Chapter Three

Elements and Entourage

Figure 3.1: Downtown Pasadena, drawn with Pilot Fineliner, Sign Pen, and Prismacolor pencils.


Figure 3.2: A concept sketch of a piazza by the sea is given depth by drawing people at different sizes, keeping heads on the horizon line.


Figure 3.3: Conveying movement and attitude with a few lines.


The great designers I’ve known have developed a personal sketching style based on a learned vocabulary of practiced strokes and representational techniques that, when combined in the service of an idea, create a believable composition with a life of its own.

These depictions of environments, both real and imagined, are most often an artfully arranged composition of the individual elements—people, buildings, cars, buses, trees, landforms, sky—that shape and animate the world we see. It’s very helpful, early in your development as a sketcher, to invest time in learning a variety of techniques for representing those repeatedly encountered elements that you will want to include and arrange in your drawings. The following pages offer specific tips and techniques for drawing these elements convincingly.

Figure 3.4: People in Pisa, a quick doodle. ...

Get Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.