With a lot of the world currently in Coronavirus lockdown, we can’t travel to visit places we’ve always wanted to see or revisit places we love. So how about a bit of virtual urban sketching instead using Google Maps and Street View.

Search for a Place you Want to Draw on Google Maps Street View

A place I love is Chamberet, which is in Limousin France. So I put that in the Google Maps search.

map chamberet

Then I need to zoom in a bit so I can see the streets in Chamberet a bit clearer. Then I click on one of the roads and a circular icon appears. Below it there is an image I can click. Here you can see the main street of the town and the two stone buildings are the school and the Marie. And on the left here is the bakery where we buy bread and croissants.

Finding an Interesting Building to Draw on Google Street View

If we go down the road a bit and turn left I’ll have a look around and see if there is anything I would like to draw. I like this stone building which is next to the post office and has a war memorial in front of it so I think I will move it around to get a good view and draw that.

streetview building to draw in Chamberet France

Using a Permanent Fineliner to Draw After Creating A Pencil Outline

After my pencil sketch, I use a Unipin permanent fineliner pen to draw the scene. I’m working on a small A5 piece of paper as I don’t want to fuss with any detail, just as if I was actually sitting there.

pen drawing from street view

Using Travel Watercolours to be More Authentic

As I am virtually urban sketching I figured I should use my travel watercolour set and pop up water pot, just to make it more authentic. Although I have to say that my office chair is a lot more comfortable than a sketching stool.

travel watercolour set

Then I add a bit of watercolour to the sketch, but again trying to keep it fairly simple.

virtual urban watercolour sketch building Chamberet

Why don’t you try a virtual trip to somewhere you love and create a drawing there

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