The Magic of Urban Sketching on island Hvar: A Glimpse into Neven Rinčić’s Art

6 minute read

Are you familiar with the concept of urban sketching?

If not, grab a seat, relax, and read on because right here, on the island of Hvar, the first and perhaps only urban sketching community in Croatia is taking shape.

Street art is one of the most enchanting ways to connect with the city you live in or are visiting It’s an opportunity to view the city in an entirely new light. There’s something special about the impromptu setups, tiny chairs, and scattered colors of street artists trying to capture the life unfolding before them, and urban sketching takes this storytelling to a whole new level.

So, what exactly is urban sketching, and how does it differ from traditional street painting?

Urban sketching is all about expressing a deep understanding and connection with the city and its people. Artists focus on creating quick sketches and paintings of the urban environment, intending to capture the scene as they see it in the moment. This practice is often individual and intimate, directed towards personal expression and understanding of the surroundings.

Meet Neven Rinčić

Croatian urban sketcher, a self-taught artist with family roots hailing from the quaint village of Brusje, far above Hvar town. Drawing is his hobby, which aligns perfectly with his “real” job, allowing him to spend a lot of time on the island during the summer.

His drawings come to life during morning coffee, over dinner, while taking a dip, or waiting in line for the ferry.

The people he draws are often unaware of his subtle gaze, yet the emotions and simplicity that emerge from his work convey the essence of the moment better than a professional photograph.

Motifs, People, and Hidden Secrets of the Premiere Dalmatian Island

Neven carries his sketchbook, actually more than one, and shows me an entire summer season in a retrospective of colored pencils, watercolors, and pens. There are buildings and monuments, a small ice cream parlor nestled in stone, some familiar faces, young tourists splashing on the beach, a villa with a pool.

Through short video clips on his social media, he unveils his drawings and reveals the moment they were created. The anticipation of seeing what he drew keeps my eyes firmly locked on the screen every single time.

. You don’t need to be a professional artist; anyone can draw; you just need enough persistence to master the art of filling in the gaps of the moment with your own imagination. What’s more important, there are no rules, no limitations, no mistakes. It’s my expression and interpretation of the island and its people.

Curious Wanderers and Ingenious Ideas

Imagine being at a wedding, and someone sits in the background, sketching an endless series of portraits, details, magnificent dresses, and joyful guests, giving each drawing a touch of personality, a moment, gentle sunbeam here and there, or a specific facial expression. How genius would that wedding gift be? Unique, one-of-a-kind. Neven spontaneously created just such a drawing for the newlyweds who tied the knot on the terrace of Hvar’s Bonj Les Bains.

He enjoys drawing. He observes people and their reactions when approached with drawings. He tells the story of the island and its people, carrying us through moments forever captured on the colorful pages of his notebooks. I can’t wait to see when Hvar’s waterfront will be flooded with travel sketchers, rustling notebooks and papers, colorful pencils, and watercolors. Truly, there’s no better backdrop for it than the island of Hvar. Art, in fact – is the island itself.