Urban Sketching: How to draw buildings | Lasse Voss | Skillshare

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Urban Sketching: How to draw buildings

teacher avatar Lasse Voss, Actor & Illustrator

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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

8 Lessons (1h 7m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Simple Shapes

    • 4. Basic Buildings

    • 5. Urban Scene #01 (Without perspective)

    • 6. Urban Scene #02 (1-point perspective)

    • 7. Urban Scene #03 (2-point perspective)

    • 8. Class Project

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About This Class


If you wanna learn how to draw buildings in an urban sketching style, you'd come to the right place.
In this class I will teach you how to draw simple urban sketches of buildings.

You only need 3 things to get started:

  • Some thick paper of your own choice
  • A black pen with waterproof ink
  • And some watercolor of your own choice

We will begin the class by talking about the materials I use - before diving into the actual lessons of how you draw buildings. We will cover the most important topics such as simple shapes, perspective and last but not at least - 3 different urban scenes.




Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lasse Voss

Actor & Illustrator


Hi there! I'm Lasse Voss and i'm an actor and illustrator based in copenhagen, Denmark. I've been illustrating professionally for more than 10 years as a freelancer, I've illustrated for some of the largest companies in Denmark and I've been teaching art for about 4 years. 

I can't wait to share some different classes with you!

Music: https://www.bensound.com

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is the less fussed I'm an actor and an illustrative based in Denmark. In this class, I'll teach you how to draw buildings in an urban sketching stuff. I've been illustrating professionally for about 10 years. I've made books I've been illustrating for large companies I would seek. You have dropped beautiful illustrations without perspective, with one point perspective and with two point respect, stay tuned. 2. Materials: honestly at pencil will probably do. But in this clans, I've decided to use Onley, pen and paper and some water color at the end for the finished pieces is what I always use , and it's what I highly recommend others to use. 3. Simple Shapes: okay, I would strongly recommend you start looking at buildings like if they were made out of the most simple shapes you could ever imagine, because that is the very key. To speed up the process, you can basically create every single location out of the most simple shapes ever like squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, etcetera. It's that simple. Okay, so let's start with the square. The only singing concentrating on is to make the lines as straight as possible. Then let's draw some rectangles. Look at how overlapping the corners. That makes it a few more like an architectural drawing, and I like that I'm just playing around. Then let's draw some triangles, still concentrating on making the lines as straight as possible. Let's draw some cute little triangles at the bottom, all right, moving on to the last simple shape. I'm just drawing a circle and maybe some small ovals. In the next lesson, I will show you a ton of different buildings on Lee, using simple shapes. Stay tuned 4. Basic Buildings: basic buildings using simple shapes that's stopped right into it. Okay, lets Charles and simple buildings using basic shapes. So I'm going to start with number one. That's very simple. Draw a rectangle just like that and then make a triangle at the top. That's basically house we can add in some details. Just like that, You make no door. And two, it was here, just like that. The basic house. Let's draw another one. I'm to gonna start off with the right tangle again. Just like that. This time I'm gonna draw the house from the site instead off the front of you. So I'm gonna do is adding another right tingle here at the top. Just like that. You can add some teams here, maybe your door and some windows, and could also some lime white here just like that. That's a house from the site. All right, let's make another one three. This time. I'm gonna make right tangle big, just like that. This time I'm gonna make a line street in the middle and we can do two squares. And this time this is the house from the top. So this is actually the roof. We need to do to make some stripes right here, do the same to make the illustrations mawr like out more interesting to look at. We have to add some perspective, but there is, like this easy way where it's not like real perspective, but it's kind of cheating, but it still works. It will add some depth to your drugs, so let's try that. All I'm gonna do is to visuals that I'm drawing a rectangle, but I'm not going to do a top line here. All I'm gonna do is to add in, triangle on top, missing up on on the line right there. What I'm gonna do now is to make a line here. And the longer you make that line that long with house will be. I see just like that, just like that. Only thing that it's important to stress here is that you have to make, uh, that's called this one a one B in this one. See, the only important thing is that B and C have to be the same length, so they have to stop at the same point, and they have to be a bit shorter because the line here have to reflect the line over here just like that. And that is the most basic perspective you could ever make. Something like that. Yeah, something like that. Let's some ad in a door that sign, maybe window here. Thank you. Here. And that's joined some windows here. That's what. And maybe another door just like that. I can add in some details. Just that. And if you're lines here in there, that IHS basically an interesting during, let's make a building. Um, this building will be kind of similar to this one, but I will make it a bit colder. So this is standard old Scandinavian halves, which will look something like this. I'm going to start two lines just like that, and I'm gonna draw a line in here, and I'm gonna add in the triangle just like that, and then I'm gonna draw the roof. So will be just about that long. All that that longer had in a line make a line here. Let's add in some details to make this house look way older. His first add some thickness, draw a line here, and I'm gonna draw some clients right here. Just then I'm gonna troll line cross and drove some winds down. Here just happens. Details. Do these crosses like joints windows here? Way to do cross here and a door just like that way have across here Maybe some details at the bottom on another window and side have to windows here and door Te'o's then appropriations and details here as well. Just make a line. Make them straight. That's it. Good growing grass, Both science. Maybe a very simple tree. So shaving that's drawn told. So it's time to make It's right here. Just like that. Still making the same tranquil shape went up here, here, here and the vertical Do this thistle is basic shape talk. Do trade across here Maybe, Yeah, let's trying three windows and we could do this Those here and we could to Windows This from this good doing knows more just here just to shave him, showing the reflections in the windows that alone make it more believable since details on top here. Okay, let's make the most simple city ever just going Teoh draw up right angles here, like right here. And that's a small building right here. Just stream. Um, that's it's here, just like that just adding some details would make this believable. So make a lot of windows, and I'm just gonna do, like this. Makes lines that one. And some windows, this believable city. This will only take a couple of minutes, and then you have basically made a simple errands catch. Sounds about right there again. So from that details just just like that, maybe. See this one? A basic city. Let's draw church. This will probably be like asking the neighbor church. Um, let's try. Just look at those basics shapes. It's just a way to make a finished drawing. Something like that. A small group here in time, straight landed this. I need to see this Que that. And, um, truancy saves here at just like that nose down here. War shave. Been those. Make it just like that. A bit of detained here. That's church. Let's make so this time that C. It's been a few just like that. Do that one more time. That's and I get a window. Maybe right when, uh, a few lines here made square details more. Let's do something kind of treat young. It's trying to do yes, small, just like that okay, that's drawn on ancient building. So I'm gonna do is to draw like this white rectangle like that, Um, and then adding, like this kind of we're shame. Um, roof Just quite beautiful. Quite ancient like, Just like that line straight across share. That's ahead, You hear? That's Let's make taller, man. Let's do it. Once again, it's adding some details. I could do that Seem the same. Basically, I'm just playing around here, just trying to make it more interesting. Teoh, look at Yeah, draw show lines down here, troll like this window here and just windows in the side that here, Maybe you should see what clock is again. Um, here. Yeah. Made in house. 5. Urban Scene #01 (Without perspective): urban scene number one. In this lesson, I will teach you how to draw the most fantastic illustration Onley using simple shapes and without any kind of respect. The only rule is that I'm aiming to finish sketch within 10 minutes and then coloring within five minutes that start. Okay, so this time I will ignore perspective completely. Let's see if we could do it in 10 minutes. I'm going to draw pretty iconic place and Denmark cold knew how so I'm going to start off with a few lines here. Just about sheer Stop it. Like right there that I'm gonna make another one. Stop here again. Draw further down and in another one right here. Okay. And, uh, I'm going to drop like this boat here. Just I can't really see everything that's going on. I'm just guess I'm just messing around. Just like that pace. That was the first step. You're gonna drawing some things here so I can see there's a lot of is going down here. Then I'm gonna makes shadow right here like that. I'm just gonna start here building to be right here, girl, just like that. This is threat bowling and blue bowling is a bit taller, just like that. Around the same with. And then there's a building and has quite the same height as the red one. So just kind of to a line here, just that I have this funny little building. So it starts with a short, straight line. Then it goes here in a straight line again. Noticed. Told us that one a bit shorter. Um, and then it goes out. Why that that And has this short, short line here. Then it's a bit wide it than on the other side. And, um, then we have another building which is pretty much as tall as one. Quite sure, but at least as short. Yes, but at least us tools that let's just wants to that. And you can see there is some whitespace trust. Second line right away. Okay. And, uh, it goes down here. And then there is a white building that is almost as wide as that one. I'm not not excited. His wife so so me, Mike, That and we have, uh, green building. Just it's not as tall as the white one. Um, and then we have Okay, yellow building around here. right. So that's it. Um, and then I'm gonna draw your roots. Um, so I can see that this one has a roof which is not as tall as the blue. So I will stop it right here, just like that. And, uh, then I'm gonna draw gonna do this shape just like that Just because I'm ignoring you with respect to and I'm probably gonna do Samos well here. Probably just doing this on. And then there's some roof behind this which is lowers just around here. Um, once again to this pretty much the same height and blue building over here. Oh, we have this, like, weird shaped groove where it's like that. And then once again, going in something like that, it's a bit Tallet on the red building, something like that. And in a straight line here. Then we have a roof here and a roof here. Yeah, that should basically that's drawings and details. So let's we have some windows here with a small trying on top on the same here. We have three of them on this building. So one here, one in the middle, Dan on the right. We have three. A swell you try to make them just like that? Nothing in this one and four on that one without triangles on top. So it's more like a straight line on top, just like that? Just that. And three, this one look here and sheer and on the green long. We have to help them. And they are probably triangles. I can't really see it. And then we have something here that's drawn. I'm just guessing right now. I can't see it on a picture. Okay. And now, to drawing some windows, we could do that quite fancy. Like Countem. There's Fife. Small appears one to four and in a straight line cross just and to we're here. We have, like, five of those times. Three. Let's try that one to three, three, four, three and five. It doesn't have to be perfect. This just great, All right. And, um, some told ones on the bottom like I can't really see him because we have these, Like, shaves all across like that, not counting them. I'm just like I'm asking around here, Something like that. I definitely see that wants something. She That's okay. Let's move on. Five windows again. 12345 gets older. Okay, so here we have one in the middle. Like that shirt there, then we have three. Sure. And three. We have four to three and four, and we have five. This 112 three for 12 spree, um, straight. And three small right here and door. And we have swollen nose. One, three, and four straight point. And okay. And we have five on the green one hears 12 and way Have some shapes again. Three. And for I cannot last one here. I'm guessing that far. Something like that. Okay. And then we just need to, like, make this look like water. So I just like messing around with lines just like here and pagan a few lines here that on doing some skies then again, doesn't have to be perfect. So now the sketch is finished. Now we just need to make some colors on. Let's see if we can do that within five minutes. Okay, so let's start with the red building. So I'm just peace is just putting in some rent quality here and right there, and you can see a bit of that right down here all right. And then we are we having a blue and a yellow house and a blue house and then a rat one, and that is only rent on top off that line, years just kind of put in some right here, just like there and laughing boys around suddenly rules. But the roofs roofs are kind of a mix between Brown Paret. So that's let's try to make that happen. So just like that, that is basically right. It iss so it's just too bad very quickly, just like that, that over here that will do all right. And from next caller, which, Yes, blue, That's, uh, that's drawn. This blue looks very dark, but I'm confident it will be a bit lighter when it dries something like that. Maybe a bit down here. Well, just the yellow house and then one. So just just like that, I see it here's using blow Can do, uh, water as well. So just a few lines here, there, like that expression just like that. That looks quite interesting. So I'd still a yellow house here, you know, just like that. And, uh, and then again on the last one over here, just like then. Yeah, I'm happy with that. And there is this White House, which is pretty much like this. Weird, like, sandy color. Something like that. I'm just gonna draw it like this. Weird yellow, just to make it a bit more interesting, because why does It's not that interesting A bit bottom of that one as well. Just like what state? There. I just need to get, um, black into some blue and then paint in the boat here. You can do shading us. Well, just to make it a bit more interesting. Give it a bit more death, just like that disguise. So just up here, that feeling in colors shadowing. Now we pretty much have finished piece. But what I like to do just to make it more interesting, it's actually using some of the same colors to do some splashes. So I'm just gonna, like, do that here and there. Not too much. Just a little. Yeah. Finished urban sketch within pretty much 15 minutes 6. Urban Scene #02 (1-point perspective): I haven't seen number two. That's time to make a sketch of Standard City with one point perspective. I'm still aiming at 10 plus five minutes. Let's begin. Okay, so let's try to draw this really simple, um, one point perspective city starting with an eye level line, like, pretty much straight in the center. So around sheer. And then I'm drawing a vanished point, which would be around there. I'm just gonna be a drawing this symbol rope. So a line straight across towards the corner. Um, maybe one more right there and then one towards you hear something like that? I'm just gonna symbolize any year. Just think unit event. Just make it bigger. And I'm gonna do this. I'm going to girl online. More sheer. Um, let's start to make a few lines. Just make it a bit more interesting. Notice how there is, like, less room between the lines here, and there's here. That's perspective. Same here. Some like that. That will do. Okay, let's join some buildings. So I'm going to start on the left side here with basic building, just like drawing straight line here and it tore chili. Then I'm just gonna draw like that's torch the vanishing point. Um, maybe I'm gonna try, like, a roof here, something like that. And then there could be some space between this building and the next one. So control that right here, and I'm gonna drive a bit taller, so Yeah, Strong. Right here, roof. And, um, throw that towards Steven. It's important, like that be building here. I just think that mom, that's make a door. So could straight line here, Um, and may point towards managing. That's give it some thickness just like that from straight line here. And to give it some depth through second line right here. The doors here. And, uh, let's do like, there is this one step outside, something like that. Just sketch it. Okay? And a quick drawer that a few Okay. And on the other side, trump this building right here, pointing towards vanishing point and roots right here from and we can troll like a door still pointing towards the vanishing point. Remember that all the time. Um, just makes tales that maybe when Thohir at some space Mr Line away here at some space once again. Andhra second, building taller behind here. Something like that make a room for me and pointed towards Branching point. I just just, um this time it could make, like, a garage or something like that. Maybe we could have door on this side, and maybe you could have, like, this large window. Um, And then we could add some windows here. Actors just here. Yeah, that will do small ones in this as well. Details. And let's make another building like here. Yeah, that will probably do just for him. We could add in some trees behind here and there, just like that over here. And maybe you could have some told buildings, like, way back in the background here. Just like that with here? Yeah, that that will definitely. That's trying some clouds. Just make it more interesting. Who could on some, like, make this four by some details. That will do. That's, uh, joins, um, colors. So I will use one for the skies. So just adding a bit of color in here that Yeah, like that. It's and darkness on these shadowy science Just maybe on that one, too. Yeah. Okay. And, um, that's juice. Like this. Red brownish color. Uh, drawing a few more buildings. Just add some color. Yeah, that's Yep. Already looking better. That won't do. Just for That's a bit of color on the roots that maybe a bit on the road. A swell that, Um just as a final touch, I room make some splitter alike splendor. So just like that and maybe some of the gratis Well, just make it a bit more interesting. Yeah, that's it. 7. Urban Scene #03 (2-point perspective): urban scene number three. This time I will soon in a bit, sketching a single house with two point perspective. All right, We're still aiming at 10 plus five minutes and that you leave in enough room. Teoh, add some more details than the other scenes. Okay, so this time I'm going to make a house in two point perspective. The first thing I'm gonna do is to make and I love line and to vanishing points. So that's basically it. Um And then I'm going to draw, like, just a simple building in two point perspective. So everything on the left side off very choline is pointing towards the vanishing point on the left side, and everything on the right side off a vertical line is pointing towards the right arm vanishing point. So let's try to make this kind of interesting. So yeah, that's try just to symbol building here just like that. Let's pointed towards the vanishing point on that side. Same with roof here, just like that. That is basically a really simple drawing. Let's try to add in some detail. So, um, this site I will make a new line here, which is pointing towards defending Sing point on that site. And I will do the same here just to make it a bit more difficult. Something like that. Oh, and then let's just, like, continued towards that side over here. And at that point, waken make the details. So I sat in the roof. Okay, I would like some windows. So first of all, I'm gonna draw some different windows here like, really huge when knows just like that. And I'm gonna draw these lines here and the same on yet site just like that. Just making them figure to make it a bit more interesting to look at on and on this site. I am going to make, like, these two windows just like that. Just making sure that these lines appointing to once the vanishing point just like that. Yeah, I like that. Um, just to make it a bit more interesting, why door this site which will have this top window, like, right here. And the door is like that pig. Something like that. Um, no, I have this small window right here, and I have another one right here. Something like that. Um, we'll have this curved line sheer like that we can add in some pushes and do the same site just to make it stand out a bit and some trees in the background here. So just just like that should treat right there. 23 So here, um, let's join some small plans. Yeah, some crass. Maybe. It's true. Sign here. Maybe around like that. And, um, that's Troy. Just like a simple step right here and just stones and details here. Grass, grass and some sky ice. That's a color it in. Let's start with the skies. All right, here, just around the truth here, around the house, in the same on your side, just like that. Let's do the windows. So there was a window right here and a window here, window here way she joined over here something like to have some some warm colors. So I think that I will apply some would colors on this side of the house just like that and do the same on this side. That great Irish caller on the other sites. So just just like that? Yeah. Yeah, that will do. I will definitely do maybe a bit on the roof that right now it's painting trees collars to them. That's, uh, then the grants. Just just around your in here. You don't have to kill everything in to write, to leave some white space. That then some sandy color here, just like that. That's the finished piece. 8. Class Project: At this point, you should have a basic understanding off how we can sketch buildings using only simple shapes and simple respect. So now it's your turn. Prayed a quick sketch of your own favorite location. It can be from photo, but I would like if you were sitting out there in real life sketching out your favorite scene. I love that when you have finished piece, please uploaded with a photo off that location. I would love to see things we're watching.