Virtual Uptown

I had fun with a virtual sketch-out with Urban Sketchers Twin Cities this past weekend. One of our leaders devised a special event where you go to a location on Google maps, drop your guy in for a street view and then you sketch what you see in Uptown, which is in Minneapolis. Using the street view function, you can roam around city streets and find interesting views. Many sketching groups have tried this before and done some nice international cities as well on Google street views, but this was my first time trying this.

Uptown is a fun area with shops, stores, restaurants, a theater, apartments, and many other amenities. I have driven through it many times, often getting caught in busy traffic lanes, or behind a bus, but there are certainly many things to look at! I did a Google street view sketch of Stella’s Fish Cafe…

I liked the awnings, the lettering of their name, and the pink trout on their sign.

On Sunday, I did a virtual sketch of the Rainbow Building ( I have never been to this Uptown icon, but saw it on Google street view and was immediately intrigued by it because of its large, colorful mural on one side. Once I started working on the sketch, I decided to not focus on the complex mural, but only do a small part of it. Here is my finished sketch:

Though sketching from Google street views was fun, I would say I missed the elements of being on location– the noise, the smells, the hustle and bustle of a street scene are always fun to experience. But they give me some ideas of where to go when the weather is warmer, and also to experience even more fun sketch subjects in Uptown!

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