The Urban Sketching Art Pack: A Guide Book and Sketch Pad for Drawing on Location Around the World―Includes a 112-page paperback book plus 112-page sketchpad Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 November 2017
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About the Author
Veronica Lawlor is an instructor at Parsons the New School for Design, Pratt Institute, and her own Dalvero Academy. She is an illustrator and the president of Studio 1482, the illustration collective that contributed illustrations to One Drawing A Day and One Watercolor A Day. Lawlor is also a correspondent with Urban Sketchers, and her work was featured in the Quarry book: The Art of Urban Sketching, as well as in the first two issues of the Urban Sketching Handbook series.
Stephanie Bower worked as a licensed Architect in New York City before gravitating to professional architectural illustration and concept design. She taught the how-to's of architectural location sketching for over twenty-five years in New York City at Parsons and in Seattle at the University of Washington and Cornish College of the Arts. She has two online sketching classes at Bluprint.com, and she travels and teaches perspective and watercolor workshops internationally, including at six Urban Sketchers symposiums. People around the world follow her sketches online via Instagram @stephanieabower and Facebook, and she is an international blog correspondent for Urban Sketchers. Stephanie is a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society. She is the author of The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Perspective (Quarry Books, 2016) and co-author of The Urban Sketching Art Pack (Quarry Books, 2017).
The Urban Sketcher's Art Pack
Show your world, one drawing at a time!
Norberto Dorantes, Eiffel Tower
Compose with Sharp Angles
A big part of the success of an urban sketch depends on where you choose to stand or sit to draw. While a straight-on view of a façade may prove to be interesting, sharp angles usually create more dynamic compositions. For example, try standing close to a building or looking down at a public stairway.
- Browse through your digital files assuming you already scan or photograph your sketches to share them online and identify five sketches with strong compositions. Print them for future reference.
- Standing at different distances from a window, make thumbnail sketches of three different compositions. Discuss with a friend which one you like better and why.
Worm's Eye View
A worm’s-eye view is when we are primarily looking up. In his sketch, Luis’ eye-level and VP are low, close to the ground. In worm’s-eye views, vertical building lines are often seen as angled, similar to what happens when you tilt a camera up.
These types of views are dramatic and convey a sense of exaggerated height and upward movement. In a typical worm’s eye view, people’s heads are seen above the sketcher’s eye level.
Eye Level View
The most common view for sketchers is what we call an eye-level view in which the sketcher is standing or sitting relatively near the ground and more or less looking straight ahead. This type of view is the closest to what we typically see and is great for showing a pedestrian experience.
An easy way to identify this type of view is to look at people’s heads, as they will usually align with your standing eye level, as seen in Simone’s sketch.
Aerial or Bird's Eye View
A bird’s-eye view is when most of our subject is below us, as if we were birds aloft. Even though it feels as if we are looking down, the eye-level line and VP are in fact straight out at the sketcher’s eye level, seen near the top of this sketch.
Aerial views are great for showing what is happening on the ground plane and for conveying a sense of distance. Notice how in aerial perspectives, people’s heads do not align as they do in an eye-level view.
The Urban Sketching Handbook series
Tips and Techniques for Drawing on Location
The Urban Sketching Handbook series drills down into specific challenges of making sketches on location, rain or shine, quickly or slowly, and the most suitable techniques for every situation.
The Urban Sketching Handbooks lays out keys to help make the experience of drawing fun and rewarding. Learn about depth, scale, contrast, composition, and more.
The Urban Sketching Art Pack is a portable package that includes an informational book and companion sketchpad filled with prompts for sketching on the go.
Books in the Series:
- The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes
- The Urban Sketching Handbook: People and Motion
- The Urban Sketching Handbook: Reportage and Documentary Drawing
- The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Perspective
- The Urban Sketching Art Pack
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have also the documentary and perspective books in this series.
This book is really good for another scenario though. Say you are already dabbling in Urban sketching and you have a friend who has expressed an interest in it too, but not really done anything about starting to join you. But they might if they had a little encouragement... This would be a great book for THAT person. They can use whatever writing implements they have lying around, not 'art' specific materials, and be off and running pretty easily.
It's that kind of book. Maybe that's even you. You've got pens and pencils lying around and never much tried your hand at Arty things. This book might be the encouragement and simplicity you'd want to get a little start.
If you are familiar with other books in the series, honestly, I'd skip this one and go for the specific book of the topics which interest you. There is lots of information online about Urban sketching, and I'm guessing you already know that if you have an interest. It has good examples, but at the same time, there are repeats in the other books, but with better information. The books in this series all offer some overlap of content.
The paper in the sketch book is similar to the paper the books are printed on. You are not going to want to try wet media or friction based pigments on it (like pastel, chalk, pencil, etc.). Softer pencil might be reasonable, but it's thin paper too, so I'm feeling that the addition of a sketchbook is slightly gimmicky. It's not really a very functional sketchbook, so much as a small pad with a prompt at the top for ideas to sketch. The prompts are good, but could otherwise be accomplished as a list, or given in context of a passage about that topic.
ln fact, the other books in the series provide exactly that structure- prompts for the reader in sections, and pages in the book here and there for one to do a little sketch. But it's only a handful of pages. This seems like it's trying to market another book for the pad, which you could easily get a better quality pad of your preference fairly inexpensively, find a list of prompts online, and read the other books in the series.
Now, the other books in the series delve into more depth than this one does, and even used some of the same examples and illustrations. I'd definitely give THOSE ones a look.
You can get the info better in the focused books in this series. This one is introductory, and the sketch peas print could be better accomplished another way. It's a cute gift idea of a book that would certainly inspire a total beginner who has expressed an interest.
The sketchbook and sketchpad are contained in a wrap-around hardcover with an elastic closure. It's portable - small enough to hand carry or fit in a small bag. It's less than the price of shipping. What's not to love?