Everyday Urban Sketching
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.
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.
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.
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.
01: 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.
02: 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.
03: 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.
04: 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.
05: 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.
06: 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.
07: 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.
08: 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.
09: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.