Sketch Across the World 2020

Sketch by Elaine. P. Gwin From North Carolina on Day 1 of Sketch Across the World, a lovely sketch alongside nature.

It’s a month since our Sketch Across the World Adventure on the 2nd & 3rd May. Thank you so much to everyone who joined in! It was amazing and I’m so inspired by the creativity and nature connection shared during such a challenging time. I’ve added a link to the gallery of images at the end of this post.

With most of us at home with the pandemic affecting us all, the Sketch Adventure was going to look very different this year. We did not have the freedom of our outdoor adventures last year, from the foothills of the Himalayas, High up in the Alps, to Antarctica. Unable to go outside in many cases, we took this as our time-out with nature, wherever we were. From our windows, from within our homes, or gardens with different eyes, we explored like never before. Seeing nature from a different perspective from our own doorstep, it brought us closer, inspired by nature, when we could not be together. Even those of us who had been struggling each day picked up our sketchbooks and art materials to sketch with us in May.

Jane McGregor from Ontario created this amazing sketchbook for Sketch Across the World. Watch the little video above she created.

For one weekend we were wrapped in a restorative bubble of nature, which I didn’t want to end, seeing the beautiful sketches and the stories that accompanied each sketch.
I was so excited that 205 artists joined in this year and even more so to see the 15 school children and their teacher joining in from Hong Kong. What an amazing teacher and inspiration to take them on a sketch adventure in nature. You can follow their adventures at @shekoartworkshops on Instagram.

We’ve had some incredibly moving moments as some of you emerged from your homes for the first time in weeks. We watched as Marita in Spain headed to glimpse the sea, briefly stopping en-route to capture what she could see into her sketchbook. This sketch has stayed in my mind a lot over the last couple of weeks. The sense of relief to be in nature once again.

Marita sketching on the path at Isle Plana, Murcia in Spain. The first walk since being in lockdown for weeks.

Those of you in front-line jobs, challenged daily with what you faced, found a moment to join us and take some much needed time-out. From those who took part there are a few who stand out, knowing what you do in your everyday life. They very kindly shared a few words from their current experiences.

Cai @Paintingwithscrubs sketched flowers for Sketch Across the World

“Precious days off work forced me to consciously slow down and allowed me to pursue new creative projects which have helped in keeping me sane throughout the pandemic. Walking and sketching outdoors, being surrounded by nature, is both a freedom and a luxury that I am hugely more grateful for since lockdown started.”

Rebecca Painted with Plant Pigments for Sketch Across the World

Being away from home for so many weeks and caring for someone who is in their last few months of life can be a bit challenging, so spending a few moments each day out in the garden has been a real boost. Painting with plants for sketch across the world made me stop and really look at the flowers, the grasses, the leaves and all their infinite variety of textures and tones. Trying out different colours, feeling the grass under my feet and smelling the crushed greens, listening to the birdsong and watching the ladybirds and the ants busy along the vegetation highways. All just moments in time but immeasurable in restorative power!”

Rebecca Reynolds

The first beautiful Sketch this year came from Sophie @plumandteal from Russia.

With the first sketch arriving from Russia, I could feel the connection to nature from home. It was lovely to see so many who joined in last year, excited to join in again this year, with this grass-roots sketch adventure. From Vladimir I found myself near Whitby in England where Zoe Taylor had created an abstract sketch of a tree and later created the longest sketch to appear on Sketch Across the World to date, coming in at 17 feet! How incredible is that! See her Instagram feed, she kept sketching that week.

The most Southerly Sketch came in from Deirdre Mitchell Researcher and Kat the Doctor, both based on South Georgia with the British Antarctic Survey, located in the Southern Atlantic Ocean just off Antarctica. It was amazing to have a glimpse of the wildlife there. Deidre drew a Pipit, the most Southerly songbird in the World! Whilst Kat sketched the Mountain Hodges, their view across the bay. It was so exciting to see sketches coming in from more of the island locations this year, including The Bahamas, Hawaii, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Our most Northerly Sketch came in from Max Romey, he sketched from the top of Indianhouse Mountain, Alaska. He posted an inspiring video from the mountain. check it out!

Sketch Across the World Highlights

  • 205 took part this year in 2020
  • 260 Sketches Created
  • We touched 6 Continents of the World, welcoming all
  • 45 Sketches of Trees
  • 19 Sketches of your gardens
  • 12 Bird Sketches
  • 71 Flower Sketches
  • 76 Landscape Sketches
  • 26 Nature Journal Entries and general nature sketches
  • 7 Artists created their own sketchbook for the event!
  • The Longest Sketch at 17ft was created by Zoe Taylor, near Whitby in the UK
  • The Most Southerly Sketches from Deirdre Mitchell and Kat on South Georgia. They were probably the most remote too.
  • The Most Northerly and Highest Sketch created by Max Romy, up indianhouse Mountain in Alaska.

Go on an Adventure…

Grab yourself a drink and take an armchair adventure around the World through the amazing gallery created on Instagram for Sketch Across the World! If you love a sketch please do let people know, I hope they inspire you to try sketchIng outside in nature too.

#sketchacrosstheworld Gallery

The Sketch Across the World Gallery on Instagram, you can click on the gallery above, it’s linked through to Instagram. . Some are inspired to keep adding sketches through May, at present during this challenging time they are so lovely to see.

Thank you once again everyone for joining our nature connection adventure and for all your support. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too and you are looking forward to next May, when we can do it all again. So plenty of time to plan your outdoor adventure.

Katherine Owen – The Walking Sketchbook

The Walking Sketchbook on a Outdoor Sketch Adventure amongst the trees. Taken by Alice Savery at

Opportunity: If you would like a monthly challenge you can join in with Moment Sketchers. (@momentsketchers on Instagram). Also this week is Nature Journaling Week where you will find me joining in, see where you find lots of inspiring resources to inspire you to sketch in nature.

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