spain: Porto: Calma e fúria (Porto: Calm & Wild)
  8. JANE BLUNDELL, Australia: Watercolour 101
  9. JIM RICHARDS, USA: DRAWING AS DISCOVERY – Revealing Porto’s Rich Sense of Place
  10. JOAO CATARINO, Portugal: Water Sounds – Shapes, Rhythms and Patterns by the River
  11. JOHANNA KRIMMEL. Germany: TRUE GRIT – Painting Confidently with Chinese Ink
  12. JOSE LOURO, Portugal: Draw Less Show More (Reloaded)
  13. KIAH KIEAN CH’NG, Malaysia – Sketching with Dry Twig & Chinese Ink
  14. LAPIN, Spain: Urban Archaeology – A documentary Approach of the City
  15. LIZ STEEL, Australia – It’s All in the Details
  16. LK BING, Indonesia: Dramatic Atmosphere in Black and White – How to Apply Lighting Concept and Create Depth with Rich Values
  17. LYNDA JANE GRAY, UK: Searching for Focus and Flow – Seeing / Sketching / Colour
  18. MARC HOLMES, Canada: Tea Milk and Honey – Seven Years Later
  19. MARION RIVOLIER, France: Capturing People and Space in the Same Gesture
  20. MARU GODAS, Spain: Gouache Like a Child
  21. MATTHEW BREHM, USA: The Fundamentals of Sketching: Process and Practice
  22. MIKE DAIKUBARA, USA: Sketch NOW, Think Later
  23. PAUL HEASTON, USA: Perspectiva de Guarda-chuva: Umbrella Perspective
  24. PAUL WANG, Singapore: BEAUTIFUL EYES – Let’s go Window Shopping & Peek into Beautiful Porto!
  25. PEDRO LOUREIRO, Portugal: The Stories of Public Realm Objects
  26. REHAM ALI, Egypt: Urban Tales… Building Can Talk Too!! Architectural Scenes without Actors
  27. RENATO PALMUTI, Brazil: Playful Composition Exercises with Notan Sketches.
  28. ROB SKETCHERMAN, Hong Kong: People Party in Porto!
  29. ROISIN CURE, Ireland: A Page of Porto Petiscos! Signs And Their Setting for A Sense of Place
  30. SHARI BLAUKOPF, Canada: Right Up Your Alley – Light, Colour and Shadow in Porto’s Narrow Spaces
  31. SIMO CAPECCHI, Italy: One Page Says it All. A Reportage on Porto Wine
  32. SUHITA SHIRODKAR, USA: People at Work – Quick-Capture Vignettes
  33. UMA KELKAR, USA: Gray Matter: Using Gray to Tie Two Contrasting Colors in Two Washes for Lively and Quick Sketching
  34. VERONICA LAWLOR, USA: Reportage – Memory of a City
  35. VIRGINIA HEIN, USA: Minimal Color, Maximum Punch! Saying More with Less
  36. WILLIAM CORDERO, Costa Rica: Pastel Sketches, a Controlled Mess

Due to overwhelming response from previous symposium registration regarding the default time limit to complete selection of workshops, filling out personal information, and processing payment, we have decided to lessen the stress of our participants by just offering the passes first, and then workshop selections later on 3rd March 2018.  Here is a schedule of dates leading up to selection of workshops.  You may log in again anytime from 3rd March onwards to pick your workshop choices.

Don’t miss out! Follow the Symposium Instagram and subscribe to Urban Sketchers for the latest news.


Get your pens all inked up for the upcoming Symposium adventure in Porto! The main venue will be Alfândega do Porto. Click HERE to watch a short video of beautiful Porto. Click HERE to see a helpful map of the area.

For Workshop Pass Holders, learning on location will be intense in a good way. Whether it’s learning new techniques, a dive into media you aren’t familiar with or discovering alternative ways to tell your stories, it’s immediate and inspiring with in-person teaching and a tribe that loves sketching the way you do.

Explore, trade tools, and share stories with instructors at our featured demos. Join Skit Sketches and celebrate how sketching impacts individuals and bigger communities.

Of course, we will drink and draw with old and new-found friends at our opening and closing parties. Get swag from our sponsors and check out the array of fine art supplies at rare deals from our vendors. Take home some goodies from our lucky draw and silent auction. It will be days of show and tell for everyone at this grand coastal city!

Registration starts 17th February, Saturday, 15:00hrs GMT.
Full Symposium programming will be out this February.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to Drawing Attention and follow us on social media for the latest symposium news: the Symposium Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Watch the video below for highlights from the 2017 USk Chicago Symposium.

Porto Symposium 2018 – Call for Correspondents

If you have a flair for sketching reportage-style, you’re a team player, you have extremely high sketching stamina and are technically savvy to blog about the daily events at the Symposium, here’s your chance to be a correspondent for the 9th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Porto, Portugal on July 18-21, 2018.

A total of three correspondents will be selected. We’re looking for a Porto or nearby resident, who knows about the ins and outs of the city, and two international correspondents selected from outside of Portugal.

Here are some tips to prepare you for the pitch. Get your urban sketches ready featuring people doing activities and include sample blog entries. Think about why you’re interested and why you would be the best candidate. What are your innovative ideas in covering the event? In this role, writing is as important as sketching. Provide some links to your blog or platforms that show examples of your writing. Please see the requirements and other details.

Application ends on Feb. 21, 2018, 23:59 GMT.

The Editorial Team and Executive Board will evaluate applications based on how well the requirements are met. Because Urban Sketchers is a worldwide organization, global diversity will be considered. Selected candidates will be announced by mid-March 2018.


We’re proud to announce the winners of the Porto Urban Sketchers 9th International Symposium logo design competition. From 24 proposals from around the world, the jury of the competition voted first place to Isa Silva’s proposal. The idea behind the logo design shows the the Clerigos Tower, an icon of the city of Porto, and its curiosity over what Urban Sketchers are drawing.

Second and third places were awarded to the proposals presented by Anabela Ferreira and Pedro Loureiro, respectively. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who participated!

December 15, 2017 was the deadline for the Call for Programming proposal submissions. Thanks to all who took part and submitted. On average we receive 50-80 proposals. In last year’s Symposium in Chicago, we hosted 36 Workshops. This year, we had the honour of receiving over 150 workshop proposals.

The Education Committee has been tasked to review all the proposals. They look for a balance of diversity in workshop themes, to select at least 20% new instructors, and set aside standby workshops to be included depending on the number of registrations.

Full Symposium programming & schedule will be announced on early February 2018.


Thank you everyone for your interest and the awesome number of submissions for the 9th Urban Sketchers International Symposium happening in Porto on July 18-21, 2018.

Stay tuned! Selected proposals will be announced in early February.

Still have questions? Email


Follow the Symposium Instagram and sign up for Drawing Attention to know the latest news.


For those who haven’t sent their proposals for Workshops, Demonstrations and Skit Sketches for the 9th Urban Sketchers International Symposium in Porto, here’s a big shout out to you! We hope that you’ve had some lead time to prepare yours in the last three weeks. Don’t worry, there are a few more days to go.

To all who have submitted, thank you! We have received a lot of proposals and looking forward to even more by the approaching closing date this Friday, December 15, 2017 (11:59 p.m. GMT)

Here’s a link to some details on how to draft your proposals in case you need a refresh.

Wishing everyone the best and to not forget to send before it’s too late!

Selected proposals will be announced in January.

Still have questions? Email



The 9th Urban Sketchers Symposium will be held in Porto, Portugal on July 18-21, 2018. We are seeking proposals for Workshops, Demonstrations, and Skit Sketches by Friday, December 15, 2017 (11:59 p.m. GMT). Selected proposals will be announced in early February. 

(You can see past symposium programming for 2017 here, 2016 here and 2015 here).

WORKSHOPS are presented as a more formal educational experience with a smaller group (a maximum of 15 participants), allowing for personal interaction with students. Instructors are expected to do a short demonstration, have one-on-one interaction with participants, and check on them during their exercises.



  • Duration and Frequency: All workshops will be 3 hours and taught up to three times over the course of the Symposium.
  • Capacity: Focused instruction for up to 15 participants in each session.
  • Demonstration : Instructor is requested to present a 30 minutes demonstration, in line with their workshop, during the symposium (venue can be their workshop location).
  • Compensation: If your proposal is selected, you receive free registration for the Symposium, travel and accommodation. Host city instructors who will not need to travel will receive an honorarium.



We are aiming to increase the number of new and local instructors. If you have not previously taught at the Symposium, and you have teaching experience, we want to hear from you! For the previous years, we have already gotten a good mix of new and of local Demo and Lecture leaders, and aim to continue.


We are also seeking sketchers to share urban sketcher stories, sketching technique, sketching materials and present a talk related to sketching.

SKIT SKETCH is a ‘lightning talk’ presentation which allows you to share your own work, urban sketching stories, the work of other sketchers, sketching history, or another topic of interest or concern to fellow sketchers. A projector will be provided. Your consent will be asked when you submit proposals regarding the filming of lecture sessions and that they may be shared online on USk platforms.

  • Duration and Frequency: a presentation with 20 auto-advance slides at 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total) and will only be conducted once. (similar to the format of Pecha Kucha or Ignite). 
  • Capacity: All interested participants are welcome. 
  • Compensation: If your proposal is selected, you will receive a discount of $100 off any choice of Registration Pass for the Symposium.



  • You can propose a Workshop or Demo for a specific spot or a general location. We recommend you to get to know the possible locations before you create your proposal, in order to match your idea with the city’s environment.
  • Photos & description of suggested locations (Low res and High res).
  • Map of suggested locations
  • All participants will be advised to gather with their Instructors at the Meeting place, before setting out to Workshop locations. 
  • Workshop locations are subject to change and the organizers reserve the right to make the best arrangements and combinations of Workshops/Demos and locations.
  • Learn more about how to prepare a successful workshop proposal.
  • Keep in mind the weather: The average temperature in July is 25°C/79°F, with higher afternoon temperatures (up to 33°C/91ºF), and lower evening temperatures (20°C/65°F). July is warmer than usual and has low risk for rain.
  • You may propose multiple Workshops and Skit Sketch presentations. However, subject to evaluation of the Education Committee, only one of your proposals may be picked.
  • All successful proposals will be notified by January 2018, for coordination of more information in preparation for the Symposium.
  • All instructors and leaders will receive a list of participants, closer to the time of the Symposium.
  • The official language of the Symposium is English.


All proposals must be emailed to

If you are proposing a Workshop, you must use this form and include sample sketches inside the proposal document (not as separate attachments).

If you are proposing a Skit Sketch presentation, you must use this form and include 20 images intended for the slide presentation, inside the proposal document (not as separate attachments).


All proposals are due by Friday December 15, 2017 (11:59 p.m. GMT).

Still have questions? Email



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