Aotea Square bustles with energy. Drumbeats fill the air as two groups of primary school children listen to women in Polynesian costumes tell them about their culture. Tourists snap photos of the old architecture and modern buildings that define the area.
Sitting unobtrusively on the edge of a planter box is Murray Dewhurst, his pencil gliding along the page of a small black sketchpad, capturing a scene.
"I think Auckland is more interesting since I've been sketching it," the softly spoken graphic designer says. "It's just the energy of the people going to work every day, the architecture of the buildings, the events."
His sketches are the only ones by a New Zealander to be included in the book, The Art of Urban Sketching, a compilation of drawings of cities done by artists all over the world, from Seattle to Auckland. He's also the only Kiwi correspondent to the Urban Sketcher website, which features blogs from invited international artists.
"The book shows people's interpretations of their cities," he says. "It's just an everyday kind of view. You can be an armchair traveller and enjoy looking at other people's sketches. There are so many nice photographs of cities and things but it's a different feeling with sketches."
He says none of the artists in the book were paid for their drawings. The proceeds from the sale will go to the organisation which aims to encourage city sketching throughout the world.
Mr Dewhurst says love for drawing was the reason he went into graphic design but, lately, it has become more of a computer job.
"I sit at the desk staring at the computer and so I started to get out with a sketchbook. It's quite refreshing looking at things from a distance instead of staring at things all the time," he says.
Typically he will sketch from about 10 minutes to an hour, quickly drawing transient objects such as the Volvo Ocean Race yachts.
"I just try to capture the atmosphere or the feeling. It's not too finished," he says.
The father of three says he would like to paint some day but things are quite hectic at the moment between family and work. Initially his children would complain as soon as he got out his sketchbook, but now they come along and do their own sketches.
"The girls are particularly good," he says, adding that sketching has really made him stop and take a good look at the things going on around him.
"Now, I'm just trying to sit down and enjoy it more and see it better," he says.
Are you an urban sketcher who has drawn an Auckland scene? Send your drawing to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to have your picture published online