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Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers by James Richards

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Chapter Six

Capturing the Place

Figure 6.1: A midday view down a narrow street in Cordoba, Spain. Sakura Microperm 0.03 pen and colored pencils, 8 in. × 10 in.

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One of the great things about urban sketching is that it doesn’t require a great deal of advance planning. A sketching excursion can be as uncomplicated as strolling a few blocks at lunchtime or capturing the morning scene at your regular coffee shop.

It also doesn’t require a large financial investment. An initial equipment setup can be as simple as a pencil and a sketchbook tucked into a purse or pocket. It is helpful, as you experiment with different approaches and media, to see how other sketchers have zeroed in on some favorite methods and a corresponding set of tools.

Figure 6.2: The rich silhouette of Istanbul as seen from my hotel roof. The early morning haze made the overlapping landforms appear as distinct layers. I sketched in the outlines with a mechanical pencil, and then started with the lightest blue watercolor wash for the sky. I worked from background to foreground, light to dark, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next. The hints of red were added last. This is a double-page spread, 5.5 in. × 16 in.

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Tools

The supplies individual sketchers use on location varies quite a bit. The small selection ...

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