Everyday Urban Sketching

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Taught By Multiple Professors
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4.7 out of 5
15 Reviews
66% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 4176
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What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Master different methods for capturing people in motion.
  • numbers Learn how to incorporate ink, watercolor, collage, and other mixed-media techniques into your sketching.
  • numbers Gain insight into how architecture fits into an environment and how to render buildings using perspective and texture.
  • numbers Enhance your drawing skills and hold onto memories by keeping a journal that utilizes sketching techniques.
  • numbers See how you can capture amazing moments by sketching for just 15 minutes a day.

Course Overview

Urban environments provide their own particular challenges for artists. The constant bustle of people and vehicles; the jumble of different textures and colors; the riot of shape, color, and visual noise—all of these elements can make sketching in cities seem intimidating at first. But as you will learn in Everyday Urban Sketching, these features can offer great inspiration for creating richly expressive sketches that can capture the texture of urban life.

In the 32 lessons of Everyday Urban Sketching, four experienced instructors will show you how to render the buildings, the people, and the different environments of the urban landscape in quick, intuitive ways that are ideal for practicing technique, experimenting with materials, journaling, and even telling stories. Each of the five modules that make up Everyday Urban Sketching focuses on a different approach to sketching that will enhance your appreciation of the places you visit, while also expanding your repertoire of skills in drawing, perspective, color, light, movement, and much more.

Module 1: Urban Sketching in 15 Minutes a Day

Urban sketching doesn’t have to mean spending hours sitting in one spot. You can do it in just a few minutes! Internationally renowned artist Suma CM guides you step by step to sketch a scene in 15 minutes (or less!). Discover simple strategies to quickly convey the essence of a place, moment, or passing scene—whether you’re walking to lunch or traveling in a car, bus, or train. Build your drawing skills as you explore concepts such as proportion, shape, and depth. Plus get Suma’s tips for adding people and watercolor to really bring your sketches to life.

Module 2: Expressive Pages: Journaling the Everyday

Ready to let your imagination run wild? Join mixed media artist Judith Cassel-Mamet and find out how to create your own personalized art journal to record both your everyday and extraordinary experiences. Discover easy techniques and simple, portable tools that will help you activate your pages, turning them into inspiring platforms for creative expression using color, design, found objects, text, and more.

Module 3: Travel Sketching in Mixed Media

Learn urban sketching techniques for pen, ink, and watercolor with guidance from pro artist Marc Taro Holmes. In your first lesson, find out how to create a quick single-line sketch of your surroundings before adding darks to create contrast and dimension. Switch to a brush pen as Marc teaches you how to draw like a painter by working with tone and shape instead of in line. Next, get tips for using your sketchbook to tell a compelling visual story. Take your travel sketching skills even further as Marc teaches you three strategies for making perspective sketches painless. Then, build watercolor skills for capturing shapes, making your focal points pop, and bringing spectacular detail to your work. You'll even learn layering and finishing techniques for completing sophisticated watercolors.

Module 4: The Essentials of Sketching Architecture

You don't need to be an architect to confidently draw architecture! Join sketch artist and popular instructor Stephanie Bower as she guides you through the ins and outs of sketching buildings, no matter the aspects or features. Learn the basics of one- and two-point perspective, how to draw complex features like stairs, and how to capture a number of building materials and surfaces. As you draw different buildings, you will better understand how they integrate into the urban environment and how to use them to the best advantage in your sketches.

Module 5: Sketching People in Motion

Join illustrator Marc Taro Holmes and find out how to draw people in motion. Gain the skills to use pencil, ink, and watercolor with confidence for results that will astound everyone around. To begin, you'll create a gesture drawing, and learn to sketch moving subjects quickly and freely. Up next, add detail with ink as you define the basic shapes of your subject, refine your image, and loosely sketch in shadows. Then, create movement with hatching and get tips for building silhouettes with swift strokes. After that, bring your sketch to life as you apply a watercolor wash, reinforce shadow shapes, and lay down rich color and detail for a fascinating finish. Plus, use fun watercolor techniques to capture fast-moving subjects. And finally, explore fundamentals for infusing storytelling into your visual narrative.

As you will see, sketching is a quick and spontaneous art form that is accessible to artists of any skill level. This compilation of courses offers the unique opportunity to not only improve your proficiency in various sketching techniques and materials, but also to capture moments in time that you can keep forever.

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32 lectures
 |  Average 22 minutes each
  • 1
    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. x
  • 2
    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. x
  • 3
    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. x
  • 4
    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. x
  • 5
    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. x
  • 6
    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. x
  • 7
    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. x
  • 8
    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. x
  • 9
    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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x
  • 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. x

Lecture Titles

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Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Ability to download 32 video lectures from your digital library
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
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Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 32 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 32-page printed course supplement
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 32-page printed course supplement
  • Supply lists
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Your professors

Stephanie Bower Suma CM Judith Cassel-Mamet Marc Taro Holmes

Professor 1 of 4

Stephanie Bower, Architectural Illustrator

Professor 2 of 4

Suma CM, Multimedia Artist

Professor 3 of 4

Judith Cassel-Mamet, Artist and Author

Professor 4 of 4

Marc Taro Holmes, Sketchbook Artist and Plein-air Painter
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.
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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...
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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.
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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...
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Everyday Urban Sketching is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 18.
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed feelings The modules by Suma and Marc are well done and interesting, but the second module by Judith doesn't have much to do with urban sketching. I already had the Marc Taro Holmes videos from another source so I am returning my DVD.
Date published: 2019-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Variety and excellent guidance I love the different teachers with their varied approaches to sketching. As a beginner, I could only absorb some of the techniques but I know I can return to the lessons for more. Excellent course.
Date published: 2019-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great watercolor tips and advice Each of the four instructors are very engaging in their presentations because they are constantly demonstrating how to do the task at hand as they verbally describe that task. All four instructors sketch and paint differently from one another. I think my ultimate sketching and watercolor technique will be a blend from two of the instructors. I am thankful for the course.
Date published: 2019-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots of tips and techniques to choose from I loved this course! Each of the four instructors brought their own take to the subject matter, leaving me free to pick and choose among the various techniques to develop my own style.
Date published: 2019-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice title I bought this because I developed i strong interest in sketching. I like that there are multiple instructors. All are very good. You learn a lot of tricks of the trade. For example, learning creative ways to make a journal and much more. I bought at least 3 sketching courses. I must like them.
Date published: 2019-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love all the different instructors I bought this a couple of weeks ago and have drawn something every day since and am improving. I plan to take the materials on an upcoming trip to try and record my impressions. This is improving my other art work as well as my photography.
Date published: 2019-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The art course I've been waiting for! As this course is a relatively new one, I've watched only the first four modules so far, and they are great. I've been interested in urban sketching for a few years now and have watched some other online art courses, but this course is the one I've been waiting for. The first four instructors are wonderful and have inspired me to pick up my pen and watercolor kit again. I look forward to the final module.
Date published: 2019-07-10
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