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Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes by Gabriel Campanario

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F39_Job:05-41203 Title: RP-The Urban Sketching Handbook
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Good composition and proportions are the pillars of sound
architectural sketching, but they aren’t enough to make believable
sketches of the urban space. Remember those drawings of a flat-
looking house and a tree we used to do as kids? They are beautiful
compositions and to scale, but they lack a key ingredient that makes
urban sketches pop: depth.
Creating the illusion of depth on a flat piece of paper may
seem like magic, but it is a very achievable task with a basic
understanding of perspective that can be gained from keen
observation.
The quality of my sketches went up several notches when I sat
down to learn some fundamental notions, such as finding the horizon
line and establishing vanishing points.
KEY III
DePTH
skeTch here!
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Architecture and Cityscapes
Remember the foreground.
Don’t ignore that car or streetlight within arm’s reach
just because you are drawing the buildings farther
away. The illusion of depth is almost guaranteed
when your sketch includes elements close to you, a
little farther away, and very far away.
Á The busker in the fore-
ground not only adds liveliness
to this urban space, it estab-
lishes depth in relation to the
people far into the alleyway.
SUHITA SHIRODKAR
Music in the Barri Gòtic,
Barcelona
9” x 12” | 23 x 30.5 cm; Pen,
ink, and watercolor on Stillman &
Birn Beta sketchbook; ab out 45
minutes.
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Remember the foreground.
Don’t ignore that car or streetlight within arm’s reach
just because you are drawing the buildings farther
away. The illusion of depth is almost guaranteed
when your sketch includes elements close to you, a
little farther away, and very far away.
à RÓISÍN CURÉ
The Long Walk from the
Claddagh, Galway
18” x 13” | 45.7 x 33 cm; Pencil,
waterproof ink, and watercolor.
Winsor & Newton watercolors and
Platinum Carbon pen on Daler
Rowney 300 gsm watercolor
paper; 2 hours.
Á The busker in the fore-
ground not only adds liveliness
to this urban space, it estab-
lishes depth in relation to the
people far into the alleyway.
SUHITA SHIRODKAR
Music in the Barri Gòtic,
Barcelona
9” x 12” | 23 x 30.5 cm; Pen,
ink, and watercolor on Stillman &
Birn Beta sketchbook; ab out 45
minutes.
Key III: Depth
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Architecture and Cityscapes
Silhouette for simplicity and depth.
Obstructed views are a common annoyance for the
urban sketcher. If only those trees or cars weren’t
blocking that beautiful façade. A useful technique
is to silhouette everything in the way of the subject.
The welcome side effect of this approach is an
enhanced sense of depth in the composition.
à BRUNO AGNES
Pâle soleil
9” x 8.3” | 23 x 21 cm; Fineliner
Staedtler 0.2 and 0.5 mm and
Winsor & Newton watercolors on
Moleskine sketchbook; 40 minutes.
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Ä A simple outline of the
building in the background
resolves the composition and
adds depth.
EMILY NUDD-MITCHELL
Paris rooftops
11.5” x 8.2” | 29.2 x 21 cm; Ink
gel Pilot pens (black, white, and
gold), watercolor and watercolor
pencils on A5 sketchbook; 3 hours.
Key III: Depth
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à BRUNO AGNES
Pâle soleil
9” x 8.3” | 23 x 21 cm; Fineliner
Staedtler 0.2 and 0.5 mm and
Winsor & Newton watercolors on
Moleskine sketchbook; 40 minutes.
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