Travel Sketching Essentials: A Great Sketch in 5 Steps | James Richards | Skillshare

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Travel Sketching Essentials: A Great Sketch in 5 Steps

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Tools and Materials


    • 3.

      Thumbnails for Composition


    • 4.

      Simplifying the Scene


    • 5.

      Eyeline, People and Big Shapes


    • 6.

      Adding Details Part 1


    • 7.

      Adding Details Part 2


    • 8.

      Adding Darks


    • 9.

      Color First Wash


    • 10.

      Color Second Wash


    • 11.

      Color Details


    • 12.

      Color Finishing Touches


    • 13.



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About This Class

More than a hobby, travel and sketching are a perfect pairing, like great food and fine wine, that can expand our creative awareness, heighten our senses, and greatly enrich our lives and the lives of those we encounter. But complex urban scenes can be overwhelming. This class is the remedy!

You’ll learn my step-by-step approach to on-location sketching that dramatically simplifies a complex scene, saving you time and frustration, and making your efforts more effective and enjoyable. The techniques build directly on my first class, “Drawing People and Crowds Made Simple.”  Now we’ll take the next steps, adding a lively urban context.  I’ve taught this approach to thousands of students across the globe with great success.  By class’s end, you’ll have the tools to be successful as well.

You’ll learn:

  • How and why I start urban sketches by drawing people first
  • How to see architecture as simple, easy-to-draw shapes
  • How to simplify details without losing richness
  • How to build an ink line sketch full of life and energy, step-by-step
  • How to add richness with watercolor washes

This is a class for all skill levels; my students range from beginners to professional illustrators.  All enjoyed, learned and came away with new confidence, and so will you.  By the end of the class and completion of your project, you’ll have a firm grasp on my personal approach, tips and techniques, and be ready to learn more in the next class. So relax—this is going to be fun!

Meet Your Teacher

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James Richards

Author, Urban Sketcher, Travel Artist, Designer

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm James Richards and welcome. This is my second class for Skillshare, and I call it making a great sketch in five steps. Now, if you were able to take the first class and if you haven't, I hope that you will some time. You remember that we learned how to draw people and crowds. We nail proportions and we nailed how to create a sense of depth using only people and a sketch. A lot if you got in touch after that class and you said that you'd been too intimidated to ever add people to your sketches before. Then after the class you were Michelangelo, you're running around putting people in everything and I think that's absolutely wonderful. This time we're going to kick it up a notch and we're going to be drawing people, sure. But we're going to have those people in a really rich architectural setting, and this case a beautiful medieval towns center in Lucca, Italy. Absolutely stunning and what we're going to do is take this on-location sketch that I did in Lucca, and break it down piece by piece, step by step. We're going to start by finding an art line and adding some people, then we'll move on to finding the big shapes, so that we'll set up a framework for the whole sketch. Out of the big shapes we'll start to add details and we'll learn how to simplify those details so they're not so overwhelming and intimidating. Next, we'll add darks to add some contrast and pop. Finally, we'll add some color to add some real energy to the thing, lots of warmth and excitement. Now this is a process that I've used on locations around the world for decades. I have taught it in universities, to urban skechers workshops, to arts groups, and most recently to travel companies. I've taught people across all skill levels. If you are a beginner or if you're a seasoned veteran, you'll find things that you can use in here, I'll guarantee it. If you haven't met me, I'm a landscape architect and urban designer and a former university professor. I spent decades designing great places for people around the US. A lot of that involve travel and learning about the most important and iconic destinations and cities around the world by sketching them. Now I'm a full time travel artist and writer. I spend most of my time teaching workshops, destinations around the world to folks wanting to learn the very process that you're going to be learning right here. I think you'll enjoy it a lot. It's made sketching on location a lot more fun for me because you've always got a consistent place to start and you've got consistent helping guide posts as you put together the process. I really enjoy it and I think you will too. Thanks again for coming. I'm really, really honored that you're here. We're going to have a great time. In fact, I think that you're going to knock it out of the park. Let's find out what tools and materials we're going to be using and take it away. 2. Tools and Materials: Okay, now we're going to talk about tools and materials.If you're familiar with my work at all, you probably know that I work almost exclusively on location and line and wash and more specifically an incline and wash.I think that probably goes back to when I was a kid. Just immersed in comic books and Mad magazine and the work of the great illustrators, like Ronald Searle and Paul Hogarth and Franklin McMahon. Those types of people whose work I just ate up and tried to emulate. Later in life, I got to travel to the Far East and watch some great Chinese masters.The way that they use line in the way that it really made the drawing come alive.Not only the drawing, but each line took on life. That's what I strive towards. I built my tools and materials around being able to go after that. You'll see that it's not very complicated, it's relatively easy to carry around, so let's just walk through it. Let's talk about pens first this time. I ran out of space and the little net pouch that I always wear to carry the pens that I wanted. I got this little thing from Peg and Awl, which is my much nicer than I deserve but there you go. We're going to be using a couple of different pens and not sure if I'm going to do it in black or brown yet. I brought them all and let's just play around with them. That are good. This is just a little sketchbook that I can [inaudible] I use a lot of these Pitt Artist Pens, by Faber-Castell, largely because they come in a really nice brown called deep Sepia in a fine liner. That works very well for a lot of this Italian architecture that I like to draw. It just gives it this earthy feel that seems to go well with it. I will pair that with a footed nib. You see the little bit nib on this thing? Yeah, there you go. Like a calligraphy nib that can give me a real variation of line quality and character. I like to be able to do some quick fine line drawing and then come back and beef it up with some of these heavier lines or sometimes I might just use that footed nib as the only pen. Other times, let's say if I'm working in black, these Uni-Ball Eye Micro Pens are a very nice choice. All of these things that I'm showing you have waterproof ink. You'd see that's a very fine line, but it's thick and dark. When I say thick, I mean the blackness of it there is no gray or anything. It's just a really nice black line. I'll pair that with a footed nib as well. This is the favorite of a lot of Urban Skechers. This is a Bamboo Green by sailor and it's got a great nib bent at 55 degrees. Now, you want to check that some of these things that are sold come with a 45-degree nib as far as the angle of the bend and I don't like those at all. I do like this. 45 nib a lot. You can see with this sailor, my goodness, the variation of line, character and quality that I'm able to get with that thing. I recommend that one highly. Putting these things together, the thin and the thick is really all I need. I like to pair as I say, the fine and the thick, and really do some interesting things with them. Now, I mentioned waterproof ink. When you use waterproof ink, all of these things come with cartridges. But you will want to take that cartridge out and toss it and get one of these little converters that you can stick on. It allows you to dip that into the ink. Well, fill it up by turning this little handle here and you're full of waterproof ink. So Jen, you say, what kind of waterproof ink should I use? Again, lots of choices so many that it gets kind of confusing. Lately I have been using this De Atramentis for a few years now. Actually. They've got a Document Ink in brown and an Archive Ink in black and between the two of them, there's an Urban Gray that I like to keep a pen filled with. That gives you more of a graphite look. I enjoy that one quite a bit. There's inks and pens. Let's talk about paper. Out in the field I usually work in a sketchbook not always. Sometimes, I'll use a little pad or something like this. Main reason I'm showing you this just to show that we don't necessarily need something expensive to do this work with. This is a little $10 Watercolor Pad by Strathmore, relatively smooth paper, which is really good for the type of line work that I like to do. Then of course it takes the wash very well. All these things are 140 lbs, cold press. Remember that you don't want anything, I think thinner than that. Some people use 300 lbs. I don't think that's really necessary for taking out into the field. You can get a lot more, a 140 lbs in a sketchbook, then you can't have a 300 lbs. But cold press, I think is absolutely essential to use. This is one of the sketchbooks that I like to carry in the field. This is a Stillman & Birn Beta Series, Beta with a B. It's got a really nice smooth paper and yet it takes watercolor very well. This is one that I did on location in Key West. Lots of things going on here in terms of color variation and transparent shadows and that type of thing. You can see that it served me well. This one was done just down the road a little bit at Venison beach. You can see, even with that little Micro Eye Pen that I was showing you a minute ago, the line work is really nice and crisp. Then I'm able to come back over with the watercolor and knock it out of the park. Stillman & Birn Beta Series. [inaudible] you know that I like the Moleskine A4 watercolor albums. This is one that I took to Vietnam and some other places as well. But you know, one of the things that I really like about this is heavy watercolor paper, it's smooth to take the ink well. With this large size, I can break it up into several little, almost like cartoon panels to tell a story. I can do full-page pieces or a double-page spread to cut across the whole thing. That is a marvelous way to be able to work is just to have that flexibility as you're going through these things. If I'm going to be working in a studio or taping paper to a board. Again, cold press. This is a 11 by 14, the piece that I did for the cover of this class is done on this paper. It's a 140 lbs cold press and just a beautiful, relatively smooth cold press watercolor paper that allows you to do very nice ink line work and then wash over with the watercolor and have a spectacular looking piece. Let's talk about watercolor wash as them. Some of you know I buy a palette with empty pans. I use full pans as opposed to half pans. Go ahead and just put the colors in that I like to use. We won't use all of these, but I'll tell you that Naples Yellow by Winsor & Newton, is probably the color I use more than anything else when doing this type of scene, especially with a lot of stone architecture and it will use Alizarin crimson and Prussian Blue. Those are Winsor & Newton's as well. I think everything else we're going to be using are actually Daniel Smith colors. This is Cobalt Teal Blue, Ultramarine, Viridian, Palm Green. We won't use this. This is a Cad Yellow, deep Mayan Orange. I think this is deep Sap Green, Cobalt Blue. I use a lot of this is a neutral tint. I might use some burnt umber, might use some burnt sienna. That'll do us for this particular piece that we're going to be working on. As far as brushes, all you'll really need this my travel brush set by Escoda. Somebody got in touch with me after the last class and says you didn't tell us how expensive those were. I'm not recommending you go out and buy a travel set and from Escoda, that's just something that I've carried with me for a while. I don't think you'll really need anything for this class and beyond a number 12 round and a number 6 round. I like to have a little rigor brush like this one. It's almost like a hypodermic needle. It's synthetic, so it's got good snap to, it bounces back. It's a nice hard point and I think between those three brushes, you really shouldn't need anything else. That's all I've used in in working on this piece. Gather your equipment and let's go to work. 3. Thumbnails for Composition: We've got our materials, we're ready to go, let's get our sketch book page and start tearing it up. Not so fast, I want to talk a little bit first about the value of doing little thumbnail studies when you're out in the field. This is something that especially once I got involved in doing a lot of on-location work, saved me a lot of time and grief. We're going to look at an example for this particular project where we can work out the composition and the values also before we jump in, let's have a look. When I think about composition, one of the things I always think about first is Franklin McMahon. Franklin McMahon was one of the legendary artists reporters who was at the height of his game in the '60s, '70s and early 1980s and covered things like space shuttle launches and the Indianapolis 500. This is a drawing from the Vatican 2 Council from a book that he put together on that actually for the Catholic Church. You can see the stunning level of detail on this, but what always struck me about Frank was he wasn't tied to trying to capture the scene exactly as he saw it at that moment. In a situation like this where there's so much going on, he'd arrive early and drawing the architectural context and get his composition all worked out and what not on the paper. Then as the action unfolded, he draw that in once he already had the context in, and here you see the procession of this Second Ecumenical Council, this is in 1962. The cardinals walking in to the cathedral and you have to look closely to see him, but the Pope is right back here at the end of the procession. Its a really stunningly powerful drawing. This one, I'm going to show you a couple more, as you know, the Pope went on a world tour to talk about this, and this is when he was arriving in Mexico when people crawling all over the walls and gates and that sort of thing, just to be able to get a glimpse of what was going on there. Obviously, you can't freeze a scene like this in time, so there were things done before, things done after, some people were added in and whatnot in order to achieve the emphasis that he wanted to make in this drawing, trying to capture the energy of what he was seeing and trying to report. Finally, this is a drawing of when the Pope visited Auschwitz. Certainly a very powerful thing historically. Franklin got there again ahead of time and looked at low angles, eye level angles, high angles, whatnot, figured out what he wanted the composition to be and then drew it from this high angle so that you'd be able to see both inside the wall and outside the wall. He said that the photographer standing around commented on his ability to put himself into a visual position, he says, "impossible for them to capture on film." Now, this is what Franklin called a cubist approach. He says, the artists working as a reporter can search out the truth of an event through an added dimension of seeing, seeing around the corners, showing many facets of the same picture. Working on site, I can draw a place as I know it to be, rather than from only one viewpoint, heightening the reality through a cubism. If you remember, cubism that was really made famous by Pablo Picasso among others, you can be looking at a three-dimensional object and yet be able to see more than one side of it at the same time. That's what he's talking about here, is walking around the site, taking it all in, and then drawing it in a way that allowed him to make the most true statement about it that he could. That was his big advantage over photographers at the time. Now the best way to do that, in my view, is to walk around the site and create thumbnail sketches, like some of these that I've got here. These are from a symposium on Urban Sketching Symposium that we had in the Dominican Republic years ago. This was a workshop where we actually walked around and looked at all different aspects of the plazas and the architecture and whatnot going on around us. You can see that I got enamored with this view here, even though I decided ultimately on something else. What we were looking for was that moment when composition and story came together in such a way that it was the way that we could tell the truth the best. Here you can see I'm capturing a piece of sculpture, here are the plaza with a sculpture in the middle. Then I got to this one and I had this cool stone gate and I had a couple of really ornate buildings here. But between those buildings, almost like a little window here, you could see how the city behind it was not nearly as ornate, just a riot of color and texture. Much more residential and much poor than what we were seeing going on here. This was the story that I decided I wanted to tell and blow up to full size, which is what you see here. Here you can see the stone gate, men walking on the sidewalk, cars in the street and whatnot, and then these are ornate buildings on either side and here's where I wanted the focus to be. That's where I have the most dark, that's where I had the only color, just about really. There's repeated in a couple of spots in order to pull the composition together. but I thought this was pretty successful in telling that story. I wasn't as successful in getting the whole thing to fit on the page, so I had to add the top of this little tower later and that's just an inside joke that sometimes I show folks and sometimes I don't. Thinking about this church plaza that we want to draw in Lucca, Italy. I took a look around lots of different angles and whatnot, thinking about how I might capture this thing. This was a pretty compelling thumbnail that I had put together the church is off on one side. You're looking right down the street to another building down here and it's got a very strong one-point perspective to it. I'm not real crazy about how the focal point is way off in the distance and the way this tower and the church are overlapping, I think there's a little bit of visual confusion there that doesn't have to be. I also did a couple of quick little details, this is at the doorway of the church, is ornate stone sculpting and a little figurine of a lion, I believe he got a snake there as well. I could very easily make a nice drawing out of that. But then I hit on this one where we could actually see the church, the building in the background, these towers and, my goodness look at the sky shape that this is creating there, these ups and downs in and out when we don't really think of this in terms of tower, tower, church, church, tower, it's more of what's the shape of the sky there and it's really, really interesting. Now you'll notice that these triangles are put here, I'm doing a Frank but main thing here and that one night when we went to see a Puccini concert here on the church, this otherwise empty space was full of umbrellas and cafe tables, people being served. We ran out of chairs in the church, so our guide, Carolina Leonard, sprinted over to the cafe and talked the owner into loaning her about half dozen chairs to bring into the church for the Puccini concert. We had also had some drench right over here on this side so I've got an opportunity here to add some human interests and some compositional interests by having these triangular umbrellas on either side. Now, this is what I'm going to go with. I've indicated that I'm going to have the main church here in the center. You can see where I put some human figures and whatnot I think all this is working pretty good. If I start thinking about values and the sun was coming from this direction at that time. I can come in and start to just doodle some values on top of some of these things, this roof was very dark, there you've got the angle of the sunlight coming down. There's some shadows on the street here and the shadow from this building coming out this way. There's it we're already starting to push the eye over here toward the more ornate facade of the church. I'm going to have some shadow being thrown down on the tower over here and then lightening up as it moves up the tower. There's a couple of little windows there. There's shadow being thrown onto this and even if there wasn't shadow being thrown into it, I'd probably darken it like it was anyway in order to achieve what I want to achieve compositionally. I'm going to pull that down to these umbrellas here and darken the underside of those. This little tower's got a shadow side. Now, not too much white going on here so I'm going to pull a shadow across the plaza like this, have it tie-in to the shadow underneath the umbrellas and maybe even put another shadow out this way. I like how all that's shaping up, I would be able to see probably one more side of this tower. I need some value change between this white facade on the sky behind it, so I won't draw the whole thing, but I will go ahead and highlight some of it so that we can separate this. Now, this church really stands out as the focal point and here we've got all these other really interesting things going on around it. That's what I want to go with, so let's get out the full sized paper and get started. 4. Simplifying the Scene: Let's return to this little drawing, that we finished the last lesson with. You'll remember that this was a quick sketch, that then we wanted to come back and add some darks. Some relative lights and darks of values, they're called, to the drawing to really give it some contrasts, some punch and to help us sink around a focal point on the thing. Since you've seen it, I added some shading to this wall, I just missed it the first time. Obviously, if the sunlight is coming from this way, that whole wall is going to be in shade, dark and a little bit more here, a little bit on this shaft of light, and it's done and I think this will be a really nice drawing to help us guide the placement of those values when it's time to do that. Right now, I wanted to use this iPad just as a little teaching tool. We're not going to be sketching on the iPad for this class, but it's a really effective way to show a couple of these ideas like eye level line and getting to the basic bench shapes. What I'm going to do is go to this first layer here and reduce the opacity down to about 30 percent, like so. As you can still very clearly see the church, the towers, the street, but I provided myself a little patina here that I can draw on top of and you can actually see it very easily. Now, eye level line and adding people. What we want to do is try to find people in a scene like this when you're on location. Now, interestingly, typically in Luca, this particular clause is filled with people, very often there are umbrellas and cafe tables set up on both sides over here, and it's a lot more lively than what you see here. But here we do have a person here and we've got a group of people over here. Actually, let's see, I want to go to my layer 2 a group of people moving through the street. There's this person about to enter the plaza, and if we join their heads with a line, like so, that's our eye level line, and that is an absolutely crucial thing to helping lay out some of the rest of the sketch. For one thing, this is a one-point perspective that this photograph is shot, meaning there's one vanishing point from which all these lines like these lines across the roof at the base off the top of this wall are all coming to converge on a single point on the eye level line, and that looking directly at this facade is going to be about right here. You double-check it by looking at those roof lines and looking at these baselines and seeing how they all come back to this point about in the spot. So we have found a vanishing point, and that's very helpful. With the eye level line in here, the other thing that we can do is when we get ready to add more people to the sketch, and we've learned how to draw people in the previous class to give contexts energy to a sketch. As long as all their heads are on that eye level line, they're in perspective and we're creating a sense of depth. With just that much work, we can add people even further back on that street. We can bring people up closer onto the street. We can put people over here, maybe under a sidewalk umbrella, maybe there's other umbrellas over here, basically I've got a lively piazza full of people with just that little amount of drawing. That's how I level works and that's how we're going to add a few people to that blank piece of paper. Now, big shapes, what I want to do is look at this architecture, it's pretty straightforward, but it can be intimidating with columns and cornices and all the details and the various things going on there, and I want to think about it really just in terms of its most basic shapes. You may hear a helicopter going over, this is life in the city, it happens and we're just going to disregard that, but let's look at this facade and see that, basically, that's a rectangle. At the end of the day, I've got columns coming down like this. That's another rectangle, so rectangle, rectangle, if you look closely, it's a square, a square and two rectangles on either side, and that's about as basic as the geometry gets. We've also got a nice little triangle up here on top, we've got swooping triangles on either side here. Now, when we're doing the actual sketch we'll come in and we'll draw that detail like so, but for establishing basic shapes, I just want to demonstrate that that's what's going on here. We've got a rectangle for a tower here, we've got a tower here, we've got a big shape here that I mentioned. These roofs come back to the vanishing point, so I can drop a vertical, I can draw from the vanishing point there, draw from the vanishing point there, drop another vertical and there's a nice little trapezoid there, there's another big juicy shape, if you will. There's another church back here that I'm going just to show as a rectangle for now. Actually there's a little triangular roof back in there that I want to add at some point in the sketch. That's just about it, folks, there's another small tower here. There's some interesting little roof lines and whatnot, but at the end of the day, this is what we're talking about when we're trying to see the big shapes to give us something easy to draw to start off with. Now, I'm going to go back down to my opaque layer and pull it all the way down to where it's just almost white, where the photograph is, and you can see that that's a nice little scene in and of itself, and we've got people has got a nice sense of depth and whatnot, but very, very, very simple big shapes. Then when we push that opacity up the other way, you can see how it actually comes out of that existing detailed architecture. The trick is to be able to look at this in the field on location and say, big shape, big shape, cut through all this detail and be able to see it for its pure geometries. With that, we're going to pull out some paper and start drawing. 5. Eyeline, People and Big Shapes: All right. We are ready to go to work. I wanted to remind you that we're basically trying to reconstruct a drawing that I did on location in Lucca, Italy. There's the actual drawing. Church, couple of towers, really interesting sky shape, crowd of people down on the bottom. This is very, very much how I remember it as well. We're going to change up a couple of things in terms of the values, but this is the reality of the situation. In order to break this down, I've got my sheet of paper, 11 by 14 cold pressed watercolor paper taped to a tabletop here. What's the first thing I'm going to do? We've talked about this. Step one is an eye level line and add a few people to the scene. I'm going to start on one side and I'm going to draw this in pencil. Just pull it across like so. About a third from the bottom, two-thirds from the top. Remember your rule of thirds or if you've ever taken a picture with an iPhone or something, you see the little grid broken up into vertical and horizontal thirds. It's a very, very handy tool for composition. That's one of the reasons I placed that about there. It's also going to give me good placement when I start to put the building in and leaving enough room for a crowd of people down here. I talked about a Fude nib pen. This one is by Duke, it's not the Bamboo Pen. But I decided I was going to do this one in black ink rather than in brown ink and we're just going to start that way and see how it goes. I'm going to start over on one side. Remember we are putting heads on this eye level line. Drawing kind of a rectangular trunk for a body, pull some legs down. That's about all the detail we're going to need for this. I'll come back when we add color and possibly add some more detail, but that's about it. I'm going to have another person here standing and possibly a person further back. You can tell they're further back because I've drawn them smaller. Let's see. Couple of people along here. I want to have a pretty big figure in the foreground, a larger one, but I'm going to wait on that one just a little bit until we can actually tell more about the seeming. See those heads aren't exactly on the eye level line. They should be, but certainly close enough for what we're doing. That ought to be enough for about now. I want to come back in now and box in the basic shape of that building. Remember, step number two is finding the big shapes. We looked at that very carefully with the iPad in the photograph a minute ago. I'm going to say, I want this building edge to come down about here. I want plenty of room, and I'm making little dots on these key points. Plenty of room for the top of this thing and for the towers. I'm going to pull it down, something like that with the roof up here. Now, I want to make sure that I can get everything into this drawing that I want to. Lets have a look quickly at the photograph and you can see the small tower on the left, the big red tower, and then moving across the other tower is quite a bit lower on the far right hand side. If this is my building block, the center of it is going to be about here. Let's say the top of that roof is going to be about there and that puts the tower way up here, and we'll put the other one down there. I think this is enough for me to go on. With this Fude nib, I'm going to work really quickly on the line work and it'll give it a more scratchy quality which I like a lot, like that. Looks more like drawing with a stick or something. I'm going to pull it down, just connect the dots. I drew that line twice to get it to do what I wanted, and I'm going to pull this one across like that. Does that look familiar? The perspective is going down at a steeper angle. It's what I like to do in terms of exaggeration. But basically, that's our first square and two rectangles on either side. I'm going to go up and pull that other rectangle down that we identified like this. I don't want to spend too much time on that. You see it's not exactly straight. I don't want it to be exactly straight. I want there to be some imperfections on this thing and that's one of the things that'll make it feel more alive as we're putting it together. There's that second rectangle that we had discussed and actually with the work perspective, all three of these are rectangles and we've got a little square on top. I had talked in terms of the peak being right over here. Let's come down and pull it, something like that. Oh, that came out nice. I like how that worked out very much. Like so. That's the basic shapes for the church, boys and girls. Remember, we talked about a kind of an angle here for these kind of curlicue things that are coming down. Architects are rolling their eyes right now because I really don't know what this thing is called, doesn't matter. I'm not drawing the technical thing, I am drawing the shapes that I'm seeing. I'm going to pull it down and it comes around something like that. If I come straight across to the other side here, there they are. That came out better than I expected to and that worked out just fine. We'll pull this down like that. Very good. We'll come in and put in more columns and whatnot in a moment. But right now I wanted to go up here more or less to that tower as I'm going to get the pencil that I used for the eye level line and mark the top of that thing so that I can come down with a line. That tower is actually dying in to this roof line here. I'm going to draw it like that. Very, very lightly because it's further back. I want it to seem like it's kind of receding in the space. I'm going to go ahead and draw in the details of that roof and let that determine where the other side is, and it's right there. Wow, that came out all right. I don't have a problem with that at all. We'll come in and add some details later, some lines and windows, things like that. But right now doing pretty good. We had talked about the other tower over on this side, and we talked about a little kind of a triangular top on this church right down here in the middle. You can't see it in all the photographs, but I can certainly see it on site. Standing at the right angle you would be able to see it. I want that to basically give us something that gives us another peak in this area. Then we've got the big trapezoid over here. Why don't I go ahead and put that trapezoid where it's going to go. Now you remember we identified a vanishing point right about there, and I'm going to use that to draw on the roof line for this building. I'm going to come back to it and draw on the bottom of the building there. That gives me a place where I can put this roof line for this church. The bottom of that church is going to be right back in here someplace because it's set back further. Okay. Big shapes, big shapes. Coming around over here there's a little roof line that comes off, something like this, and that basically gives us a place to put this last little vertical, this little guy right off there and all these have crosses on the top of them like so. What are some of the other things that I need here? There's a wall. Now before I do that, I know that I want to have the cafe umbrellas that I described to you earlier that I had seen when we did the Puccini concert here. I'm going to go ahead and draw those and we're going to call those big shapes as well. Little umbrellas, we'll eventually put some more people under those things. There is a wall that does vanishing points, something like that, and it probably comes down somewhere in here, something like that. Now, you notice I've kind of exaggerated the angle of these things. From a perspective standpoint, they're going down to a vanishing point over this way. In reality, this line would be going at an angle like this, a little bit steeper. So I'm just going to draw it that way. We'll call the difference between them steps or something like that. Very good. We have our eye level line. We've got some people drawn in place. We probably got enough information here in terms of the detail and why not that we could draw some of the big foreground people, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I think we're in pretty good shape. Let's take a short break and start to draw in, what comes after big shapes? Details. 6. Adding Details Part 1: All right, let's get rolling again. Since you saw this last, I realized one of the big shapes I had left out, the only one I hope, was this tower over here. So I went ahead and added it in. I added it with a pencil because I'm going to want that to fade into the background more, and we'll see how successful I am with that. We've got our eye level on and people, we've got our big shapes. Next is details, and so I'm going to come in and again pretty quickly sketch in some of these things that will add some life and character without getting too detailed. I'm going to start up here with this roof and work my way down. You see I'm moving really quickly on this. Actually, I add some character for it to be more imprecise, results and I sketch here line using this foot I made on the watercolor paper and we're just going to move through it like that. We've got all these columns. If you look closely, these columns are actually double columns and I'm going to be drawing them that way. But first I'm going to get this slant lane. It's a double piece like so, nice, and now I'm going to come in with these double columns. These columns are squared off also, they're not round columns, so we don't have to worry about making them look round because they're not, they're flat faced. They do have these Colombian flourishes up at the top and we'll add those like so. I have watched architects spin quite a while getting all the details of the tops, they're called capitals, the tops of these columns, done and you can see how quickly that went. I'm just trying to hint at them rather than go into a lot of detail. That's looking pretty good. There is a piece in here, that sticks out a little bit. I also want to come in our varnishing point here, this roof lines are going to go back to it, and even though it's a one-point perspective, that adds a lot of dimensionality to this thing. This one's going to do something quite similar, varnishing point and come down, bring it down like that. Those two lines made a tremendous amount of difference in how this thing looked, didn't it? Let's draw in some windows. There's a detail on this thing at work, something like this, and it's got a shell on top, other little flourishes around, but I think that's enough. Yeah, that looks nice, I like that. We have similar flourishes on these bottom windows as well. Let's go ahead and get those in. Let's see, about right, isn't it? It looks something like that. There's an archway here for a little arched window. I've got scratchy little lines, but I like that. It makes all this look a little more imprecise. Now, there's some really interesting things going on with this doorway here. I'm going to set that height. If a person walking in that doorway is going to look something like this, how do I know that? Because of our eye level line. So there's a person walking up a couple of stairs toward that doorway, and up above that, we've got some little figures, saints, I'm sure, we've got a rectangle here with a beautiful oval like so, and there's a circle within that rose window thing. In fact, we can go ahead and add some of the detail to that. Wonderful. There's more columns coming down here and there's our doorway. Actually, it's not that big, but it's this little rectangle right there, and I'm even going to draw another person who's standing in the doorway there and you'll see why that comes in handy here in a moment. This is really starting to shape up. Starting to look like the scene that I know. Details. It's Looking good. There's some lettering curved into the stone. We aren't going to be able to read what that is from this distance, but I'm going to indicate some type of a detail there so that we can tell that something's going on. There's also some fun little details right in here. What else do we have? We talked about this roof. Actually, this is a tile roof, so I'm going to put a texture on it that I often use for roof tiles in Italy and watch, its just a hump, hump, hump, hump, hump, and carrying that texture straight across. When it reaches the bottom of the roof, you can see the ends of the tiles like that. This guy has got a similar type of thing going on. It's a little further back, so I'm going to make those tiles a little smaller, ain't this fun? One of my favorite parts of the drawings is all these little details. Cool. 7. Adding Details Part 2: Now, we've got this bad boy back here, and we want to show some of the details and we want to show some of the materials, but I want to make sure to get the proportions somewhat right. Don't have to be exact, but it does have to resemble what it is that we're trying to draw. Go ahead and show the darks up in there. It's typically where bells are hanged, but I didn't see a bell in there when I was actually doing this. There's a rectangle around that window. Another window, like so, and we're going to put that little rectangular detail in there. I mentioned the materials. I think we want to come in and just hint that there's some stone and brick in this tower. This facade is smooth. It's smooth cut-stone and it's in stark contrast to this one, and that's why I want to show a little bit of the stone level. Now, for this to resemble stone, you don't have to draw every stone. You don't want to draw every stone, you just want to come in and put just enough that it hints of what that material is and then let the mind's eye fill in the rest. That's how we do that. Keep moving. You remember our values sketch, we'll look at it again in a minute. This is going to be mostly dark and so I'm not going to spend a lot of time with that. I will come in and add umbrellas, tables. Look at how I'm drawing people sitting at these tables. There's a waiter back there, people sitting around, there's a guy sitting here. They've all got their bottoms and chairs, there's legs coming down. You see, I'm spending a lot of detailed time with that, right? No, I'm not. That's how you do that, and that's just hinted at back behind these folks. Now, that's really all we need to show that there's a lively cafe scene going on back there. I'm going to repeat it over here. I had talked about there were often tables and umbrella setup over here where I would sit with Carolina and David Leonard, and we would wait for our sketchers to arrive for the Pacini concert. I want that umbrella to be about the right height, so I'm going to do it like that, and we'll have some people sitting at a table there as well. Some bottoms and legs coming down like that, and that looks pretty believable. Let's put some detail on this one back here. Let's see 1, 2. There's huge arches here indicating the main entrance to this church, so I'm going to draw those in. The locations for those columns indicate the locations for the columns further up, but rather than one arch, you've got two, maybe three in there. It looks about right. I think that's plain. There are some steps back there to indicate those. We got a nice roof line coming off here that's going back to our vanishing point, and that'll get to be real dark, and as a matter of fact, it probably comes more like that. Little corner. We'll throw in that. Let's see, this bottom floor is going to do something like going back to the vanishing point. Something like that, and then we've got two floors of windows here that I'm just going to again, hint at, and we'll come back in with some watercolor. We'll do some more with that. I think we're just about there. We've got an awful lot of detail in there. I looks like I need one more person standing over there. I have actually seen people look like that, with that kind of hunched over. Few more folks back in here. Now, I think that I can come in and put this person in the foreground that I had wanted to have earlier. He's moving in this direction, moving forward. Let's give him a friend to talk to. Let's say she's got a shoulder bag. She's got an arm coming down to the shoulder bag. That's enough for those foreground figures, I don't want to get much more than that. But they look all alone out there, so I'm going to add some middle ground people, like so. Yeah, that helped a lot. Anymore? Yeah, why not? We'll put one right here as well. Notice I'm just drawing right over these other lines, and those things will take care of themselves, the more work we put into this. Let's see. I'm going to come down. If my vanishing point, I think it was right there behind this guy's head, is there, I'm going to pull some lines down to indicate some paving stones. The way that this works in look up, is that this street has paving stones and the paving stones cut across this way, but I'm going to manipulate it just a little bit. Since my vanishing point is here to have all these lines coming and pointing to my focal point, like so, and we can expand on that as much as we want to later. But for right now, it's going to look like that. When I say paving stones, I am talking about these old stone pavers that look something like this. We can detail all that a little more later, but that's the idea. I can't stop myself. I can't help it. How about the arch-enemy of urban sketchers? The humble pigeon. Let's put a few pigeons right down in there, and maybe a couple flying across. That's Italy folks. 8. Adding Darks: All right, let's come back and add those darks. I talked about what a big difference these lines made coming back to the vanishing point there and that's something that's incomplete shade. I'm just going go ahead and darken that real quickly. It emphasizes the three-dimensionality of that roof even more. I'm going to add just a little bit to those just to make a more visible, I think. Just that makes such a difference on this thing. We're going to keep moving through it until all of it feels really good. I mentioned that this was the doorway. This is another reason that I like this fountain nib for something like this, is because it doesn't cover over like a brush pen or something like that, which I've used plenty off. But these look a little more scratchy and so I think especially for this old architecture, it works really nicely. If you're watching closely, you can see that I'm coming in and we're assuming our light source from this direction. So we're throwing shadows, like for instance here on these columns such that the light's coming from this direction. This is looking really nice. Hello shadow under here. Not much a one under there, but just a little bit maybe some there, certainly under this thing. This is actually a bronze plaque that has turned pretty much black. I'm going to indicate it as such. Some of the other things, let see, we're not going to want a lot of dark on these windows, but I am just going to indicate the edges of them like so. I had mentioned that the underside of this roof was going to be very dark, and it is. I'll come back over this with some dark paint so that everything fits in together, but that's a pretty good start on that. There's going to be dark on the underside of these umbrellas and on that pull holding up the umbrellas. Dark on the undersides of these tables. All of these people's legs are going to be in shadow. Pretty dark shadow and shadow running right across there. These entrances to the church back here are deep dark. It looks like there's one right about there. These recesses won't be quite as dark, but almost, and now we're talking. What do you think, looking okay to you? I thought so. Let's add some quick darks across the smaller archways. I'm still using this fountain nib and I'm liking it. This particular pen, I was sitting next to a talented artist in Texas named Dylan Montgomery. I said "Dylan, what kind of pen is that?" She said, "Well, it's a Duke fountain nib, why don't you try it" So I did, and I was just really impressed. Dylan said, "Why don't you just take it?" I can't do that, it's your pen. I'm not going to take your pen. "Oh I insist." If you ever see Dylan out drawing compliment her pen, and who knows? That was a very sweet gesture on her part. It's my my go-to pen for things like this now. We had mentioned early on that this roof was dark and we'll use some paint to indicate that, but for right now we'll show a shadow side on it. I know better than to do this. I really don't want that to be that dark. But again, I get going on this stuff and I just get so excited because this is serious stuff, but it's playtime too. If I'm not having fun with it, I don't want to bother with it. I'd rather find something else to do. How are we coming over here with the darks? All this is looking pretty good. I talked about throwing shadows over this way and we're definitely going to do that. All of this is pretty dark. Back in here, we've got these umbrellas. I don't want to darken those and that make a nice field of dark with my fountain nib pen, shade side on all of this. Yeah it looks nice. Some little line under that ridge line. Under these umbrellas is going to be dark like it was. Well, we haven't gotten to that part over there yet, but we will. You can see I'm actually working around these human figures. Anytime you've got large areas of dark like this, you don't want just big blacks in there. You want to be able to break them up and make those dark shapes more interesting. One of the ways that I do that quite often is with human figures and that's what you see going on here. As on the other side, the underside of these tables is going to be pretty dark. People's legs, table legs, chair legs, all that stuff underneath is not getting any light at all. So yeah, it's going to be a little bit darker and there's shadows under all that stuff and under some of the people. What else folks? I think we're doing pretty good. I think we've about kicked this thing. If you remember our values sketch, we're going to have more darks across. We're going to have shadows coming across and that type of thing. But that I'm actually going to do with paint, he says as he starts throwing shadows, but we're going to have some pretty dramatic shadows coming across here with paint. So let's start to pull the paints together and then we'll really have some fun. 9. Color First Wash: This is not the pen and ink drawing that we left last time. Well, I was just going to circle back to the original on-location sketch from last summer. Again, this was done in the plaza at Luka. There are some differences between this one and the one that we've created in the last segment. For one thing, there's a lot more foreground which is good because this just got cut off at the bottom of the page, this color scheme also is very simplified. It was done very quickly because of limited time while there. You can see this was my primary whitespace, had some warm colors repeated over here and a nice complimentary relationship between the orange of the tower and the roofs and the sky here. That part we are going to replicate in the next one. You see the shade and shadow that we'll be replicating as well only across a bigger portion of the entire drawing. In fact, while we're talking about it, we'll just circle back quickly and remember this little value sketch that we did a short time ago where we decided this would be the primary, the lightest space or have a little shaft of sunlight here and a little shaft of sunlight there. The rest of it varying degrees of darkness with the exception of the umbrellas here. The sky is going to be a value, the shade will be a value, the shadow will be a value, so let's get started. What I'm going to do first is just put down some clear water across the sky space here. I'm going to use some nice blues and leave some white space for clouds, I think in there as well. What I want to do is get this water down and let it partially dry so that the shin is off the water. It doesn't look shiny necessarily anymore and that will allow me to come back in and put those blues in, and they will diffuse real nicely into this wet area. Obviously we're talking about working in wet for this particular part, that I'll need to dry for just a sec. What I'm going to be adding is a mix of cobalt till blue which I use a lot in these Mediterranean skies, mixed with a little cerulean to tone it down just a little bit. I've got some very light pencil marks in there to guide what I'm doing. I'm just going to pull that blue down something like this. Let me get a little more paint in my brush, more paint and this should be spreading into that water nicely, this is looking pretty good. Let's pull up this way. Now, I'm going to I think add just a little bit of cobalt blue up in here. It's darken it just a little bit for a little more drama in the sky. That's pretty cool. Let's just let that go and we'll let that dry while we're working on something else. One, come back in with my Naples yellow here which is my go-to color. I think I had mentioned that at some point for just about any architecture or hard building material, and it goes over everything so that we've got this nice base coat. That will look really good as a standalone. If I need to do that, I got a little more in there than I wanted so I'm getting a rug and drawing out just a bit. But I'm going to go ahead and pull it over the rest of this. How about all the way down to the tape point naught? Very light on this tower back here and not necessarily as light on this one. I'll come back to this bad boy here in a minute, but let's go ahead and finish with the Naples yellow. Yes about it. Now, while this is still a little a little wet, I want to come in and start adding some red to this tower. In real life it's a reddish orange tower. More of what you would think of as a typical brick color, but there's just some nice yellows and blues and of this. Well, that's looking interesting. Why don't we go even a little more dramatic right up in here? I'm going to go back to that cobalt blue and just darken it just a bit as it comes down next to this white of the church and pull it up like that. It's got a nice soft transition into the red. Now, that's the darker value that we had talked about, trying to get right next to the church and yet the sunlight is going to come in and light this up really nicely. But why don't we put? I'm going to put a little bit. Not a lot but just a little bit of this Naples yellow, that was too much like street sunlight across this facade. I don't necessarily want to cover the whole thing I am just really. I guess I've got a thick mix of that Naples yellow and it's coming out just a little more dramatically than I'd prefer. I'm adding a little Alizarin crimson in there just for interest and maybe a little ultramarine as well, it's nice. Now, I'm going to let that dry just a tad and they'll come back and start adding some shade to it. This is a reddish building, I don't want it to be overpowering. I'm going to drop some Alizarin crimson in there and then when I come back and put a shade color on and it will fade it back even just a little bit more. There we are. On the opposite side, we've got some really nice tile roofs that ubiquitous red Italian tile. That is such a beautiful characteristic of Luka and so many other medieval hill towns in Italy. Looks nice. We could go a little warmer possibly right there and just let that fade back in. Clean the brush, I want to come in with a cooler color for this roof over here. I'm going to use this a lot for shadows also. This is a mix of Alizarin crimson and Prussian blue. We're going to give it even a little more Prussian blue, I think. Okay, that's looking good. 10. Color Second Wash: This tower, you remember, we made it, drew it in pencil to really get it to fade back a little bit, and to get it to fade back even a little more, I'm going to change the value on it with just a very very light purple wash like so and come back and hit those shadow areas in it a little bit lighter. Let's carry on. We're going to darken these things, these recesses in the church facade, just a little. But I'm going to leave the columns this really nice light naples yellow, and by the time we get the shade on there, they're just going to look like the brilliant sunshine has got them all lit up. Looking good. Maybe just a touch of this cobalt teal here and there. Just a little bit Interest to make it more interesting. It looks good. Now, I'm going to come in with that mix of Alizarin crimson and Prussian blue and dark to put some shading down starting with this building over here. That's a very nice way to just fade that value back just a little bit and have it react properly to the sunlight coming down in here. You may get a smaller brush and touch that up just a little bit later on. But for right now, I'm going to pull this down. This is that same Alizarin crimson and Prussian blue mix. I will for sure come in and make that a little darker at some point and I'm not dropping it over some of these guys sitting under the table as well because they're really shaded. This guy would probably be shaded as well. Will decide about these two guys later. That's looking pretty good. Anything else that just needs some shade on it? Take a look as where. Bring that down, it looks nice. Side of this tower is really going to look more like that. I made a nice difference, isn't? Yes John, I believe you're right. I'm not going to draw all the details. These openings, I'm just going to hit at them with the paint. That looks pretty nice. I'm going to create a little bit darker mix and start putting on shadows. Now, I've mixed up more of that Alizarin crimson and Prussian blue. What brush I'm going to use? I'm going to use a natural subtle hair brush to put down this big area of shadow. I want a streak of light coming between this building and that building. I'm going to pull this shadow back, something like this. That'll work. Absolutely. Then something like this. Maybe even a little bit more. That looks good. Nice. There's a lot of shadow on the ground there by that table. I'm going to pull that back across and connect it to that one. Now I'm just going to throw some shadows. They could be from a tower, they could be from clouds. But I like to pull sometimes these horizontal lines across the ground plane just to give it a little bit more interest and to show the nice horizontality of that thing. I think that turned out pretty well. I'm just going to leave it exactly like that. We're going to now get a synthetic brush. This is something that my watercolor teacher, [inaudible] was talking to me about the other day, saying use a synthetic brush when you're covering small areas and a natural hair brush when you're covering large areas. I'm going to put some shadow on there, but that's not dark enough. I have to add a little bit more Alizarin crimson and Prussian blue. You can't see me mixing, but I'm working madly over here and there. That looks better. Absolutely. I'll pull a shadow down around these guys down here. That we'll still got this nice shaft of light coming through. I'm going to turn this brush a little bit sideways, and just pull some streaks down. That looks nice. More shadow a little bit there. We'll call it done for now. You can see how these two figures are in front of some of the darkest of all that. Again, that's adding a little sparkle and interest. Let's jump onto this facade. Add some nice shadow on that. Still using this synthetic brush, it's a number 14 actually. Pretty big. Now look at how this facade is starting to come alive with those shadows on it. I need a little more there. Jump up here to the roof. My dramatic shadow a little bit poor there. I'll go around this ornamentation because it's throwing a little bit of a shadow. You may remember that I said these are probably little statues of the saints across the top of the doorway there. We're going to assume that they're and put some dark in between them and there should be a shadow over there, and there'll be lots of it over here. This thing needs a shadow. Wow. Cool. That turn from a nice subtle drawing into a three-dimensional great old cathedral building. That's just really makes a dramatic difference when we put those shadows on that knight. Very nice. Where else do we need that thing? We want to darken it up some over here. I've got my darks here, here, and I want a little bit more here so that there's a little bit shadow cast on that thing. Look at all this shade that needs to be taken into consideration. Is this dry? Nope. When that's dry, I'll add little shade over there. I'm leaving umbrellas alone. I'm very tempted to throw something on there, but it's too early to do that. 11. Color Details: Okay. Let's continue with more darks. I'm going to continue with that Alizarin crimson and Prussian blue, but I'm going to add a little neutral tint to it to get really dark for a couple of these spots. Wow. Makes a difference, doesn't it? More shaft to my brush to get that neutral tint out of it so that I can come back and put some shadows on this tower. It's a little much. Put some here, there's a little recess there, same type of thing over here. Now, I'm going to do something risky here and drag this brush diagonally down to pick up on the shadow here and throw one across here, basically, to get these figures to stand out a little bit more. Like that. All right. Let's darken that a little, let's darken this a little more. These people are going to actually be in shade, the ones that are underneath the umbrellas. I'm going to pretend that these people are actually a little bit more in the light, so the color on them will be a tad more bright, and then I'm going to have some really bright colors on these folks going into the church. This wall is in front of that building, so I'm going to warm it up a little, pull it forward as it were, darken it a little as well, and add just a little red highlight right there. I think we're ready to start putting some color on these people. It's going to be a little muted on the sides; especially where these folks are sitting at the tables, and I want it to be brightest right in here to draw your attention to that doorway. Part of doing that's going to be to make sure that it's nice and dark. Let's go with some nice Mayan orange on this person. I will come back and add a shade side. That was a little too much. A shade side and maybe some color highlights to some of these people. Later on, in the process, I'm going to make one of these guys that red and maybe a red shirt on that person. I'm going to put some more warm colors to pull attention here. Too much water. There we are, and we can repeat that some place if we want to. A little green, and that's something that I can put on some of these folks that are in the shade over here. A little yellow as well. I'm going to leave that one white, and a lot of dark jackets on these Italian gentlemen, when they dress to be in town, they take no prisoners. It's like walking around with a bunch of GQ models or something. These guys are really, really good at putting themselves together. They call it "Bella figura", and that's not a term for guys or women as much as it is a term that just refers to an elegance that should permeate everything in Italian culture, from that point of view. This is a little Prussian blue, dark but not black. I am going to put some black on some of these, but not on this one. A lot of work. A lot of jeans in Italy too. 12. Color Finishing Touches: We're going to dark jacket. Dark jacket, and I'll come back and give him a red tie. I'm going to mix up some orange. Let's see how this looks to put on some of these faces, hands, that sort of thing. Is that something maybe I can use here as well? Yes. Definitely yes. I'm going to use my little rigor here to give this guy a proper red tie. Let's take a very short break. Let some of that dry well and come back and finish it off. Finishing up. This far side is looking very interesting. I'm just going to add some darks to it to bring out a little dimension maybe. I've got a little touch of green, just put a shade aside on these umbrellas, and that little part that hangs down is going to need something as well. This umbrella, as you can see, is largely in the shade. I'm not real sure exactly how to deal with that, but I'm going to at least recognize that there's some light play on it there. Ah, the pigeons. Oh, my goodness. You don't want to forget those guys. You will see a lot of times, I'm deciding to come back and lighten up these dark washes it had so that they're more transparent. I think that that looks enough like pigeons or we can just let it go. Just a few splatters in here. But I think far and large, that's pretty much done. Do you agree? Let's put somebody's name on it and call it a day. 13. Conclusion: All right, here's the finished product and I think it turned out really well. I can look at it and it puts me right back in that place. I can hear the sounds and smell the smells and really feel like I'm reliving this experience and that's the magic of travel sketching. It's a complex scene, but you know, from having worked through this with me that it's not as complex as it looks. It's basically an eye-line and adding some people, it's big shapes, rectangles, triangles, those sorts of things. It's adding details, it is adding darks for some contrast and some pop and finally, coming in with some color to really add some life and richness to the scene. Now, I hope that you'll take on the project. I really would like for you to do this. I'm going to supply one or two reference photos that you can use to draw from or even better, go out on location and give this five-step process a shot. I think that you'll really enjoy going out and doing it on location if you get a chance to do that. While you're working on those things, I'm going to be brainstorming and planning for the next class, and I hope that you'll enjoy coming back for that. So, be careful out there, have fun sketching and I hope I see you out on the street. Bye bye.