Part 1

Learning a Language

This waterfront scene achieves an illusion of depth through one-point perspective and creation of a foreground, middle ground, and background. Loose line quality, color, and people in motion add life and energy to the sketch.


Chapter One

The Freehand Renaissance

Figure 1.1: The author’s annotated sketch highlights key planning and design attributes of an urban village.


Figure 1.2: A striking on-the-spot sketch from Rome by urban sketcher and illustrator Benedetta Dossi.


Something’s happening here. Concurrent with the rise of stunning digital technology and computer imagery, online groups dedicated to freehand sketching are proliferating at a startling pace.

Figure 1.3: Architect and urban sketcher Asnee Tasna’s on-the-spot sketch of Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong junction, sketched from the comfort of a posh restaurant where he was spared from the heat and traffic.


Attendance in hand-drawing classes, declining in recent years, is surging. Creative compositions blending lively hand drawings with digital imagery crop up all around us in retail ...

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