Architecture made easy. Urban Sketching - 4 approaches to sketch buildings and cityscapes easily | Barbara Grünenfelder | Skillshare

Playback Speed

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

Architecture made easy. Urban Sketching - 4 approaches to sketch buildings and cityscapes easily

teacher avatar Barbara Grünenfelder, time is art

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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      perspective key elements


    • 5.



    • 6.

      warming up and first approach


    • 7.

      from one line to the next


    • 8.

      light lines first


    • 9.

      draft with dots


    • 10.

      color areas first


    • 11.

      and now


    • 12.

      bonus forstweg part 1


    • 13.

      bonus forstweg part 2


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

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.





About This Class

A city scene may be overwhelming to sketch and perspective may not be your favorite topic. How can it be more satisfying and fun? In this class, I cover the 3 main aspects of perspective that are useful to have in mind when drawing from observation. Then I show you my 4 favorite approaches to draft and sketch architecture and cityscapes with ease and (hopefully) playfulness.

(I am not satisfied with the sound- and video quality and working on improving it.)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Barbara Grünenfelder

time is art


I love to draw and paint, move and explore. i teach creative classes with adults and work as a coach. Drawing, painting and sewing for me are ways to explore both the outer and inner worlds, to deeply connect with life, to sharpen my awareness and to celebrate my playfulness. I am an urban sketcher in bern, switzerland.


about my classes:

at the moment, all my skillshare classes are about urban sketching. since 10 years ago, i teach many urban sketching classes on location, and every one is different, as i adapt them to the participants. there are some main topics that are important again and again, and some topics are fascinating just once in a while. most classes here are the essence of my on location classes in and around bern.

the most important abi... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

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.


1. Intro: what makes sketching architectures challenging for you? How can we make these challenges easier? Hi, and welcome to this skill shake loss. My name is Barbara Green and Felder. I am an urban sketcher in Bern, Switzerland. Andi, I teach urban sketching classes in Ben. Since eight years ago, I often recognized the same challenges when sketching architectures Andi in this class, I addressed them in the field, off perception and with different approaches. This class begins with four lessons about different aspect off, looking at cityscapes and architectures, a warmer blessing and then four approaches to draw any piece of architecture in the bonus lesson. It's a full length video How I draw this sketch. This class is for you if you struggle with architectures or perspective, or if you want to be inspired by a new aspect or approaches. 2. seeing: this course is about drawing from observation, so seeing what is in front of you is key. I have a whole skill share course about warming up exercises for urban sketching, with exercises for turning into a drawing appropriate seeing mode. It may be useful for sketching or hitech chur as well. Here, use a girl's simplification for to seeing modes the left brain with logical thinking, symbols, language. Most people are there in their working mode. Andi. It often inter first with seeing what is really in front of us on the right brain for the direct observation off itches, shades, impressions, what touches the eyes and senses directly in this course, we will approach seeing from five angles as a tool to check angles and proportions. I introduce a view finder with lines. I will explain three perspective key points to observe when you look at the building. Choosing the viewpoint is key for the message of the sketch. The line exercises with the continuous lines can serve as a warm up to change in tow, a drawing appropriate seeing mode. In the different approaches, we deliberately focus our attention and eyes to certain aspect off the whole abundance around us. Seeing and perception is such a complex thing. It makes urban sketching easier where we can choose consciously instead of being overwhelmed or overloads the sketch. 3. viewfinder: to estimate all the strange angles that occur when you look at architectures, you can use a view finder you can easily make you find there with transparent plastic from a package. Or so you need only a small piece me, the pen that stays on plastic and some paper or tape for the frame. It may be useful to make viewfinders in the proportions you want to sketch if you want to use it as a viewfinder for our purpose. Here we need some horizontal and vertical lines. You can align the vertical lines with the verticals off buildings, and then you can see that the angles that, um, occur this foreshortening. I recommend a viewfinder for learning how to see, for very fact, firing what I tell you about perspective, but not for the whole drawing process. I would take it for about 3 to 5 most essential lines and then put it away. Andi a able the rest off the angles. Otherwise, drawing is very tech, technical on, left brained on bond, not so much fun as if you do it. Just just eyeballing and playing around 4. perspective key elements: you can draw everything just from observation on din, complex sceneries or on uneven places. This is even more necessary. But there are three things I found always useful to look at when sketching architectures the eye level line punishing lines, for instance, in window rose or roofs. Andi, if I see a door balcony window from left or right above or below in this unit, we explore these three elements with different examples. So you know what key points to look at carefully when you draw architectures from observation? Look at the eye level I had when I took this picture on this even place. It connects the eye levels off all the other adults as well. The punishing lines on and if I see upon or below things depends on my eye level as well. Vanishing lines connect elements at the same level. For instance, windows. They meet at the eye level line. If they are above my eyes, the lines go down below my eye level. They seem to rise up to the eye level line the same key points again. The eye level line one ish ing lines from above Andre finishing lines from below. Andi look how you can see upon the benches that are below eye level and under the roofs that are above eye level. One more example with one vanishing point, the eye level line when issuing lines from above on banishing lines from below. Here, as in the examples before the buildings are other parallel, so the vanishing lines meet in one run ish ing point. If the walls are not parallel, you have us money. When ish ing points as you have directions. For example, the finishing lines off the diagonal wall on the right hand side, they meet at a different vanishing point outside, off the left side, off the picture, but still on my eye level line. Here we look at the corner on BBC two bulls, so there are two directions off vanishing lines. The eye level line punishing lines of off. I level in two directions. Andi vanishing lines below eye level. If you draw window casing stores or balconies, it may be important to look exactly which parts you see on the left hand side. Off your eyes, you see the left window casing on the right hand side of your eyes. You see the right window casing from above. You see the floor off a balcony and from below you see the ceilings. You need not know these concepts by heart. But remember the three key points when you see and draw. If you find it difficult, you can practice seeing with your few finder. It's not about theory, but about seeing what you really see in front of you. 5. viewpoints: as a life in general. Choosing your viewpoint has a huge impact on the impression off your sketch experiment with different angles and sectors. How do you experience diagonal angles compared with the rectangular view in re jangled us The beauty of a building show Best Onda roof scape. You can explore different viewpoints and how they changed the message of your sketch, and you can choose a small section in a straight angle to simplify, sketching or play with a complex scene. 6. warming up and first approach: one liners on blind control drawings are a quick and easy way to gettinto, a convenient seeing and strolling mode here as a chest to exercises to warm up. The continuous line technique is also useful for travel, and every day's catches on the left hand side is blind control drawing. I started four times at the left edge and followed certain contours to the right side, looking only at Stowe Landscape, not onto the paper. The different line reads, if the exercise, some depth on the right hand side, is a quick on liner. Off another place where I looked onto the paper only toe check the level off the roof line . The following demos were made from a photograph off the first place. They're your real time, rather slow, so you can get the feeling how this might slow down the way you see at the place. I begin on the left side because I'm right handed and I look only at the landscape and not on the paper. I draw my line by following the contours with my eyes on following the movement of my eyes with my pen. This will outs marched left brain on help me to just drool. What I what? I see. It's a bit difficult with these three I don't see so well. I follow the fine lines that I see killed. Doesn't matter. Just relax and play on a stroke. Thes lines with my eyes, just letting the pen stay on the paper. It's all about this eye hand coordination about moving the eyes slowly along the contours on following this movement with the pen, you could do it much slower than I do. It's year you can do with indifference. Pete's on tryout, which speed is most suitable for you. - I begin on the left side because Ember, I attended Andi. I look about 80% or so at the landscape, and when did or uh, Rangel's or lines, I check if they feet. I looked at the angles and the lengths off. My lines are more or less like in the landscape again. I can through a line twice if I need to come back, took place in the exercise before I e stroke the line. I see with my eyes on I follow this movement with my pen, and it's a bit like a puzzle. The lines I choose to follow are just what jumps into my ice. And I tried to stay about in in the middle because I know I've been come back with other airlines. This was my first like now I'm like a single line of it behind. How much of a whore ice in here just follow light and shadow. Here are some interesting shapes. I still look about 80 or 90% on the landscape on about 10% on the sheet. So I check when I'm at stuff that's there. I'd ditch now I take my felt pen for the foreground. Where did he is? The most contrast. Let's throw most lines. Condor, us STD date or as little two days is one. I just went through the the wall who gets to the's square shape. I have a lot of time to draw. I can do every window and every day. But for this demo, I just follow some quinto lines and discount over here. Well, uh on and the lightest artisan I find for her I since Rather's a lot, probably you begin with two or three on. If this was a travel skitch or you would like toa continue working on it. You could put in some windows here. You could add the three you cuts, just adds the d tastes you would like to add that that are impressing on this place, something you want to show to remember. 7. from one line to the next: in the last lesson, I showed the one liner as an exercise to warm up, as well as a fast and easy approach for quick sketches. In this lesson, we stay with lines. We go from one line to the next. I showed this in a video I made on location. Here's a compact lesson, and in the bonus lessons, you can observe the whole sketch evolving from the blank page to the end. In just 17 minutes, you can start in the middle or in the most important area, not knowing how much will fit on the page. Or you can begin at the niche or with the frame here in the demo, I make a dry run. I drove with my fingers where, on how big the house will be on the page, I begin, Mr Hydrant. Now I have a reverend size for all following distances, I can easily see if lines are longer or shorter than the hydrant. I drove the tree stems before the houses because they are in front of them, so the spaces reserved. I follow one inch off the other, and I add my lines where they meet previous lines or space like in a puzzle. Here I have a flat front of you with only for short earnings at the right hand side of the fence. This leads that you were into the picture. 8. light lines first: in this lesson, I shall one approach to make smaller steps by beginning with fine lines in colored pencil, you can measure the proportions off the object you want to draw by stretching out your hand and aligning a pencil with the objective draw. And you can compare the abroad and I how high it is here. I work from a photograph. A simpler way with the colored pencil would be to find simple shapes. I still try to get the whole tower onto the paper. This is about in the middle so I can start with this square on. Look at this. Embry. Yes. Below the middle off this square shape is this triangle that is about to isis wide one search down. Is this part of the roof on you? I just go down. I can't do diy taste. I think, Um, this line is interesting. It's very low. I know. Some measurements tower, it goes up. You here would be these small windows. You go on the bills looks That's all I needing. Colored pencil. The rest I can with think like in the last demo I used the lines I found usefully could go from one line or I can jump within. You know, lions as in the last stable. Okay, I have the big shapes. I take thin. No, I wanted to take this a bit to the left. Can emphasize the good lines. Andi, correct the bad lines on deep days, you know, shape off three. It doesn't much. I draw it. But here, my super roofs, I extend this much detail. Yes, I want. And this roof shape you just near the stock window. I see nothing because off three. And here is just a shadow. More shadow in it. And this arch be scorch decorated column nor church behind it. I continue you just with big shapes. This is important year. I like these special forms. I will check out the name of style in English, posted in the description. It's a very famous church. Better This small columns. My serve. I used this guy lines very freely. Still where they're useful on because they're so light. I can you stay or I can draw. Besides them, I feel in some shapes, like in the exercise before difference is that I have my hello guidelines. Shape is quite key. Just draw what I see and gets the impression What was the purpose off the demo justice? Enough. This is a no additional dick day. You can use the colored pencil if it's what soluble to shade. I can shades the shadow courts on other parts. I want to separate from the from the other sites. Principal I wanted to show you is toe make some essential guidelines. I did a little more the guidelines because the shapes are so complicated and then I really think over it, using the guidelines I wanted and in in uring the other lines. Now it's your turn. Try out the technique and I'm looking forward to seeing in the Class Project Gallery what you have done and toe answering your questions. 9. draft with dots: I promised you a technique with dots. I must admit I do this rather rarely, but I try to show it because it's it's useful. If you have only one pin, I make dots. I estimated before this part off the tower is about in the middle. I make adult tier adult tear the starts. Then it's three times this distance down to the trees and the easy shapes like an already skitch. You make the line tips. Meat oriented could make this nine a swell. And this one year is about square, then look gangly. And so I go. It starts about a year. Um, it's twice the width off the tower until year. Andi from year to this roof, it's about this angle. Now I have toe points where I want to join the other lines and I can job Then hands drawing days around, uh, his arch about from him. Here is the point off the roof on this is this. Oh, and then I'm not sure I can eyeball to distance on, but it looks okay. I control the lines, and if it's not okay, I can make new adults. I continue with tower here, draw this line. This line That's a look. No, I have thes parts. Probably the boat dots may be useful. These are these two. And here I have this for short turning. Want for short turning. It's a lot like this. This it must be steep. Broke in here can connect dots, connect the dots here, you hear? And he's you. D writes like this. It is. It's more like in the lesson before I just join the lines there. I see that day join or where I see image and when I and have windows or openings. The dots are practical to shared a space even e made dot Where those are No, I can estimate how brought this iss. This helps me to DOrtiz much more. Exactly. Yeah. I can make three dots to goods the foreshortening. Right u I find it rather helpful. Um, it's the corner off the roof. And you this He's interesting hat shape. No, I this year it's about as high as this window. Now this comes down. Yeah, Until this. And put game the windows. Now this wall is about like this Over here. Use this to No, I can complete the wall and appeared. This window is tiny bit Lord in this window, you have relying too much. Doesn't tous this roof here? I thought you collected. Now this is no work goes like this. There must go forward until here. Yes, He hated east end of through and so forth. I found most useful for these window rose. But you can. You used adults anywhere You're not quite sure or you want to share the space evenly. 10. color areas first: This is my favorite travels catching technique. I begin with the big areas in water color, and at some lines later it requires some watercolors on the brush. But it works as well with charcoal graphite blocks or the broadside off wax. Crean's in case off wax crayons draw with ball point pen or with them. Otherwise you could destroy your pen. You may use the same approach for people britches, bikes. The approach is to catch the big shapes with light lines. Andi, when you know where to draw the final lines, you putting the final lines and then you can add more rotor color and more finer lines, as you want. Toe i e. I begin with the proportions. The roof under the middle and tower is about this high like this. I drove, urging fine and Ralph Lines took it. Proportions. Um, in less complicated cases, I would just begin with the shapes I see for the church. I take a yellow so you can see it. I have this piece of the tower and this side I make to shadow sides on this side. You notice some chateau Oh, um, and for the roof. Okay, I just indicate some areas perspective, but the placement is more or less where it should be. And then I could let it dry on. Go over it, the think or I can take walked soluble colored pencils and draw with them, alerting because your soul you okay, work will on the wet paper us in the approaches before I can as main 80 days as I want, and I can follow the shapes of the pain pained or I I can draw all the lines. Then I can go back and forth this collar on lines colored lines. Play with these elements until I I find it's enough or I have Tony. Now I know you interesting shape a dog. This from these dunk part. I love this technique for travels catches because it's it's really quick on, very lose on so much fun. Here's another example from a travel sketch I started again. We fine lines in water color. Then I added some lines in pen. I went back again in water color and Penn and world the color back and forth until I found it's enough. Now this our noble house was a key. Please, in discovering this technique. I almost got overwhelmed by old details off the roof floor. Then I put in the red shapes that structured the walls. Now I could just indicate the major D tastes like balconies. Onda let the eye off. The viewer complements the wrist. Well, the big relief. I can just indicate some off the embellishments on, not everything. Now it's your turn. Find an interesting view, tried the technique out, and I look forward to seeing what you sketch or ask or tell. 11. and now: now you can mix and match and play with all these concepts. We went through the aspect off perception on the different approaches. Tu skitch. Choose what you like, what you want to practice. I invite you to have a look at my other classes at skill share. Warming up exercises for urban sketching goes deeper in thes exercises for seeing what is really in front off us on in the urban sketching winter workshop, I have a chapter with using a door frame or a window that might be interesting, and I'm planning classes for travels catching light white because I love, too, to track with the tent. I planned one about sketching mountains on drum, about sketching flowers. Thank you for taking this class on a good bye or hello in the bonus lessons or hello in, uh, Protect Gallery. 12. bonus forstweg part 1: 13. bonus forstweg part 2: