WORDS & SKETCHES: HARSHAD AROLE
I grew up in Pune, Maharashtra, but it was only when I returned to the city after 15 years away that I truly set about discovering it. The old wadas, the many temples, the British architecture, the labyrinthine alleys in the peths (localities), and the urbanisation brought about by the information-technology wave – all these drew me in, absorbed me. I felt sheer joy and excitement in stumbling upon spots that I had never known existed.
Urban sketching is all about drawing on location and capturing what you observe. It is a way of discovering the essence of a place by capturing the history, geography, customs and lifestyles of the different communities that inform the space. It increases our appreciation of the environment that we have created, and it is a very social activity, because we share our experiences and impressions.
I love the simplicity of urban sketching; all you need is a drawing tool and a blank book. I have not been sketching very long, but just looking back at my early pieces brings back vivid recollections of the place, the atmosphere, the emotions I felt. For me, the satisfaction I get from my sketches can never be paralleled by photography.