A GROUP of Yorkshire sketchers are capturing Bradford's hidden jewels as part of their continuing tour round the region.

Urban sketching is a new creative phenomenon taking place all over the world but there's a real "buzz" right here in God's Own Country, organiser and artist Louise Garrett has revealed.

Armed with paint, pens and a sketchbook, you might have seen the group admiring ancient buildings and statues to create drawings live - no photos allowed.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Louise first joined Urban Sketchers Yorkshire - a Facebook group where people organise meet ups and share their creations - as she looked forward to retirement.

Urban Sketchers was founded by Enrico Casarosa in San Francisco when he attempted a drawing marathon, sketching everything around him, non-stop for a day.

It was then launched overseas with Sheffield artist Lynne Chapman leading the way in Yorkshire until she passed the baton on to Louise.

And while it's a chance to get arty, it is so much more than that for many of the group's members.

Louise, a long-time artist with sketchbooks dating back 15 years, told the Telegraph & Argus: "When we have sketched in Bradford, people have been amazed. It was the vintage car event; there were vintage cars, aeroplanes, trucks - I would never had dreamt of doing that. You start drawing somebody's beloved vehicle and they want a photo of the drawing.

"The other thing that happens is people approach you and talk to you - I like that. People say 'I used to do art' and they whip out their mobile phone or they tell you about the building you're looking at and they tell you stories - personal stories - about what happened to them.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"You can show off your hometown and show off what we've got here. It's a jewel.

"I know more about architecture now than I ever did before. I think, 'Is that Brutalist then or what?'.

"Now I like the backs of shops as you get the fire escapes and ladders and different qualities of what's going on.

"You look a bit slower. You stand and stare at a building for 15 minutes and you never do that otherwise. Stand and really look slowly and you notice some really incredible details.

"Those little details above eye level, above the modern shops, and there they all are - just fantastic."

Sketchers have captured some of the district's most intricate buildings over the years, whether it's the sculptures on some of Keighley's oldest buildings, brass industrial interiors of Saltaire Brewery or Bradford's illustrious City Hall.

The coronavirus lockdown put a temporary stop to their Urban Sketchers events but it hasn't stopped avid artists from getting creative.

Breaking the no photo rule in unprecedented times, the group has been exploring the world by Google Maps - stopping by Italy and France.

But for 75-year-old Terry McAllister from Bingley, nothing beats true urban sketching.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

He's been hiking Aire Valley's hills for more natural artwork pieces throughout the pandemic as well as sketching Ilkley's Manor House.

The Urban Sketcher said: "I've been drawing all my life but it was about four years ago I joined Urban Sketchers.

"It's a great community, you get together in various venues throughout the day and you meet up and show each other what you've done.

"I've been sketching all my life since I was able to hold a pencil. I've always had a particular interest in buildings.

"There's some really high class buildings (in Bradford).

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"I think there's a challenge of drawing a sketch that looks something like it's supposed to. You learn about buildings through sketching."

Gina Glot, who joined the group in January 2017 and fell back in love with art after years away, says she has met Urban Sketchers across the world.

It's an international affair - currently learning how to draw people from an Urban Sketcher in Galloway, captured Paris with a fellow French sketcher and is a member of two Urban Sketchers groups in Lancashire.

The Idle resident said: "You can all look at the same scene and it will look totally different. You all have your own own style.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"You don't know until you get to a location what you're going to do.

"It's quite meditative in that you sit down and start drawing somewhere or something and you absorbed into it, into the actual drawing."

There's more than 70,000 sketchers across the UK and thousands more across the globe - helping Baildon's Mike Duckett sketch on his round-the-world travels. He's worked with sketchers from Saudi Arabia to Scandinavia but Bradford is just as inspiring.

"It's a nice way to feel at home," Mike said.

More Urban Sketches can be seen using the gallery tool at the top of the page.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: