Sketching Your World: Exploring Composition and a Dramatic Sense of Depth | James Richards | Skillshare

Playback Speed


  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Sketching Your World: Exploring Composition and a Dramatic Sense of Depth

teacher avatar James Richards, Author, Urban Sketcher, Travel Artist, Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (2h 24m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:17
    • 2. Your Class Project

      1:24
    • 3. Tools We'll Use

      10:33
    • 4. Composition: Editing

      6:56
    • 5. Composition: The Rule of Thirds

      6:25
    • 6. Composition: Get Balanced

      9:47
    • 7. Where's Your Area of Emphasis?

      5:59
    • 8. Foreground, Middle Ground, Background

      15:57
    • 9. Diminishing Size and Detail

      7:21
    • 10. Overlapping and Line Weight

      11:31
    • 11. Atmospheric Depth

      12:51
    • 12. Final Sketch Composition

      13:41
    • 13. Fleshing Out the Drawing

      8:46
    • 14. Bonus: Dramatic Darks

      13:15
    • 15. Watercolor for Emphasis

      14:29
    • 16. Conclusion

      2:36
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

844

Students

22

Projects

About This Class

Sketching your world isn't about talent, it's about principles and techniques anyone can learn. In this class, you'll learn to create fresh, lively line and wash sketches with dynamic compositions and a real illusion of depth from a master urban sketching instructor. Composition and depth are the essence of on-location sketching—using editing, foreground/middle ground/background, overlapping, line weight and other techniques to recreate the real life, 3-dimensional scenes you see in front of you on a flat sketchbook page using only a pen and some basic knowledge. It’s not magic; these are relatively simple techniques you can master.

85d311d3.jpeg

 You’ll learn the essentials of composition and creating depth for urban and travel sketching:

  • How to edit a scene to best tell your story,
  • How to create a convincing foreground, middle ground and background,
  • How to simulate atmospheric depth in your sketches,
  • How overlapping and line weight help imply depth and distance,
  • How to combine and balance these techniques to create a dramatic sense of depth.

There's even a bonus lesson on using dramatic darks to create sketches with impact, and 9 downloadable reference sheets to enrich your learning experience.

54544c42.jpg

 This is a class for all skill levels from beginners to professionals. The techniques are drawn from Jim’s decades of on-the-spot sketching and teaching experience that have taken him to great cities and landscapes in 45 countries across the globe. By the end of the class, the lessons will be your own, and you’ll be sketching the places you live and travel with new skills and confidence. Come on, let’s do this!

0be92905.jpg

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

James Richards

Author, Urban Sketcher, Travel Artist, Designer

Teacher

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
    0%
  • Yes
    0%
  • Somewhat
    0%
  • Not really
    0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Sketching your world isn't about talent, it's about principles and techniques that anyone can learn. Sketching is for everyone. It's a personal way to express yourself, it's a way to see the world with fresh eyes, it heightens your experience of place, and it's a tremendous amount of fun. The foundation is composition, how you arrange elements on a page in a visually exciting way. The essence is the illusion of depth, how to recreate that three-dimensional world that you see all around you on a flat sketchbook page in a believable and fun way. You'll learn to do both here. I'm Jim Richards. I'm a designer who draws. Drawing on location has been a cornerstone of my professional life and career for four decades, in professional offices and university classrooms, and in traveling and teaching workshops in 45 countries around the world. Now I want to share what I've learned about using composition and creating a sense of depth to create lively sketches in your own hand. In this class, you're going to learn the basics behind, composition, how to create a convincing foreground, middle ground, and background, how to simulate atmospheric depth, the illusion of distance in your sketches, and how tricks like overlapping and line weight can imply depth. Then we're going to pull it all together on a project, a line and wash sketch of a real scene that I'm actually going to be drawing on location. This class is going to be great for you, whether you're an absolute beginner, a long-time sketching veteran, if you're an architect, a landscape architect, an urban designer, or a fine art painter who just wants to brush up on your sketching skills, or a longtime Illustrator, or storyboard artist. Come along and see how really grasping composition and creating a sense of depth can add life to your sketches and add richness to how you see and experience the world. Let's get started and talk about that project. 2. Your Class Project: Welcome back. The project for this class is a little different than what I've done in the past, because I've got to be sketching on location. You'll see that's just tremendous amount of fun. You are welcome to sketch right along with me, or I'm going to upload several photographs. Enter the projects and resources tab that you see right under this screen. Or best yet, go out into your hometown or find a spot in your travels, setup and use these techniques and principles to produce a sketch with a great sense of depth. I hope that you'll post your progress, your composition, your line drawings, your color in the project gallery. When we're done with the class, I hope you'll write a little review for us. I'm looking forward to this. Let's go. 3. Tools We'll Use: Now we're going to be talking about tools and specifically the tools that we're going to use for this lesson. Tools that are particularly suited to using ink and wash, which is my preferred way to work in the field. Why is that? Well, for one thing, it's very quick. Things dry quickly. You don't have to carry around a lot of equipment, so it's a very portable way to work. Another is that it allows for line work and a lot of tone that can really help, add a lot of life and energy to the drawing. That's why I enjoy it. What is ink and wash anyway? Let's take a look. Now, if you guessed, this is the ink part of ink and wash, you'd be right. This is one that I did a couple of years ago as part of a demonstration. You can see that I like to do a pretty finished drawing before I jump into the watercolor washes, even with some tones and whatnot. A lot of Urban Sketchers don't, there'll be quite a bit less than this. There are some that will actually put down the watercolor wash first and then draw on top of it with ink, which is also great, but this is my preferred way and I like to have a pretty finished drawing before I go on to the watercolor wash which might look like this. This is, I wouldn't say minimal, but there's a lot of whitespace left in here where I've come in quickly and added some warm washes, put some cool shadows over them, and some bright colors on the people's clothes and up on the bridge there. This is typical of the type of thing that I'll do with ink and wash. This is a more really almost finished painting where I've carried color all the way out to the borders. That's another way of thinking about it. This is one I did a few years ago, which is more minimal color using color strategically, where I wanted the focus of the sketch to be this little sidewalk cafe and Santa Domingo that I had become quite fond of. I took those warm colors and complimented them with the green and the tree, not the whole tree, just part of it. A little bit of sky, not the whole sky, just part of it. Then repeated some of these colors around the composition so that the whole thing holds together like a finished piece, even though we've really minimized color to exactly where we want the focus to be. That's another way of thinking about it. I think that's what we're going to focus on for this lesson. Now, all you really need for ink and wash work in the field is some paper, either a block like this or a little sketchbook, a pen of some sort with waterproof ink, a little travel watercolor set, and maybe a water brush. That's all I used for years, but my choices have evolved a little since then. I want to share some of that with you. I still really like this Fluid 100 Cold Press, 140-pound paper. For this class, I'm going to be using it in a nine by 12 size and probably in one of these little easy blocks. It's like a regular watercolor block, except that it's only glued on two sides, which makes it a little easier to pop the paper out of that without a spatula, exact dough knife, and all that business. It is nice, bright white. It's relatively smooth surface so that it takes ink well. This 140 pound will let you put a lot of water on it without it buckling too badly and then it typically tends to flatten out over time. In terms of pens, I like to have two things. I just showed you this little Uni-ball Micro eye that believe it or not, it's a rollerball with permanent ink and gives really nice fine lines. This little Micron PN does the same thing. It's waterproof ink and gives very fine lines. Now, I also like to have this wonderful little Fude De nib, Bamboo Green by Sailor. Hopefully, you can see that that nib is bent on the end at a 55-degree angle, which I prefer more than some of the others that are available. It gives you the opportunity to make really fat juicy lines. Or as you move that nib up to a sharper angle, progressively thinner lines where they're very thin at the other end. You can do things like cool tree branches with that type of flexibility and a single nib. Lots of ways that you can use those character full lines. But sometimes I layout the rough drawing with a fine line pen. Then come in and really beef up the areas that I want to beef up with this Fude De nib. Both of those are great tools. I mentioned waterproof ink and there's lots of different choices for those types of things. This De Atramentis Archive Ink is what I use when I'm using black or brown ink, which is typically what I'll do. Boy, it flows really nicely, very rarely gets clogged. It gives really nice thick black lines. By thick, I mean, dense. There is no graying out of this stuff. If you want gray, they've got a great urban gray color as well that I like a lot. For the wash, I use, typically one of my sable brushes. This is a travel brush by Escoda. That's a little set of, I think six that I bought. But nowadays I pretty much only use this one and it's pretty large, so I use it to mop on sky, things like that because it's very soft. I compliment that with this little baby. This is a synthetic brush and it keeps a wonderful point. You can bend it and you can get some broader lines out of it, but it does keep a really nice point so you can get in and do some details. Vlad Yeliseyev, a really fine, Fine Art watercolorist, developed the series of brushes. This number 10 comes in handy for me a lot. I also like to have a rigger around in case I just need some really sharp lines. This da Vinci works well for me. It's a number 6 rigger and it's almost like a little needle. That's really about all I need from a brush standpoint. This is actually a custom-made palette. I don't recommend that you do that right out of the gate. But what I do recommend is that maybe you get a nice hard metal travel palette with 12 or 16 pans that don't have anything in them, that don't have the pre-prepared color blocks so that you can buy tubes of watercolor and just squeeze them, the ones that you like. Now, this right here. It's a collection that I've let evolve over the years and it changes occasionally, but I've stuck with this for quite a long time. Carbazole yellow, burnt sienna light, burnt umber, neutral tent, cadmium yellow, deep Mayan orange looks red, but it's Mayan orange, deep sap green, cobalt blue, Azo yellow, spring green, viridian, ultramarine, Naples yellow, which I probably use more of than anything else. I'm going to skip over here to cobalt teal blue. The reason I skipped is because all the colors I just mentioned are Daniel Smith colors. I've got two Winsor and Newton colors in here, Alizarin crimson and Prussian blue. And I'll use either one of those on their own, but I'll use them a lot together for mixing purplish shadows. They are just absolutely wonderful for that. In addition to those things, you'll want a little spray bottle so you can freshen up your watercolors. You'll need a rugged rag to keep things clean and a water container. This is one that my wife Patti, found just sitting on the shelves at the art store is we were checking out, smart place to have it. It's by [inaudible] and it's a little collapsible cup that you can keep water in and it's a pretty good quantity to be able to wash out your brushes. Okay, I hope you enjoyed that. If you'll go to the resource section of your class, you'll find a comprehensive list of all those tools and several other handout-type resources that you'll be able to use as you go through the class. I think you'll find it really handy. Next, we're going to talk about what can be one of the most creative decisions you'll make in the whole course of doing a drawing like this. That's editing what's in and what's out. See you there. 4. Composition: Editing: Let's talk about editing. Now editing can be, probably will be, the most creative decision you make when you're putting together a drawing like this. It can range from taking a big scene and cropping it into something that makes a stronger composition, or it may involve a lot more, and most of mine do. I like to walk around a place that I'm going to be drawing, Find those elements that best tell the story that I think needs to be told. Sometimes that involves eliminating some extraneous things and sometimes it involves emphasizing other things and maybe moving things just a tad so that I can tell the most complete, the best story that I can about the place and achieve a strong composition. Let's take a look and I'll show you what I mean. Here's a view that needs some editing. It's on the island where I live. You can see the Gulf of Mexico, that clear blue water back in the background there. If you look even closer, there's a couple of diamond shape red signs that I think make a nice visual compliment to that turquoise colored water back there. But obviously we don't need all this extraneous information. We want to really zoom in so that that view to the Gulf is what's important about the drawing. Now, I can make it even stronger if I include some of these palm fronds in the foreground, a trunk here, nice shadow being thrown across the road. I want to pick up something to frame the other side as well, so maybe some of these palm trees and a little bit of this wall here. I'm going to want it to look something like this. Let's take in a little bit of that trunk, some of these palm fronds. Let's get this shadow here, and just a little bit of that wall and some of the other palm trees. That's going to make a really nice composition to create a focal point right there. That's exactly what we want. Here's what that crop looks like in real life. I went out and actually did a little black and white thumbnail sketch of it so that I could see how the thing would shape up as a drawing of how I wanted some of the lights and darks to look, that type of thing. Then I took that black and white drawing and did some color studies on it. Not so much reflecting the actual condition out there as much as trying to decide what type of feeling or emotion I wanted this piece to convey. I went with this one on the upper left, the blue sky with a little bit of yellow down into it. That gets across the upbeat, optimistic feeling that I want this piece to have. Here's what the final painting looks like, how it turned out, and you can see that it looks very much like those black and white thumbnail and the color thumbnail that I had pointed out. It reflects those first decisions that we made in terms of editing. Looks like they were good decisions. Here's another example here on Siesta Key. This is in the middle of our commercial village area. It's where several roads come together. There's a gazebo here that acts as a landmark at the center of the village. There's lots of restaurants around on the corners and whatnot, and there's a relatively new restaurant building here with a clock tower on it. Now, I'd really like to put together a drawing that includes in this particular view, the gazebo, the restaurant back here, one of my favorites with these umbrellas, and then this building with the clock tower, like so. That's what I've got in mind. You can see a little three inch by five inch thumbnail here where I've looked at that and it's got some nice aspects to it, but there's no foreground at all. I really think we need that to establish this sense of depth that we keep talking about. Let's go back to the photograph. You can see the issue here is if I want to show these three things, they're all middle ground elements and there's no foreground, and this palm tree is really blocking the view of this center restaurant here. From an editing standpoint, what I'm going to do is leave those in place. But I'm going to take this palm tree and I'm going to put a few years growth on it, make it a little taller. This ends up being a nice composition with a strong foreground, like so. Then these middle ground elements, and I can include some background when I actually put the thing together. Let's jump in and reduce this opacity back so we can see what this come on, let's reduce it. What this will actually look like from a compositional standpoint, and I actually feel pretty good about that. Here's my thumbnail that I put together actually on site to work out how this composition was going to come together. When I actually started drawing, here's how the final black, and white looks and applied some watercolor on top of that ink, and here's how the final painting looked. Once again, I think we made some good decisions with regard to editing, to move some things around to better tell the story that we wanted to tell. Well, that's editing and that's what editing can do for you from just simply re-framing to really thinking about the story that you want to tell and making adjustments in a composition to best serve that story. Next, we're going to talk about the rule of thirds. See you there. 5. Composition: The Rule of Thirds: Let's talk a little bit about the rule of thirds. Now, you probably already know something about that. If you've got a camera phone and you look through the viewfinder, and there's some faint lines that set up a tic tac toe pattern. That set up to take advantage of the rule of thirds, and you can align elements in your composition with that such that it gives the whole thing a better sense of fitness and balance. The intersections of those lines are what visual artists call hotspots, and that's a great place for one or more focal points. Let's take a look at some examples that I have of how photographs have taken advantage of the rule of thirds. Here's a very nice photograph. It's taken by my daughter Cassie Wagen. Cassie is a professional photographer, and she understands visual composition and things like the rule of thirds, and she's used it to good advantage here. You can see how the water level is aligned with that top horizontal line, and she's used three of the hotspots. My head is on one, the sailboats are on another, and one's pretty darn close to my sketching hand down there at the bottom right. All these are working together in a way that makes this image very visually pleasing. Now, this next photograph is from Lucca, Italy, one of the main piazzas there where we go to sketch. You can see how the top horizontal line is aligned with the tops of that row of the buildings. The bottom line is pretty much aligned with the line of umbrellas there, and the top-left hotspot is the highest point on those buildings. It's all, again, working together in a nice third, third, third type composition. I want to show you how I've applied the rule of thirds in some of my sketches out in the field. Now, this first one is San Gimignano in Italy. It's an Italian hill town from medieval days with these tall medieval towers. I took advantage of the top-left hotspot on that grid to put the towers right there. You cannot miss them. Generally, the rest of the sketch is aligned between the two horizontal lines. That helped a lot in making this composition work. This next sketch is at Coquina beach, not far from my house. You can see how I use the top-left hotspot to put a group of seagulls, and the hotspot just below it is pretty well aligned with a group of people, the top right hotspot you see some palm trees. You can also see how the horizon is aligned with one of the horizontal lines. All in all, the rule of thirds was very helpful for this composition. Now, as I mentioned, I really do use this out in the field. Sometimes I will just put tick marks on a sheet. Probably a little more subtle than this, but you get the idea. Dividing it up into roughly thirds. Now, I usually don't draw the whole lines just about this much, and from that, I can see where my hotspots are going to be. Let's say I'm across the street sketching on the beach, and the waterline is going to be right on this bottom third, more often than not. I've got a landform coming down like this that turns into the beach where the water meets the sand. Let's put a little heavier landmark in there. I've got a hotspot right here, so guess what? That's going to become a palm tree. Might become two palm trees, that's a little better, I think. Some vegetation back in here. Maybe there's some other types of trees going on. I've got a hotspot here and a vertical third line. I'm going to use that to position a couple of beach walkers here. That's all working pretty well. Got some waves lapping up. If I need to locate a sun, I'll use another hotspot for that. I think that all this is working out pretty well. Dropping some umbrellas, dropping some people, and it is a party on the beach, folks. I hope you found that helpful. The rule of thirds is something that, I think, I probably use on every sketch that I do, and I think that you'll find it helpful too. In fact, if your camera phone has that grid that I described as you look through the viewfinder, go and practice a little bit with some photography of getting the horizon or some other important lines aligned horizontally and maybe building edges aligned vertically with the rule of thirds. Look at those hotspots and see if you can place things on those. Then get a sketchbook and go out and make some little three-inch by five-inch thumbnails. Put your grid on it and see if you can arrange the elements that you're looking at in such a way that they take advantage of that compositional tool. The next thing we're going to talk about is balance. I'll see you there. 6. Composition: Get Balanced: Hi. Welcome back. We're going to talk about balance now. Balance is a basic compositional element for any of the visual arts: whether you're talking about filmmaking, or photography, drawing, painting. It has to do with how things are positioned within the frame that you're looking at so that one area doesn't overpower another, so there's relatively equal visual weight. We're going to talk about two different kinds that apply to the type of sketching that we're doing. One is symmetrical balance; equal on both sides, and one is asymmetrical balance that looks different on each side, but with the juxta-positioning achieves a very nice and sometimes very dynamic visual balance. Since we're talking about visual weight, I think a fulcrum and a seesaw are pretty good way to talk about it. Let's have a look. Here's an example of what symmetrical balance looks like as a diagram with a fulcrum and a seesaw. You can see that it's equal on both sides. We've got the same amount of visual weight on the right and on the left. That's how a sketch like that would work out as basically mirroring. One side mirrors the other and that results in a very static type of balance. Let's take a look at a couple of examples. Here I've got a sketch from several years ago on my iPad. It is the floating market in Bangkok. It's just an amazing place and this brings all those memories flooding back. But in terms of the sketch, it's got a nice overall layout and has got lots of detail, lots of interesting things going on. But let's evaluate it in terms of its sense of balance. I'm going to bring down the opacity a little bit and I want to come in here on a new layer and say, let's put the fulcrum point right in here and analyze it like that. When we look at it that way, our composition really breaks down like this, doesn't it? That's about as symmetrical as you can get. Even though there's a little bit of variation in the subject matter on both sides, it's really got the visual weight equally distributed on each side. Let's look at another one. Here we've got a sketch from the city of Porto in Portugal and has a beautiful governmental complex. There's a big public plaza out here,. But in terms of balance, this one is about as symmetrical as you can get, even though there's an extra element over here and a tree over here that's not on the other side. Let's ratchet this opacity back and analyze it quickly where we've got a fulcrum point about like so and visual weight here, visual weight here; that's again very equal on both sides. This is a classic example of symmetrical balance that also has just a little bit of variation in it that helps keep it interesting. Now let's talk about asymmetrical balance. I typically use asymmetrical balance most of the time I'm sketching in the field. I think it just makes for a more dynamic type of composition, something that's more interesting to look at. I've got a couple of diagrams to show you what I'm talking about. Here's using the fulcrum and the seesaw again and you can see that we've got big ball on one side, three smaller balls on the other side, but the visual weight is about the same on both sides. They're not the same, but when you put them all together, yeah, that's pretty balanced on each side. Here's a variation of that. Here we've got a big ball on one side and a very small ball on the other side. Obviously very different in visual weight, but that big ball is pulled up close to the fulcrum point and it's balanced because the smaller one is pushed way out on the other side. Think of a couple of kids on a seesaw, a big one and a small one, and that's about how that type of balance works. We'll see that over and over again and sketches that I or anybody else does when they're working in the field. Here's a couple of sketches to look at, you'll see what I'm talking about. This one's a sketch from South Beach, Miami. It's an old Art Deco Hotel here, and it's roughly balanced by these palm trees. If we wanted to analyze that in terms of the overall composition, we could say, okay, we've got one big mass of visual weight here, balanced by a group of smaller things here and these umbrellas as well. Those visual masses are probably just about equal, certainly from the standpoint of the sketch. I think it's working pretty well. This is a fun sketch of Westminster Abbey in London and you could really just get lost in the detail of all the things that are going on with this ancient architecture. But from an overall composition standpoint and especially speaking to balance, it actually works pretty well. Let's just analyze it real quickly. If we had a fulcrum point about here, we've got a big mass of visual weight on this side that's counterbalanced by several smaller masses over here, including these notes. I will very often put notes on a drawing for exactly that reason; to help balance the composition in such a way that it's more pleasing to the eye. What type of balance you're going to use is a decision that you should make out on the field when you see the subject that you've decided to sketch. I'm going to show you an example here. This is when Patty and I were in London a couple of years ago. This is Piccadilly Circus with this famous statue right in the middle. It's a big roundabout type thing where you've got buildings on all sides. It's a very interesting sketch subject, but you can do it lots of different ways. Now if you just walked up from that viewpoint and put up your sketchbook and went to town, you'd have that statue right in the middle like it is in the photograph and to flesh it out, if you wanted symmetrical balance, you'd be mirroring the two sides. So you'd have crowds of people standing around enjoying themselves on this thing. You might have some of the buildings coming around like this to give a feeling of the space there. That's what symmetrical balance would look like. Or you might choose to walk around a little bit, look at the different viewpoints and decide to do something a little bit more dynamic, where we're walking up closer, we're looking up at the thing and we've got it off to one side. This is begging for asymmetrical balance, isn't it? I want to come some way over here and build up a crowd, something like that; maybe they're standing around a street pole or something. We've got maybe one building on this side that's doing something like that. That's a really dynamic composition for this little scene. Think about the subject as you're walking up to it. Take a walk around and see if you can come up with some interesting composition ideas, just in little thumbnail form before you jump into your real sketch. That's what you need to know about balance in this class. I suggest looking at some sketches online or thumbing through a book and try to figure out what type of balanced is used in there and how it was accomplished. I think that's always a worthwhile exercise. Next, we're going to talk about creating an area of emphasis, so I'll see you there. 7. Where's Your Area of Emphasis?: Hi, welcome back. What we want to talk about now is having an area of emphasis or a focal point for your drawing. Typically, when we decide to sketch something, there's something about that scene that catches our attention straight away. That's the reason we're sketching it in the first place. You can guide your viewer's eye to that spot with just some tricks and techniques that you can learn through size, placement, contrast, other things. I'd like to show you a few examples from my own sketchbooks of what that looks like. But first, I want to show you one that doesn't have an area of emphasis or focal point. Let you see what that experience is like. This is the first example that I want to show you. This is the hill town of Monteriggioni in Tuscany, Italy. It's one of those situations where the bus pulls up, you've got about 30 minutes and so not a lot of time for planning in there. Get a cafe table, sit down and just start banging the thing out. As a result of not thinking ahead, I've got a focal point here, and here, and here, and here. The point is all over the place. The eye just really doesn't know where to go. Lots of interesting things but a little chaotic. Now, contrast this scene with this one. This is the New Orleans Riverfront where I grew up, Mississippi River bridge, the old world trademark, and the beautiful steamboat matches. It's mooed up against the docs here on top of the loving. Notice how subtle these colors and contrasts are in this area until we get right here, and all of a sudden we've got black blacks, and white whites, and the brightest reds along the railing of the matches, little details like the flags and things like that. So you take in the whole scene, you recognize that there's depth than a city, but that's the star of the show. That's a good way to deal with that. This next one is a little more subtle. This is in Porto, Portugal. Also drawn on location very quickly. When I say it's a little more subtle, what I mean is that color doesn't play a big role in this focal point. You're taking in all this architecture, and the buses, and the people. But your eye is drawn right there. Why is that? Well, it's pretty obvious in this one, we've got the widest white against the blackest black, the darkest dark right there. When you do that, the viewer's eye is going to be pulled to that point, whether you intend for it to be or not. Of course, the smart thing is to be intentional and think in advance about this and plan where your focal point is going to be and how you're going to be able to make that happen. Got a couple more here. This is a little drawing that I did as a demonstration in Amsterdam at the urban sketching symposium a couple of summers ago. There's lots of fun things going on in it. But my eye is drawn right here. Again, I've got the whitest whites against the darkest darks. I've got the detail of some people with the brightest complimentary colors. I actually came in on this one with a little bit of white chalk to mute these other colors out a little bit and really make this area pop as a focal point. My last one that I want to share with you is one that I actually did here in the studio from a photograph. It's not an urban sketch. It's not sketched on location. There's lots of fun things going on. You got this aqua going on and the stained glass window there, and stoplights and this and that and the other. But my eye and it was intentional, is drawn right to this area right here where we've got the greatest concentration of darks. You've got some interesting detail with this stonework and with these diagonals shadows coming down. We've got this dark entryway and I kept this fellow's shirt white specifically to create that contrast between the two. Put the brightest colors right next to it. So the eye's going to be drawn right there and then start to move around and see these guys on the corner, the tower windows, the tree, the other people in the cross-walk, etc. Now we know what an area of emphasis looks like or a focal point. Is that something that you typically do in your drawings? If not, maybe you can go back to some sketches that aren't completely finished and work in some contrast or some darks or something to try to create a focal point, or better yet, maybe you can pick up a little five by seven-inch sketchbook like this one that I carry around. Just do some thumbnails out in the field and look at the difference between what a sketch with no focal point and what a sketch with a strong focal point makes in terms of the interest in that sketch. Next, we're going to talk about foreground, middle ground, and background. I'll see you there. 8. Foreground, Middle Ground, Background: Okay, welcome back. We've got a good [inaudible] composition now, so let's talk a little bit about sense of depth. Now, what I mean by a sense of depth is let's say we're outside just looking at a scene. Some things look very close to us. Some things look further away, some things look further away still. What we're going to try to do with our sketches is to take those three dimensions and to put them in a believable way on a two-dimensional sheet of paper. Sounds like magic? It's not, it's just a cool trick, especially if you think in terms of foreground, middle ground, and background. Let's have a look. Here's a nice example. We're going to break it down bit by bit. There's a really nice foreground here that looks closest to us, a middle ground, and a background. This is massive trees back in the back. These trees, people, this middle part of the trail, all considered middle ground. Now, how I want you to think about this is if I had drawn the background, middle ground, and foreground, all as three completely separate drawings. It's a little easier even to imagine if we're drawing it on glass and then we'll sandwich them together. But let's just take it and break it down that way. I'm going to grab a clean sheet of paper here. I like to usually start with the middle ground because that's more often than not where are the focus of the sketch is going to be. Then we can place the foreground and the background around it can support that view. Let's start with an eye-level line. Like so. Very nice. I want to come in and put in that trail that we had drawn. It's in a perspective back this way, but it curves also. I'm just going to eyeball that thing so that it looks something like that. Certainly close enough. I want to add those people that were standing in the sketch. I'll have a head, a trunk, drop a couple of legs down, and we'll give that person a buddy. There we are. Put an arm on that guy as well. Maybe a shadow, some horizontal lines across that trail to make it look like it's lying flat in the landscape. Now the other thing that I said we were going to have in this middle ground was these marked trees back here. I'm going to put them like so so that they'll appear in that middle ground as well. Now we've had a previous class where we talked about how to draw these trees in such a way that it's fast but convincing. You may recall, we talked about pulling a trunk up from the ground, throwing some secondary branches, drawing some tertiary branches, and that's typically about enough to take care of that. Let's go ahead and get the rest of these in. No, I don't want them all to look exactly alike because trees aren't like that, are they? Of course not. You can see that I've thrown in a few trunks just to make it look like a little more natural massing of trees. There, that works. Some atmospheric dots from our previous class on drawing trees. I like to come in and put shadows under these trees like so. There, nice. I'm going to get a Tombow brush pen and just put a little bit of tone on these. It works. While I'm at it, put a little bit of tone on this turf area as well. Separate that out a bit from this path. We'll leave it just white for our purposes today. That, folks, is our middle ground. If all we wanted was the middle ground, we just draw it like this. As I said, I want you to imagine it's on a piece of glass. Let's set it aside and get another piece of glass. Boom. That looks about right. Now, I've got the same frame in place. I want to have roughly the same eye line coming across. But let's just draw those foreground trees popping up into the scene. Like so. One of the things that I often do in the foreground is to beef up some of those lines. Just a little bit thicker. I guess I could have used this pen in the first place, but it's all good. We'll throw some branches up with this awesome [inaudible] pen. That nice. Maybe one more. We'll draw a little texture on these trunks. Make them look like little aspen trunks, or something like that. Typically got some dark spots on them, so we'll go ahead and put some of those in there. Very nice. As we did on the last drawing, we'll just add some tone. Now, in most of the examples that I'm going to show you, and in the ones that we're going to draw, these foreground elements are typically a little darker than the other ones around them. I'm going to go ahead and take the liberty of darkening those up. The other thing that's foreground in this is some of this vegetation that works around the trail, like so. I want to come in and just add some of that. This is a way that helps trick the eye and make it think that this part of the drawing is closer than the rest of it because we can see more detail. Now that's all foreground. Back in the middle ground, we'd probably add some lines to show how that landscape is working. But this and this constitute the foreground. What's left? We need a background. Let's set that piece of glass aside and pick up one more, like so. Draw our eye-level line. All we really need on this is a very, very light line to indicate where that mass of trees is going to be. I'm actually going to use a pencil for that. You can use a pencil, you can use a gray permanent fineliner of some kind. But the main thing is, I don't want a heavy black line across the top of these trees in the background. There's our eye level, there's our trees. Even trees off in the distance are going to have a dark shadow under the canopy. I'm going to go ahead and put that in there. That's that. Now, there's one plane, there's another plane, there's another plane. If these I say were glass and I stack them, one on top of the other, like so, and best cooking show fashion, you would have something that looked very much like that. That's the way the three planes work. It doesn't matter if you've got trees in the foreground, or larger human figures in the foreground, or the edge of a building on one or both sides, or what the focus of your sketch is in the middle ground, or rather than a mass of trees, this could be a city skyline drawn very, very lightly in the background. The idea is that we get the best sense of depth by having all three of those planes represented. Well, I think you can see that's a pretty easy concept to grasp, and it's a pretty easy one to execute as well. What I want to show you now is some work in my sketchbooks where I've applied some of those ideas and we're going to start a Sloppy Joe's bar in Key West. Here's my drawing, done out on the sidewalk. It's inclined so far. It's fine, but there's no depth to it. There's no foreground at all, and I've just hinted at a tower in the background with some great ink. We really need some more depth in this thing. I noticed that there was a palm tree about three steps back on the sidewalk, and I backed up enough where I could see those palm fronds hanging down into the foreground at the top of my view, and I incorporated them. Then I incorporated some shadows on the ground at the bottom of my view, they weren't really there, but I added them anyway. Between those two, the palm fronds and the shadow, the eye is just pulled right back to Sloppy Joe's in the middle ground. I add a little more background, some buildings way back there, some power poles, that type of thing. At the end of the day, I think that the illusion of depth is pulled off pretty successfully. Now I want to look at a couple more examples from the sketchbooks to make a particular point, and that's that, if you can't get all three planes; foreground, middle ground, background in a sketch, try to go for at least two. Now, here's a sketch of San Gimignano in Tuscany. I was with a group and the driver pulled over and said, "Take all the photos you want, you've got 10 minutes." Which sounded real generous, but I wanted a sketch. I took a great brush pen and just very quickly sketched the outline of the buildings and the hill. Added a few Italian cypress on the right, I had some buildings spilling down the hill on the left. Could have just left it at that, and it would have been a fine sketch, but I decided I wanted a little more detail. I got a black ballpoint and drew those farmhouses in the middle ground there, and a few more cypress, and those rows of crops extending out toward the foreground, although it really wasn't a real foreground. There I've got a background of the hill, a middle ground of the houses. That was enough to pull off a convincing sense of depth. Here's another one that I want to share with you. It's from Da Nang, Vietnam. It's of a cathedral there in the middle of town that I was sketching with some architecture students. This one has a very strong foreground and middle ground, but no real strong background. These streetlights are close enough to the viewer with all of this detail that they really function well to make you feel like they're up-close and in your face. The cathedral itself, the point of the sketch, is in the middle ground along with all the people milling around back and forth in front of it. As I say, no real background, but between the foreground and the middle ground, we've achieved that sense of depth. Keep that in mind. If you can't have all three, go for two, and you'll be just fine. You can see that this whole distance of foreground, middle ground, and background isn't that technical really, is just recognizing that those three planes exist, and treating each one of them almost as a separate drawing, put together on one single sheet of paper. Why don't you do this, why don't you either go online or get a book with some cool sketches, take a look at them and see how different artists have treated foreground, middle ground, and background in those examples. Then get a small sketchbook and do some little thumbnails, two inches by three inches, where you draw maybe a couple of people in a foreground up-close and darken. Maybe there's a building in the middle ground, simple box with a couple of windows, and some type of landscape in the distance. See if you can pull off that convincing sense of depth in a few little thumbnails. I think you'll have a lot of fun. Next step we're going to talk about diminishing size and detail and how those can contribute to a sense of depth. See you there. 9. Diminishing Size and Detail: Hi, it's time to talk about a visual phenomenon called diminishing size and detail. It's a very simple idea, really. It's basically if you've got two things the same size, the one that's closer is going to look bigger and the one that's further away is going to look smaller. Not only that, the one that's closer, you're going to be able to see a lot more detail. You're going to be able to see knuckle wrinkles and gnarly hairs and those types of things where further away you wouldn't be able to see as much detail. There's lots of different ways to apply that in drawings. I'm going to doodle some quick examples and then we'll look at how they've been applied in my sketchbooks. Let's look at a couple of applications of this idea. One way that I demonstrate this to my grad students is to draw boulders rocks as it were, maybe they're in a garden or a landscape or something someplace. If I'm drawing them up close, I'll put lots of splits and fissures and little fossils and all kinds of things in there, maybe some gravel at the base because we're able to see this level of detail up close. If I want one to look further away, even a little, I put less detail in that one, the next one further away even less, and further away still, even less. So as these rocks recede into the distance, we want them to not only get smaller, but have less detail as well. Something like cars. They're fun to draw, let's do a couple of cars. Up close, you'll be able to see things like tail lights and even backup lights and license plates, and you'll be able to read the license plates, it's 8675309 and you can see things like tread on the tires and the differential, and shadows underneath. Over in the other lane, a little ahead of us, there's another car, so it's further away so we're going to see less detail in that one. Further still, that car is going to look smaller and it's going to have even less detail so you get the idea, close; bigger, more detail, further away; smaller, less detail. Here's some sketchbook drawings that I think pick up on this idea, this is kind of the ultimate in diminishing size and detail. This is a pumpkin farm in Wisconsin, least this time a year it was. In terms of diminishing size and detail, they obviously get smaller as they recede into the distance but you pick up the detail in these curly stems on these pumpkins in the foreground, and then the stems get less noticeable and there's really not any stems on the ones deep in the background. Over here is another little more subtle example, we were on a boat in the Mississippi River, very close to this and I was drawing the adjacent landscape on the banks. There was a lot of trees, some lake houses, and then a mountain with a big cliff at the top of it that was really dramatic. Look at the trees up close to the shore, you can see individual trees, you can see branches, and that type of thing. They get smaller and smaller and just more of a texture as they recede in distance up the hill toward that cliff. Now here's one that is really different. This is a car show in Downtown Fort Worth. Here we're looking at people, look at this guy, he's one of the closest to us in this picture and you can see the detail on his neck, on this pocket, and on the webbing around his sweater waist there. This person a little further away so they're smaller and less detail, same with the child. These people, even smaller, even less detail. You can look at that throughout this drawing and really get the feel for distance and depth, largely because of diminishing size and detail. This is the town of Trinidad in Cuba. It's a very old historic town with a lot of the original architecture and original streets that are paved with river cobbles and it's an interesting study and diminishing size and detail, you can see it in the people obviously. But more interesting to me, you can see it in the streets that are paved with river cobbles and you can see they're different shapes and different sizes and interesting up in the foreground, and the further back you get into the distance, the smaller they become. It almost just becomes kind of a texture back there so we're tricking the eye into thinking it's a long way from here to here, just by the way we've chosen to draw those river cobbles and you can do that with paving bricks and wooden planks and all types of things. Big in the front, lots of details, smaller as it recedes, less detail and it's just a great thing to know. Now see it really is a simple idea. There's not much to it but it can be very effective in helping to create that sense of depth. Why don't you grab some paper and work through those little drills that we were just doing previously, just some little cartoon versions of cars and rocks and those types of things where you're gradually seeing smaller size and less detail, and we'll jump into the next lesson. Next coming up is overlapping and line weight, and I think you're going to enjoy that one too. 10. Overlapping and Line Weight: Hey, welcome back. Now we're going to talk about overlapping and line weight. Again, very simple ideas. Here's which is closer, hard to tell, but now which is closer. We put something close, we put something far away simply by virtue of letting them overlap a little bit. That can be enhanced by the thickness of the line that you use, especially in the foreground. Let's take a look at some examples and have some fun drawing at the same time. Now, here's some examples that can give us some insights into overlapping and line weight. This is a group at Heathrow Airport as I was sitting in one of the court areas. You can see there's lots and lots of overlapping going on, which is fun and exciting. One of the things that makes that legible is coming in occasionally with this heavier line weight. You see it on either side of this fellow, on this woman's arm, on this arm, and then down the leg here. There's just a hint of it, for instance, on this guy's leg over here. That's really about all it takes that pulls these two people forward and gives us a little bit better sense of what's going on in that drawing. This is very similar, but it's dealing with architecture instead of people. This is a church court yard in Mexico, and you can see this column is in the foreground and it's got this heavy line on one side side down this helping to pull it forward. Heavy line but not quite as heavy on the other side so that it doesn't look like it's just an outline there. We've also got St. Paul's in London. Now, this view of St. Paul's, as you're coming up the street, you've got buildings on both sides that are in front of and frame this view of St. Paul's. The way that I can get that to work in a drawing is to come in with a heavier line weight on these edges so that we're helping reiterate that frame and focus the view right there. Let's draw a couple of examples. I'm going to walk through a couple of demonstration drawings here to show you a couple of different ways to use this overlapping and line weight. I'm just going to doodle on here very quickly. Going to be using the fude nib and the uni-ball pens. Uni-ball, as you remember, is a pretty thin line. I'm going to show a tree here that I'm just making all this stuff up. There's no reference photo or anything like that, so let's just play around with it a little bit. Some nice roots stretching out to the ground there. I'm going to have a little piece of traditional architecture back here. Like so. Here's my center line, so I'm going to put a column here, column here, column here, and the column there. Maybe some steps down or something like that. Window, window, roofs going to come over so that the trees overlapping it a bit. Let's put some shrubberies at the base of that building. Like so. Just very quick doodles. Now I want to separate them out a little bit. I'm going to get this fude nib and say, yeah, I really need a heavier line weight right in there. That pretty much does it. I'm going to repeat it here. I shouldn't need to do that much any place else except I'm going to use this same pen now to throw some shadows on this tree bark. This is a wonderful pen for doing this thing with all the really sweet variations in line quality that you get. Here this just looks like some of the branches that are throwing some shadows on the trunk, the branches, the roots. I'm going to heavy up that line even just a little bit more. Let's see what else we can do here just to make these columns stand out. I'm going to put some shade between them like that. Maybe low for each column as well. Few level details. There's a door, there's a person, another person there. That's looking pretty good. The one other thing that I'm going to do is just throw in some of this same texture back here. But I'm going to use this thick end of the fude nib to do that so that it looks closer to us than that does. You get the idea. I started off drawing all this with the same pen. Heavy this up a little bit, and now it looks dramatically closer than this does. Let's try a little different one. This would be an indoor scene that I have drawn various versions of on-location many times. Here on Siesta key at the Oyster Bar and things like that. Patrons at some of these establishment. I see I went to the fude nib and I'm drawing a much heavier line for this fellow's body that's going to be in front of the bar, in front of a bartender. He is sitting on a bar stool. It's got a leg coming down like this. We'll put another sleeve and arm over there. We'll use a white pen to get an elbow that's going to rest on the bar over here. How's that? Pretty good. Let's get a server to help him. We'll put a collar and a tie on this guy. Notice the overlap here, how I'm having one figure overlap the other, and we'll put a couple of glasses there. Well, let's put a shelf behind that server with the bottles on it. I'm going to take advantage of some overlap there, little more overlap there. I don't like to have this at a bar, but let's put a clock right there. Then let's come in with some of these heavier lines and just pull this figure right up into the foreground. Separating from that clock a little bit, a little bit of a shadow there. Darken up these pants, and we're almost there. Let's put a little dark on this vest here. But notice that I didn't use this heavy pen, I use the lighter one because he's little further back. I think with those two little adjustments, we've got a pretty good indication there of a sense of depth with this being closer, that being further away just by virtue of overlapping and these heavier line weights on the foreground figure. With those two examples, I think you've got a pretty good idea of how we can use that overlapping and line weight very effectively. I hope you enjoyed that. Some of the fun you can have with overlapping and line weights. Now, the next topic, because I draw a lot distance cityscapes and grand vistas is near and dear to my heart, and that's called atmospheric depth. Let's go check it out. 11. Atmospheric Depth: Welcome back. Now we're going to talk about something called atmospheric depth. You already know quite a bit about that because every time you've looked into the distance and seen a skyline or a mountain range that was hazy, that's the effect of atmospheric depth. It's basically distance and atmospheric particles, dust, whatever, blurring that image a little bit or more correctly, giving it less intensity in terms of value and color. That's telling your brain that that's farther away than the things that are closer to you. Let's take a look at some examples and we'll clarify it even more. Here's a couple of examples from my own sketchbooks. I have a couple of different ways that I achieved a sense of atmospheric depth. Here in Oxford, England, I made the closest building to me almost black, and then some black ink line work and plenty of detail in this feature building in the middle ground, but I used gray ink with a fine liner back here. You could do the same thing with a mechanical pencil as far as that goes. I didn't make the colors quite intense, so sort really fades that back into the distance and creates a really nice sense of atmospheric depth. This technique's dramatically different but just as effective. There's really not a foreground. The middle ground, you see lots of detail in terms of these trees working their way up the cliff, and the people on the bridge, windows on the buildings, etc., but for these vegetated areas and the more distant hills behind it, I really didn't want much detail on that at all. I just wet that with some clear water and then dropped watercolor into it. Green for the vegetated areas and purple for the more distant hills, and just let those things blend together in a hazy, smoky way. It turned out better than I could have imagined. I'm really pleased with how that went. There's two different ways to accomplish that goal, and there's many more out there for you to discover as you start playing around with drawings. I want to show you some quick tricks on creating a sense of atmospheric depth. I have put together a quick one-point perspective. If you took my last class, Bringing City Scenes to Life, we did a one-point perspective step by step, very, very much like this. I'm not going to go through that whole bit on this. I really want to focus on the issue at hand, which is creating atmospheric depth. What I'm going to do is take this base drawing, all done in one line weight with one pen, and use different line weights and different tones and values to really make this thing look like it has some depth. We're going to add some darks, we're going to add a heavy foreground, we're going to add a very light background, and I'll show you the techniques and the tools that I use to do that. Let's jump right in. I'm going to let you know before I start that this drawing is available in the Resources section of the class. If you go to Projects and then there's a tab for Resources, you'll find this drawing there that you can draw on top of if you like. Here we go. I'm going to start just by adding some darks on the retail windows on the first floor of these. I'm not worried about getting imperfect because I'm not worried about getting most things perfect. But as I often say, the looser and quicker some of these things are, I think the better they look. Let's go ahead and put in some dark retail windows. If we're going to be simulating atmospheric depth, they get progressively lighter. I'm going to change pens and let that fade out just a little bit as we get down toward the end. Really, really dark here, not quite as dark here. Now I'm going to jump across the street and I'm going to do that foreground that I mentioned. I've got a big Sharpie marker here. Is not that a nice sound? I am just going to tear this thing up with it. Just a few strokes because this facade is so close to us as we're walking down, our point of view is really from the sidewalk on this side. It's so close to it, it really almost just goes away and becomes this dark frame on one side. What I'll typically do with that, put an awning here. What I'll typically do with that is go ahead and pull some shadow lines across the street so that we've now got an L and it's pushing your view toward the middle here. Probably not the first time you've seen this, but it's good to reiterate it. I do that on most of my drawings. I like to have these lines going across, not just for a shadow's sake, but they actually helped define the planes; what's vertical, what's horizontal, and whatnot. I think that it works pretty well for those types of things. Since there's a canopy here, there's going to be a shadow here. It's going to look something like that. I'm going to have a few darks on these palm trees, not many. I think that that's about right. We can add some detail to this closest building in terms of materials, some masonry or something like that, that will make it seem closer than this one. For sure, we've got some people in front here. Things are looking pretty good. Now that I'm to this point, I'm going to take this gray colored pencil and draw in another building back here, a background building. I'm just making this scene up as I go along, so I'm going to make this building up as well, but it's based on some that I've seen before. How about that? That works pretty good. I don't want a lot of detail. I want to indicate maybe how many floors are on that thing, something like that. I can do that with very simple horizontal lines. I don't have to get into a lot of detail. If I want to have openings on the first floor like I do here, I'll do them in gray rather than black because again, the building is set so far back. I've indicated some tree or something here, so I'm going to go ahead and darken that in so that I'm separating these buildings from that one. We can add a couple more background buildings if we want to. That looks pretty good. Maybe some trees off in the distance. Now, this looks just fine, but I think it would look a little better if I put some value in the sky and forced that white-looking building to pop itself out a little bit more. I actually think that looks pretty good. Nice. There's our background building, there's a little bit of sky tone there, here's our middle ground, here's our foreground, what else can we do? Well, there's lots of things. I will often put figures in the foreground; crossing streets or whatnot. Just because those dark shadowy figures look a lot closer than any of the other figures shown, I'm going to make this one dark as well. Now we've got some really interesting things going on there. I am going to put in some street lights. That looks about right, doesn't it? With some ornamental arms on them and maybe a little flourish like that so it have a historical look to it. That's a pretty thick line because it's closest to us. If we want some more, they're going to be a thinner line and not as much detail. If we want still more, that's about going to do it. I don't think you need much more than that. I'm going to make a few dots for leaf litter. Just leaves and trash and things like that, that you would see up close in the street but that you wouldn't see farther away. That's an important concept in all this to fool the eye, to make it think that it's looking at things closer than farther back in the picture. I think that's about it, but we could also come in here. We've got palm trees on this side. We could pull a Key West and say, let's just add some palm fronds on this side as well to really make this foreground scene. Now we're standing under palm fronds. We've got this, so we've got a nice frame going, middle ground, background. That is a really nice sense of atmospheric depth on a city street scene. The same thing would work in a natural scene where this might be a tree or something like that and you've got other things in the middle ground and so forth, but I think that this is working pretty well, so we're going to call this done and move on. Now you understand a little bit more about atmospheric depth than ways that you may be able to create it to enhance a sense of depth on a two-dimensional sheet of paper. Now, think about that. When you're outside and you see a skyline or a mountain range or something often the distance that looks hazy and think about ways that you could recreate that effect in line drawings, tone drawings, watercolor, and why don't you go ahead and pick up that Sharpie ballpoint pen and pencil and see if you can draw a scene from your imagination that incorporates that type of atmospheric depth into your sketch. Now we're going to have some real fun. We're going to head outside and get started on the final sketch. Grab your stuff and let's go. 12. Final Sketch Composition: Hi, you're with me now in downtown Sarasota at Bayfront Park. This is a public park. We've got a marina. We've got yoga class. We've got people walking their dogs. We've got music playing occasionally. That's what urban sketching is, is being out in the middle of everything. The other thing that's here that I'm really excited about is my favorite tiki bar, O'Leary's, and that's going to be the subject of our demo sketch that we put together everything we've learned up to this point, the editing, the composition, sense of depth, foreground, middle ground, background, all that good stuff, and this is a beautiful day and a beautiful place to do it. In this particular lesson, we're going to focus on getting the right frame setup, getting a composition that we're comfortable with, and then start moving into the big shapes, maybe a few details, so let's jump in. Now, this is a five-by-seven notebook that I do a lot of my thumbnails in when I'm trying to put together a scene. I've done a lot here on the island and other places. These are some that I considered for this project. Now top-left there, you've got a scene from the beach. There's a lifeguard stand, there's some people in the foreground, and it's pretty nice, but it'd be very crowded. I don't know that that's a great idea. This next one has a great foreground tree, a cool building in the middle ground, not much background that's going to show up, so I got thinking about tiki huts would be a very cool thing to draw. That got me thinking about O'Leary's. O'Leary's is just a wonderful subject for something like this. Look at that foreground tree that we can use to frame the whole thing and we can also put together a strategic minimal color scheme to show us how to be efficient with this. I like to start by thinking about how this is all going to lay out the foreground, the roots of that foreground tree, the trunk, the overhead branches, and how it's going to make a frame for that central element. The tiki bar roof, little thatched roof there, and those distant background buildings as well. How are they going to fit in to this whole composition now? That tiki roof is important, so I'm going to make a few little dots for the corners of that rectangle parallelogram. Then I'm going to change pens, get a Micron PN, there we are, and just start laying out that tiki roof by connecting the dots that I just put in place. You'll see that when I pull a line across if it's not exactly where I want, I just draw it again. No big deal. We're not going to start over. We're not going to think about erasing anything. I'm drawing another one there for the wooden cap on top of the tiki roof. I had to restate that as well. That'll actually help the character of the drawing at the end of the day. There's my dots for my rule of thirds from the previous lesson, where those top ones intersect as my hotspot and that's where my first palm tree is going to go. Notice how quickly I'm drawing these fronds. I'm not getting really detailed. I'm not going for photo realism in here. I'm not even going for a fine watercolor painting eventually. I'm doing an urban sketch and I want it to be funky. Have a lot of character. There's some coconuts. There's a nice curved trunk on it that is actually on the real deal there. Now, I'm going to come in and still very, very lightly indicate where those background buildings are going to be. But I don't want to do him in ink, that would make them look too close. I'm going to get a little mechanical pencil here with a hard lead and just put some very light lines where are those background buildings are going to be and later on, when I put in some sky color, it'll actually be the sky color that defines the edges of those buildings rather than an ink line, which would make them look too close to be in the background. It would move them up into the middle ground and nobody wants that, do they? Let's put in some more. I'm going to uncharacteristically jump into a little bit of detail here just because it's too much fun not to. That top cap has some wooden ribbing on it and I'm going to go ahead and put some of that in. It actually makes a cross up at the top is what I'm drawing there. I think at this point, I'm going to go back to my pencil. Why? Well, putting in the yellow umbrellas and in the past, I've drawn my umbrellas with ink. I've come to learn that I don't really like the look of that as much as when I've just drawn with a very, very light pencil line. Let the color define the shapes, those triangular shapes of the umbrellas. Now I'm going to go back to my pen and start to put in some people, some human figures. They're sitting at outdoor bar tables. When I say bar tables, they're high tops. They're built rustic to look like picnic tables and we're drawing them that way, but I'm going ahead and drawing some of the patrons around them at the same time. Some glasses and bottles on the tables, the legs underneath all made out of rough lumber, so I'm not being real careful about precisely drafting these things. I just want it to be part of this overall funky character of the drawing. Now, let's put away the fine liner and get out the bad boy, the Sailor Fude nib with the thick lines. Why would we want thick lines? Well, remember that line weight is one of the ways that we can help show depth. I want to show this foreground tree now. It's going to be a lot closer to us, to the viewer than that middle ground tiki hat is. I'm using this Fude nib to come in with some thick lines and draw this tree as a curved frame around the middle ground as you've seen me do in the past. There's an upper branch with some smaller branches taking off from it, coming around and drawing the trunk. This is a split trunk actually. We're going to draw another little piece there. Come on down from the top. More side branches and we'll pull right down to these roots on the ground. This is an old ficus tree. You see some of these roots above-ground, quite a few of them actually and it helps give it this gnarly character. That's one of the things that's so attractive about it in my view. Now I'm going to add some shading for a couple of reasons. Why is that? Notice I'm still using this foot nab because we're up-close, we're in the foreground. Remember that we're going to see more detail in the foreground. I'm drawing some of this texture of the bark on the tree and I'm using this Fude nib to do it very, very quickly. Very loose lines because we don't want tight lines in nature, do we? The other thing that this is indicating is maybe some light streaming across some of these branches and the trunk to give it a little bit more character. We'll keep playing with that over time. In the meantime, I'm putting in some ground texture that resembles the turf that's out there. It's still in the foreground. I'm still using the thick line Fude nib to do this. You don't need a Fude nib, you can use anything with a little bit thicker nib on it to achieve this look. But do notice how much darker and thicker the lines for that foreground tree are than the tiki hut, the palm tree, and the people back there. It does make it look quite a bit closer, doesn't it? Now, let's go in and perhaps add a little bit of tropical vegetation. I've twisted this Fude nib a little bit and I'm using the narrow end of that nib to put in some foliage that's really in the middle ground back there. We'll pop it out a little bit more with some darks. But for right now we just want to get the shapes in. That's starting to look a lot like what's actually out there. A little bit looser, a little bit more funky, but that's a good thing. Now, again, I'm going to jump into detail where when I describe my classic method for working on something like this, I usually talk about big shapes first and then smaller shapes and only then get into details. As I said earlier, this is just so much fun that I really can't resist, and so I've jumped in here with this Micron PN and putting in some fine line details to indicate the grass thatched roof on this tiki hut. I really like how it's giving us a middle value in there. We're going to have all these dark blacks when we're done, especially around that foreground tree. We're going to have a lot of white because we're not going to put color on everything. We need some middle ground values, and that's what I'm doing with the thatch roof on this tiki hood is giving us almost a gray rather than a black or a white. More background vegetation behind this foreground tree, drawing it in very lightly. We'll come back and beef it up with some blacks later on. Now I want to go to the tiki hut and draw in the bar that's underneath that tiki hut and behind those patrons. It's tropical looking. It's got some vertical bamboo pieces that are actually on the front of it to make it look like something out of Gilligan's Island, which is the point for a tiki bar, I suppose, and one of the reasons people enjoy hanging out there. That's looking about right. I'm so close to this roof texture that I'm just going to jump in and add a little bit more of that. Maybe carry it all the way across and just get that texture taken care of. I think that's working very well as a medium texture. Now, this is the type of texture that I'll draw a little one-inch squares on a sheet of paper and just fill them with these type of textures. This one, the one representing the turf on the ground. Some of these lines indicating bark texture on the foreground tree so that they become a part of your muscle memory that you don't really even have to think. You just move very, very almost in a quick zigzag putting these things out. What do you think? That's looking pretty good so far. Let's add in some of the more distant palm trees. We know they're more distant because they're smaller and we've learned that diminishing size and detail is a way that we help indicate depth. These are a little bit smaller and by the time we finish adding textures to the ink drawing, they'll be less detailed than the first one that I drew in as well. Some more high-top tables with legs underneath them. We'll need to draw in some more patrons. I want to put in two guys here in the middle ground because that's going to be my area of emphasis, my focal point, if you will. This is probably a pretty good place to stop and take a break. We've got a good start. We've got our foreground tree, we've got the tiki hut. We've even got a hint of those background buildings back there. Let's continue fleshing out the sketch with more details, more darks, and get this thing set up for color. Let's go. 13. Fleshing Out the Drawing: All right. Now watch how we make this up as we go along. I'm going to be adding tropical foliage. Probably going to be fleshing out some more textures and really getting in to those darks in a big way. Here here we go. Here we are back at O'Leary's on a very sunny day, high contrast scene, white sand, dark shadows. We've got our foreground tree in the front, the main compositional elements of the tiki hut, and the umbrellas. Some details you can see here the tables, the people, some of the columns holding up the tiki hut. Let's jump in. I'm going to get rid of this fine liner for a minute and switch to the Fude nib. I'm also going to speed this part up just a tad, because frankly, there's just a whole lot of darks going in that take quite a bit of time and I wasn't in a big hurry while I was out here. I think you'll be able to follow along really well and actually maybe even pick up on the patterns that I'm creating a little bit easier by going at this higher speed. Now, look just to the left of the tiki hut at that dark area there. That's what I'm working on now is almost negative painting around these tropical plants so that you not only see the actual leaves of the plants well, I'm creating dark field around that foreground trunk of the foreground tree that's going to visually force it even closer to us. Again see that dark area that I'm drawing there. There's nothing I enjoy more than sitting out and sketching on a day like this. More darks, helping us eke out those leaves and then add some more leaves actually with the black ink. We'll keep working on that. There's actually some palm frond looking things sticking down here. I'll put some darks in between those to make those stand out. Now, we'll put away the Fude nib, get the fine liner and have some real fun putting in some fronds on these coconut trees. This one is closest to us, is going to have the most detail. You can see there's a cluster of coconuts underneath and these really lazy looking fronds. I love to draw those just almost as a really quick freehand zigzag. It not only I think successfully captures the texture, but it keeps the sketch looking loose and funky and again stylized. We'll put a shadow on the trunk underneath those coconuts and fronds, little shadows on the coconuts themselves.. Then I'm going to come back in and put in some dark fronds using that black ink to make the whole thing look more three-dimensional. We'll put in the further back palm. It's drawn smaller because it is further and we learned about diminishing size and detail and there it is. Let's add some texture to these trunks. Just horizontal lines drawn very quickly across them. I think the quicker the better. Again, that looseness gives the whole sketch feeling of freshness and informality that it wouldn't have if you spent a tremendous amount of time on this. There's some more dark fronds to give it that three-dimensional look. Now I'm going to work on the umbrellas a little bit. These are drawn highly stylized. You can see the real thing there is pretty complex in terms of shade, shadow, folds, and those types of things. Here I've indicated, and I'm pretty much just triangles with some shade underneath. Now I'm adding some columns as you see underneath the tiki hut here. They're pretty much black because they're in such deep shade. I'm adding those in, as well as a bartender behind the bar, another bartender so that he's got some help back there. Some shade underneath these high top picnic tables. Now watch this. The legs of these patrons under the tables are going to be in shade, right? I'm going ahead in darkening those in. You don't think about it a whole lot, but it gives the whole thing a realistic look. Now on these legs, I'm giving him a little bit of a lean. This is going to be a focal point in the sketch and I wanted to have some movement and energy. I'm actually drawing these fellas in motion like they're walking across the scene. Add some darks around them that'll help pull the eye to that focal point and we're going to reinforce that with color. Here's some shade on that wooden cap on top of the thatched grass. When I drew that horizontal line, I thought, "Yeah, this things coming together pretty well." I really like this combination. A very thin lines and then very thick lines with the Fude nib. Here I'm drawing a couple of lines on the ground plane just to help define that and look, I forgot to put a place for the water, that blue water there. I've drawn a line for that so that we won't forget to indicate that when we start putting in the color and we'll just keep noodling along. I'm going to add some background foliage back here, as we've done on many of the drawings we've sketched together in previous classes. You can see some of that background foliage there. Flesh out, some of these patrons, but not too much because these aren't close to the focal point. I don't want them to be as noticeable with as many darks and high contrast in there. We're going to leave that over to the other side of the sketch. Another background palm, let's zigzag across those coconut palm fronds and little more dark surround this tropical vegetation. Just pop it out just a little bit more. It's amazing what a little spot of dark can do to start to bring these vegetated areas to life. There we go. Few more fronds and a few more shadow lines on this beautiful trunk of this Ficus tree. It's one of the ways we know we're in Sarasota, Florida is because of these banions and ficus that have these great trunks and massive roots and even aerial roots. Now I'm putting in this horizontal shadow across the ground and bringing city scenes to life. In that class, we did some of the same type of thing and it just add some contrast and also helps describe the ground plane. Couple of more darks here. Now see those background buildings back there. We're going to draw them even lighter than they appear in the photograph. I'm going to use this Tombow light gray brush pen to first draw the outlines. You barely see it back there. Then I'm just going to put a horizontal line for each of these floors so that we're not getting into detail. Remember the further away something is, the less detail it has. But we're indicating roughly the scale of the thing by showing how many floors it might have. Am I counting the floors? No, it doesn't matter that much, but I'm indicating the scale that I see often the distance there. All right. I think we've got a really nice line drawing here, some really good tones. It's time to start playing around with some color. But before we do, we've got a bonus lesson on dramatic darks. Let's take a look. 14. Bonus: Dramatic Darks: Let's take a little break from the park because I want to talk seriously about dramatic darks. Now, a lot of times students bring me things to look at and say, "What can I do to improve?" Almost always, two things: better sense of depth, the drawings on the middle ground, and it needs other things, and the darks and shadows aren't dark enough. That's the fastest way to mediocrity, is to have these insipid little darks in there that are just half-tones. I want to show you some examples of how I use darks to get a lot of contrast, to get a lot of zeal and energy into a drawing. It applies to almost any scale. Let me show you what I'm talking about. Here's a little beaches doodle that I did with a Fude nib fountain pen. You can see that it's almost all darks with the exception of a few little thin lines for palm fronds and trunks, but the darks are what delineates the shoreline, that gives us a little bit of foreground that shows us shadows on the palm tree trunks, and that separates that middle ground of palm tree trunks from the background that's shown in dark with a little house back there, and an interruption in the darks is what makes the house pop out. That's a very simple, very quick doodle, but it's all about darks. This next one is at an oyster bar here in town. You can see the people they're drawn well enough, but the darks give that drawing pop and contrast there. The blacks are what make this drawing work well. Here's another, this is from one of my favorite cities. This is Lisbon in Portugal. This is a very famous shopping street right in the heart of things with this big arched gateway down at the end. The line works important, but my goodness, look at the difference that those darks make. You'll see this in a lot of my drawings, where the darks are showing the shadows under umbrellas and windows, under the shadows of the arch itself and on the ground under the arch, and in some of the people's clothing. That contrast provided by those darks is everything in this drawing. Now let's look at a quick sequence that's also in Portugal, but this one's in Porto. Here's a drawing that you've seen before. This is the governmental complex in Porto. Nice color drawing, but I bet you haven't seen this sequence. This is a contour drawing. The first thing I did when I walked up on the site, where you just put a pen down on the paper and keep your eye on your subject and just follow the contour around, in this case, the silhouette of the buildings against the skyline and some of the ground features as well. In the next drawing, I've added some details, and in the next one, I've added the darks. Look at the difference between the details and the darks. What a dramatic difference in contrast that makes, just to have those things. With the extra contrast, comes some extra pop off the page, comes from life and energy that the drawing would never have, otherwise. Keep that in mind. The color drawing's wonderful, but those darks are what makes it, in my view. Now I want to show you a little demonstration of how I actually physically go about this. Now, this is a drawing that I did in Porto few years ago. This is their riverfront promenade. They call it the Ribeira, with a b. I'm going to use this Fude fountain nib to show you how quickly, and casually I'll come in and add some dramatic darks to a rather thin line drawing. Here's the river over there. I'm going to come in and put some shading on this tree, and you'll see that this doesn't cover everything uniformly, and that's why I like to use it on this type of thing. It looks a little scratchy and I like that. I like for it to look a little more handmade and less refined. See how that's scratchy. I just enjoy that nice, informal look to things. These branches are going to be shaded under the canopy. I'm going to show them like that and pull it on down to the trunk, I think, on this one. It looks pretty good. There we go and wrap it around these people who are sitting at this table here. We'll give them some legs under the table. Since they're in shade, I don't have a problem just drawing them black and put a shadow under the fellows themselves. I like to come in and do some of these figures in black just to get a sense of overlap. Actually, this whole figure might be better done that way. We'll do one over here and then keep adding those things as we're going along. There's a bridge here that the underside of the superstructure is going to have a little bit of shade on it. There's the lower pedestrian promenade, and there's an upper deck here for cars. It's fun. Let's just keep moving along with this. I'm going to put some dark pants on some of these folks, not because they're particularly wearing dark pants, but because I want to get a little bit of variation in here, some contrast going back and forth and in and out with these lights and darks. I do not want these dark areas to look like I've just gone in and filled them with paint or something. Some shadows under them. Here's a fellow sitting in a chair out here in the middle of nowhere. Good enough, and we'll keep moving along. I showed you on the Lisbon sketch a moment ago how I like to darken underneath umbrellas and also retail and gallery shop windows on the first floor of buildings, but I like to have some variation in that, not just big rectangles of black because that looks about as bad as it sounds. No, you want to have some figures or some signs or something breaking that stuff up so that, shadows under the umbrellas, you don't have just big boring areas of black. That's pretty oppressive. What else do we have here? There's a canopy here. I'm going to put some darks under that canopy, and it'll also help pop out these umbrellas down here at this end. Now, these overhanging eaves are in deep shade so I'm going to use the pen to darken those up. You can see I'm leaving plenty of white in there. It almost acts as reflected light or something, which is a nice look for something like this. There are some street lights along the promenade, like so. How do we want to flash that out? Let's pull it straight down, a little bit thicker pole at the bottom than at the top. We'll give it some cast iron flourishes. Let's see, how did I do that? I did it like this. That looks pretty good. Shadows under these balconies. Again, the rougher the better for something like this in my way of thinking about it. What else do we have? We've got more darks under the umbrellas here. I'm just going to informally play that out this way. Ground shadows, I think, are important to a drawing like this. Not just because they would be there, but because they help create an L-type composition here, a frame, to help that foreground. We'll put a couple of little smudges and dots in there. How are we doing? I think we're doing pretty good. A couple more shadows just to ensure they're receding into the background there. We'll put a little bit of dark around her hair. Folks, I think that that's about it. I'm looking for something else to add to this. Maybe some quick window strokes as my pen runs out of ink, but this is a good place for it to run out of ink because I'm pretty much done. Now, sometimes I'll come back in and just add some tones on the shaded side. One last trick that I want to show you is I don't always do this, but sometimes I'll come in and just darken the outer edge of a building like this just to give it a little more definition against the sky there. That would actually probably come down a little bit further. I could just mix for a little more dramatic look for the whole thing, and we're done. That's how I go about this. Now you know one of Jim's key secrets for getting a lot of life and energy into those drawings. It's the contrast. It's those dramatic darks. Be bold my friends, don't settle for mediocre, go for those dramatic darks. Now let's get back to the park and get some color on that drawing. 15. Watercolor for Emphasis: Now, we're ready to start putting on color. But we don't always have time for a full-blown planar painting, setting up an easel and all that business. More often in urban sketching, you really want to focus on storytelling. What's your idea and how can we use color strategically to help underscore that? Let's use color in such a way that it really pumps up our composition and focuses on that area of interest. Let's do a little color jump around so that we can minimize color and yet tie the whole thing together. Let's jump in and give it a shot. Here's our site. We've got that foreground tree upfront. Don't want to make too much of that in terms of color. You can see the yellow umbrellas back there and the roof of the tiki hut, the sky, the water. That's really where we're going to want to concentrate all of this, is in this central area here. This foreground tree, not so much, it's acting very well as a frame, but we don't want to call too much attention to it. We want the focus to be right in here. Yeah, maybe some sky around those background buildings. I think that that's going to work very nicely. We want an area of emphasis where these two people are walking here like we talked about in the black and white drawing. If we're ready, let's go ahead and get some Naples yellow, maybe a little bit of cad yellow together with it, and we'll just start working through this thing. We're going to start on the palm trees. You may remember, almost anytime I do vegetation in this southern part of the world and most parts of the world, there's yellow and most of it, and especially in these palm trees, and so I'm going in with an undercoat of Naples yellow with just a little bit of cadmium yellow in there. That's looking really nice. I'm using that same color wash to be a foundation wash on the thatch hut of the tiki hut there, that roof rather. That'll give us a glow that shines through. That's always a nice effect to have. A little bit more yellow. Yeah, I'll just spread it across there. I'm going to get some sienna light to work on top of that and give it a little bit more of a reddish tone that I think will be helpful. There's a little bit more of that. The very nice almost a rust color, but I'm going to go back on top of it with some Mayan orange. Look at that. It's pretty close to a cad red, but it's Mayan orange. It is a little yellower than cadmium red and it's going to give me a nice little red highlight in that corner. Coming back with some ultramarine just to give some color variation to that thatch roof. There's a purplish red down here in the corner that I really don't have any idea what it is. I'll try to figure that out and let you folks know, but in the meantime, we're going to wash all this over, come in and pick up a little more Mayan orange for this corner on the right. There's a little ultramarine blue and a little cobalt blue. I really like how that Mayan orange and the cobalt blue work together in situations like that just to give a little bit of color variation, a little bit of interest more than would have otherwise. Now, here's our water. Let's come in and make sure that we're emphasizing that back there. That's one of the strong ideas here. You can see it back there under the umbrellas. This park, this tiki bar wouldn't work at all if it weren't on a little peninsula sticking out into the water. I'm coming in with some really nice cobalt teal blue and then some cobalt blue right along the top there. Looking good. A little more yellow. Let's come back with these background palm trees and put some green on these over here. We've got the yellow down. Let's put the green right on top of it. That yellow is mostly dry now. You can see the yellow shining right through that green and it's a really nice effect. I've been doing trees on the south this way for quite a while. There's some spring green and a little bit of deep sap green that I'm mixing together there. You're going to see me vary this up just a tad too. There's some cobalt blue that I'm putting on the tree. I like to put in some cobalt blue and even some purples. Those aren't colors we'd necessarily see looking up at the palm tree, but our brain registers that and it just makes it more interesting to look at. It gives a little bit of life and sparkle to that drawing. Now, I'm putting in some very light greens for some of the background. Back there. There's some vegetation that some of it's blocked in the real scene by the bar and the roof of the bar. I want to indicate that some of that background is there, but I don't want to call too much attention to it. I don't want to have a lot of texture and I don't want it to be a color that stands out because of its brightness or darkness. I just wanted to be barely hinted at. Now, I'm coming in with some of that cad yellow for the umbrellas. I just love how those complement all the cool colors of the vegetation and the water. Any time I come across those in a scene, I like to really make the most of them. Here, I'm going in pretty thick with that watercolor and you can see I'm just taking it directly out of the pans rather than mixing a lot of water with it. There we are. Those are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing. Now, I'm coming in on this little cap across the top of the roof of the Tiki Bar, it's brownish, you can see it up there now. I'm coming back and using that burnt sienna light again, just giving it a natural tone. Now come back on some of this tropical vegetation and, stop the palette from sliding, hit it with the yellow as we did with the palm trees, so that that yellow will shine through the greens when we come back and add the greens. There's real life. You see all kinds of big, coarse textured plants in their. Palms and agaves and whatnot. Now we'll add a little green on top of that. This really isn't the focus of the sketch, it's a little high for that. We're putting in the green, but we're not making it really, really bright or dark necessarily. Now we're going a little bit more intense down here. This is, you may remember, what we want to have as our area of emphasis with those two walkers there. Some of the darks and I'm going to add a little extra color to some of those tropical plants, beefing up some of the background as we see on the other side of the Tiki Bar over there. Little darker on that background vegetation, and there's my funky purpley red that's going to be a color right there in my area of emphasis, that could be an Alizarin crimson or any number of things, but it's going to do the trick. Coming back in with that cad yellow deep, and I'm probably going to adjust that at some point because I don't think it's going to be bright enough for our area of emphasis. This is what I call color jump. I'm taking some of that red, in this case mayan orange, putting it up in the corner there. I'm going to bring some down to this fellow down by the water, and you can see with that original red that I put in that on the building and that down on the bar patron on the right, there's a triangulation there. Repeating those colors helps give the drawing a finished look, even though it's obviously not colored everywhere. That's a nice little trick. Now I'm putting in a little yellow and green on that foreground very, very quickly, brushing it on almost dry. Not adding a lot of water to this stuff at all. There's little more of that burnt sienna light that I'm putting on the palm trunks. There's the other one on the other side. Let's go in with a little ultramarine and a little Alizarin crimson, some Prussian blue and make me in my shadow color here, watch this, pow, right across with that horizontal ground shadow that you've seen me use so many times. This is a nice way to put together a shadow color, It's largely Prussian blue and Alizarin crimson, and I've used that for years for shadows and shade areas, putting a little brown on that bar back there now, and I think we're getting right down to the end of it. Might help that foreground tree if I put a little yellow and green on the far left side over there. I do think that that helped. Now, we're going to add a little sky to the background back here, starting with just some clear water and wiping it around those background buildings, being careful not to to get any water on the buildings themselves. Now I'm going to come in with some of this cobalt teal blue mixed with a little bit of cobalt blue and just drag it around the edges of these background buildings. I don't want to paint the buildings in this case, I want them to recede into the background. So I'm just going to paint around them with this faint sky, and that's working together with that gray marker that I used on the buildings themselves just to show the floor separations. There's a little extra cobalt on that corner, something that I tend to do a lot just to strengthen that corner, and I think that's pretty much got it. That's looking pretty good, but let's not forget the splatters, a little extra energy going in there. I don't know why I'm attracted to that type of looseness, but I am and works pretty well. Now I'm adding some shadows to these cadmium yellow umbrellas. I think that, yeah that's a mixture of my Prussian blue and Alizarin crimson. It's not looking dark enough to me. Let's go back. What do you think? Add a little bit more? I think so. Yeah, there we are. Let's go ahead and darken those up just a tad. Now, take a look at this foreground tree and you see that appendage hanging down from that horizontal part, that's aerial roots like these. These banyan trees are all over the park and these aerial roots are very typical for these trees all over the Sarasota and South Florida region. I'm going to have some creative editing and just draw a few of these aerial roots coming down from that branch so that when people who are familiar with this part of the world look at this drawing, they'll say, ah, yes, Sarasota, banyan trees, I know them well, and there's the little one, the existing one hanging down there. There we have it, I'm pleased with how this came out. I'll likely tweak it a little bit back in the studio as I often do, but that's a wrap. Well, I hope you enjoyed that. That's a way that many times I'll be able to get a little color on the drawing without spending a tremendous amount of time and still be able to tell the story. That finishes our demonstration sketch. Let's go back to the studio and wrap up. 16. Conclusion: Here's our finished sketch. I'm pretty pleased with it, but like almost all my sketches, I'll tweak it a little bit once I get it back in the studio or the hotel room. I've darkened this shadow a little bit right here. I've added a few darks and I've tried to enhance the intensity and the contrast of this area of emphasis that we discussed. I use some white gouache to make this gentleman's jacket white to contrast with those blacks. I've heightened the color a little bit on this plant, and on this area of the trunk, so that this whole little focal point really becomes more prominent and draws the eye right to it. One of the hardest things to do on a sketch like this is walkaway, but that's what I'm going to do, we're going to call this one done. Congratulations. You've not only learned a lot of the secrets of composition and how to apply them, but you've learned how to look at the real-life three-dimensional scene in front of you and translate it in a believable way onto a flat sketchbook page, and that's pure magic. I want to leave you with this thought; composition since the depth are very powerful tools to help take your sketching to the next level, but they're just there, they're tools. The real secret sauce is the sense of fun, the sense of curiosity and wonder that you bring to this process. Stay loose. Leave all that self-consciousness at the door when you go out and just have a lot of fun with this. If you do that, the sketches that result are going to be authentically yours. They're not going to look like anybody else's, and that's the best reason for doing this. If you needed permission, this is it. Go out. Have a great time. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Be sure to post your progress in the project gallery. If you're interested in seeing more of my work, you can follow me on Instagram at jrsketchbook, I'd love to interact with you there. If you have time, write a review for the class, I'd love to get your feedback. With that, let's call it a day. From Siesta Key Florida, keep dreaming, keep drawing. Bye, bye.