Everyday Urban Sketching

Taught By Multiple Professors
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent approaches to sketching and watercolor I liked all of the instructors. I wasn't really interested in the scrapbook/journaling module, but I still used some of the techniques to make some birthday cards. Watch Suma's module and you will produce quick sketches and watercolors that you won't mind sharing with others. ++ I really appreciated Stephanie Bower's ability to teach perspective. Her method works and the way she shows you how to set things up is very understandable. Probably my favorite module because it is so useful in drawing and painting. If you want your proportions to work, you need to watch this. Marc is a fun instructor. He pushed me to think about quick sketches that weren't on my radar -- moving people especially. I keep watching his lectures over to learn more. I also liked is watercolor tips.
Date published: 2020-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Useful tips from multiple speakers This is a useful lecture course with multiple speakers if you need starter help in this area. The instructions were easy to follow and produced pleasing results.
Date published: 2020-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A wonderful sketching course I rated this course 4 stars rather than 5 because I wasn't interested in Module 2. It covers gestural sketching in great detail from active sporting events to landscape and architecture. All instructors did a wonderful job. I have been sketching and drawing for 60 years, and in reading on of the previous comments, i would like to add my opinion, that i would HIGHLY recommend that beginners and intermediates take this course BEFORE take the How to Draw course. The two are definitely complementary, but he How to Draw course is a professional artist course. So, If you want to start or continue, and not get frustrated early, take this course first.
Date published: 2020-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great to have 3 perspectives. I enjoyed the lessons very much. It was helpful to have three different styles of sketching.
Date published: 2020-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Practical and Inspiring These lecture offer tips and demonstrations that are helpful and inspiring. Each homework assignment gets you to practice new skills bit by bit. Couldn't wait to get started and am still enjoying developing my skills. I love drawing again.
Date published: 2020-02-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Discs won’t play I tried playing the first disc, it wouldn’t play (on several devices), so they sent me a replacement disc. Guess what? That one wouldn’t play either. So rather than prolong my agony, I decided just to watch this on my phone. It took quite awhile to download lectures, but I finally got them! Just watched the first couple so far, but it seems to me that (at least the first lecturer) she’s just telling you how she does things, not really instructing at all. I have hope that it will get better.
Date published: 2019-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The title says it all! I bought this video to better understand sketching techniques especially angles and finding the vanishing points. Drawing buildings has always given me problems and now I have a better understanding of the process. Very informative CD!
Date published: 2019-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Greet for artists and hobbyists Great ideas for when you have a short time or longer. I plan to take a journal and watercolors on my next trip.
Date published: 2019-09-12
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Everyday Urban Sketching
Course Trailer
Module 1 Lesson 1: Introduction and Materials
1: Module 1 Lesson 1: Introduction and Materials

Meet your instructor Suma and begin by going over the materials you'll need to get started. After that, practice some exercises that will help you sketch quickly and confidently when you're out and about.

13 min
Module 1 Lesson 2: Vignettes
2: Module 1 Lesson 2: Vignettes

Suma introduces her "Read It, Frame It, Draw It" approach to sketching quickly on location. Learn how to spot the best scenes, decide what subjects to focus on and make the right marks to convey the essence of a place or space.

10 min
Module 1 Lesson 3: Sketching on the Move: Play, Pause, Rewind
3: Module 1 Lesson 3: Sketching on the Move: Play, Pause, Rewind

Find out how to sketch a scene while in transit, whether you're walking or on a bus, train or car, as Suma breaks down her "Play, Pause, Rewind" method. See how to mark a moving object, take advantage of downtime to add details and look for repetition in your daily routines.

35 min
Module 1 Lesson 4: 4 Adding People: Symbols, Not Statues
4: Module 1 Lesson 4: 4 Adding People: Symbols, Not Statues

Ready to bring your sketches to life? Learn how to depict people as symbols to quickly add them into a scene. Suma shares some basic proportions that will make your figures look more realistic. Then, learn how to draw a variety of clothes and depict skin tones using watercolor.

22 min
Module 1 Lesson 5: 5 Nature: Sky, Ground, Middle
5: Module 1 Lesson 5: 5 Nature: Sky, Ground, Middle

Find out how to quickly render natural subjects, such as a landscape, using Suma's "Sky, Ground, Middle" approach. See how to create convincing vistas in a short amount of time, without having to worry about traditional perspective techniques.

17 min
Module 1 Lesson 6: 6 Watercolor: Tips for Fast Sketching
6: Module 1 Lesson 6: 6 Watercolor: Tips for Fast Sketching

End class by digging deeper into watercolor to make your sketches more compelling. Suma shares her strategies for harnessing color to create unified and energetic sketches with ease.

15 min
Module 2 Lesson 1: Getting Started
7: Module 2 Lesson 1: Getting Started

Meet Judith Cassel-Mamet, who begins class by introducing her philosophy on journaling, then goes over what you'll need to get started, and shows you how to make two kinds of journals.

30 min
Module 2 Lesson 2: Activating Your Journal
8: Module 2 Lesson 2: Activating Your Journal

Take a look at various preparation techniques to make your journals more vibrant. See how to activate blank pages with color, design, and even some everyday beverages such as coffee and wine.

24 min
Module 2 Lesson 3: Text as a Graphic Element
9: Module 2 Lesson 3: Text as a Graphic Element

Judith shows you how to use text in a variety of ways, from design elements to headers to accents. Plus, get tips on how to make your writing more artistic and calligraphic.

22 min
Module 2 Lesson 4: Incorporating Ephemera
10: Module 2 Lesson 4: Incorporating Ephemera

Discover some novel techniques for treating and incorporating both manmade and natural ephemera, including sandpaper, flowers and more.

24 min
Module 2 Lesson 5: Sketching Shortcuts
11: Module 2 Lesson 5: Sketching Shortcuts

Judith shares tips for creating meaningful pages by sketching your surroundings. Discover a few techniques that will simplify your sketches, then find out how to use your camera as a helpful guide.

22 min
Module 2 Lesson 6: Completing Your Journal
12: Module 2 Lesson 6: Completing Your Journal

In this final lesson, explore simple techniques for organizing, placing, and securing ephemera, as well as for layering objects and materials such as chalk and watercolor. And, find out how to add your personal flair to journal spines and covers.

32 min
Module 3 Lesson 1: Single-Line Sketching
13: Module 3 Lesson 1: Single-Line Sketching

Meet your instructor Marc Taro Holmes and learn how to create beautiful sketches while traveling. He'll review the basic materials you need to start your adventure. Then, practice the single-line sketch for simplicity and speed. Marc will also show you how to add in darks for contrast.

30 min
Module 3 Lesson 2: Draw Like a Painter
14: Module 3 Lesson 2: Draw Like a Painter

Learn Marc's "drawing like a painter" technique and use a brush pen to indicate light and dark areas on a street scene. Then, see how to translate this technique to a variety of shapes and sketches from statues to more complex scenes, like town squares, using water-soluble ink.

30 min
Module 3 Lesson 3: Tinting Drawings in Watercolor
15: Module 3 Lesson 3: Tinting Drawings in Watercolor

See how to add color and life to your line drawings as Marc layers color washes onto simple sketches. You'll learn to use watercolor by breaking scenes into shapes, charging-in with color, and utilizing the wet-in-wet technique to grow a wash of color.

27 min
Module 3 Lesson 4: Sketch Collecting
16: Module 3 Lesson 4: Sketch Collecting

Sketchbooks are a great way to tell the story of your travels through themes and montages. Marc provides examples from his personal sketchbooks for single-page storytelling inspiration. Then, learn how to make a travel log of your trip by thinking like a documentary filmmaker.

21 min
Module 3 Lesson 5: Painless Perspective
17: Module 3 Lesson 5: Painless Perspective

Don't be intimidated by perspective sketches. Marc demonstrates his solutions for helping break down perspective through neutralizing the angle and simplifying the details for easy visualization. Then, learn how to approximate perspective on a city street with a single-line drawing.

24 min
Module 3 Lesson 6: Watercolor Sketching
18: Module 3 Lesson 6: Watercolor Sketching

Take your skills up a notch and begin watercolor sketching! Begin to see basic shapes and how they interact with each other. Follow Marc's direction for painting in the negative space to let the focal points pop, and then learn how to charge-in the fine details to finish off a watercolor sketch.

21 min
Module 3 Lesson 7: Working in Layers
19: Module 3 Lesson 7: Working in Layers

Follow Marc's direction to work with multiple layers of watercolor to achieve a professional look to your painting. Planning the composition from the start will allow you to add midtones on dry paint for a gorgeous result. Finally, learn how to add details and finishing touches to bring your pieces together.

17 min
Module 4 Lesson 1: How We See Buildings
20: Module 4 Lesson 1: How We See Buildings

Instructor Stephanie Bower begins class with a refresher on architecture drawing fundamentals. She’ll cover one- and two-point perspective, parallel lines, and eye-level line. Plus, find out a simple three-step process that pulls these elements together to start your sketches.

21 min
Module 4 Lesson 2: Architectural Elements
21: Module 4 Lesson 2: Architectural Elements

Master sketching common architectural elements. Stephanie shares an easy approach to drawing windows and doors, as well as how to correctly sketch columns and arches in perspective. She'll also show you how to use guidelines to make your elements more accurate.

26 min
Module 4 Lesson 3: Building Materials
22: Module 4 Lesson 3: Building Materials

Discover the techniques for drawing building textures. Learn how your quality of line can indicate various building materials, and how to provide a sense of depth and scale. Then, you'll see how to create a focal point using texture and architectural details.

28 min
Module 4 Lesson 4: Sloping Surfaces
23: Module 4 Lesson 4: Sloping Surfaces

Take the fear out of sketching sloped surfaces as Stephanie walks you through a simple method for drawing stairs and roofs. She’ll also explain how to accurately find the center of a roof.

20 min
Module 4 Lesson 5: Tips & Techniques
24: Module 4 Lesson 5: Tips & Techniques

Gain the skills to make your buildings pop. From general composition tricks to mark-making strategies, you’ll find out how to capture the energy of a cityscape and create strong drawings every time.

18 min
Module 4 Lesson 6: Sketching Buildings on Location
25: Module 4 Lesson 6: Sketching Buildings on Location

Now it’s time to take your new skills on the road! In this final lesson, you'll learn how to put your new skills and techniques to use when you're out sketching in the field. Stephanie shows you how to start and develop your sketch, and even add some color.

23 min
Module 5 Lesson 1: The Pencil Gesture
26: Module 5 Lesson 1: The Pencil Gesture

Join Marc Taro Holmes and discover how you can easily draw people in motion using pencil, ink and watercolor. Ease into the process by sketching loose, gestural drawings in pencil, without worrying about the small details. Plus, learn how to capture essential elements before your subject moves.

17 min
Module 5 Lesson 2: Adding Ink
27: Module 5 Lesson 2: Adding Ink

Once you've sketched your gesture drawing, add in more detail with ink. Watch and learn how Marc breaks the subject into basic shapes. Practice refining these shapes and loosely sketching in the shadows to help define the subject, while preserving the liveliness of the original sketch.

31 min
Module 5 Lesson 3: Brushwork & Hatching
28: Module 5 Lesson 3: Brushwork & Hatching

Create focal points within your ink drawing using the brush pen. Marc demonstrates how to use brushwork to emphasize and reinforce the darkest shapes and shadows. Add in striking accents and a sense of movement with hatching. Plus, learn tips for creating dimensional silhouettes.

21 min
Module 5 Lesson 4: Adding Color
29: Module 5 Lesson 4: Adding Color

Complete your sketch by adding splashes of color. Set up a portable watercolor palette, then start painting! Learn how to apply a wash and reinforce shadow shapes with open brushstrokes. Add in finishing touches by laying down richer notes of color and detail.

26 min
Module 5 Lesson 5: Advanced Techniques: Water-Soluble Ink
30: Module 5 Lesson 5: Advanced Techniques: Water-Soluble Ink

Broaden your skill set by working with water-soluble inks—and faster moving subjects. Sketch another gesture drawing, using Marc's tips for capturing unique poses within a dynamic scene. Add in shadow shapes and anchor points with ink and a brush pen. Then blend it together with water.

19 min
Module 5 Lesson 6: Advanced Techniques: Direct to Watercolor
31: Module 5 Lesson 6: Advanced Techniques: Direct to Watercolor

Pull from the skills you learned in previous lessons to tackle this advanced watercolor technique. You'll see how Marc captures fast-moving subjects by painting large—and loose—shapes and silhouettes first. Complete the scene by filling in the shadows and fine-tuning smaller details.

20 min
Module 5 Lesson 7: Capturing Multiple People
32: Module 5 Lesson 7: Capturing Multiple People

Discover how to infuse the art of storytelling into your sketches. Marc explains how selecting unique poses and including the right details are key to capturing the story. Plus, learn how to arrange multiple subjects on a page—and add splashes of color—to create a captivating sequence of events.

15 min
Suma CM

I am an editor, writer and artist who enjoys exploring the world and capturing its moments in various media.

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About Suma CM

Suma CM is a multimedia artist who enjoys exploring the world and capturing its moments in various media. Her artwork and handmade greeting cards have been featured at specialty shops in Philadelphia, New York City, and London, including the A.I.A. Bookstore, Borders Books, Takashimaya, the Pierpont Morgan Library Shop, and more. Suma has been an exhibiting member at the Rowayton Arts Center and is a past member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society.

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Judith Cassel-Mamet

I am a mixed media artist playing with all forms of expression.

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About Judith Cassel-Mamet

Judith Cassel-Mamet is a Denver-based artist with a background in fine art. She's the author of the book Joyful Pages: Adventures in Art Journaling. For more than 10 years, Judith has taught art journaling and travel journaling classes at the Art Students League of Denver and the University of Denver.

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Marc Taro Holmes

The big gains that we were expecting might not be visible yet. Because it doesn’t work that way. The leaps in skill are going to happen after it’s all over. After your brain has had time to write new pathways etched by your practice.

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About Marc Taro Holmes

Marc Taro Holmes is a sketchbook artist and plein-air painter who works in ink, watercolor, and oils. Since 2009, he's been a correspondent for the international website of reportage artists, urbansketchers.org. He's the author of The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location, published by North Light Books. Marc also enjoyed a 15-year career as an art director and concept artist in the video game industry, working for studios such as Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and Disney.

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Stephanie Bower

Drawing the places where you live, work, and play is a great way to show appreciation and creativity. Show your world, one drawing at a time!

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About Stephanie Bower

Stephanie Bower is an architectural illustrator, a teacher, a watercolorist, and a correspondent for the blog Urban Sketchers. After working as a licensed architect in New York City, Stephanie gravitated toward a career in architectural illustration and concept design. She has taught architectural sketching at Parsons School of Design, the University of Washington, and Cornish College of the Arts.

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