Urban Sketching: Draw Quicker, Smaller and Simpler | Drewscape | Skillshare

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Urban Sketching: Draw Quicker, Smaller and Simpler

teacher avatar Drewscape, www.drewscape.net

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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.

      The Two Voices in Our Heads


    • 3.

      Seeing Everything as Shapes


    • 4.

      Forming Big Shapes


    • 5.

      From Big Shapes to Small Shapes


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Adding Textures


    • 8.

      Sketching a Whole Scene


    • 9.

      Capturing a Scene in Motion


    • 10.

      Applying Tonal Values


    • 11.

      Your Final Project


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About This Class

Want to sketch even during busy weeks but can't find the time to do so? Learn to draw quicker, smaller and simpler so you can sketch within small pockets of time throughout the day!

Taught my illustrator, Drewscape, we'll first learn that there is a logical and visual way to see the world. Then we'll dive into drawing using the contour drawing method. This will be broken down into small bite-sized lessons and exercises to train your mind to see things as shapes rather than objects. Following that, we'll learn how to add simple textures to your sketches, how to use perspective only as and when needed, and how to apply tonal values using just 3-4 shades. And finally, we'll practice doing urban sketching in sequential comic panels! Suitable for complete beginners or an experienced artists.

At the end of the class, I believe you will be armed with useful skills to confidently draw quicker, simpler and have more fun doing it!

Prepare a broad black pen (any kind) and paper and let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Andrew Tan (aka Drewscape) is a freelance illustrator and an Eisner-nominated comic artist based in Singapore. He also enjoys teaching illustration and urban sketching. His illustrations can be found in the Sherlock Sam book series as well as in picture books, comics for various clients. He is the author of two graphic novels: Monsters Miracles and Mayonnaise and The Ollie Comics: Diary of a first-time dad.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: I've been doing urban sketching for over 12 years now, and it's still something I really love doing. It helps me zone out and forget about the stresses and pressures of life just for a while. It helps me slow down, relax, and breathe easier. And as a professional illustrator, it helps me hone and sharpen my drawing skills. Now, when I first started doing urban sketching, I was still single, and I had lots of time to sketch with my friends, and also to go on outings with the Urban Sketchers Group in Singapore, where we draw for 3 hours at a go, or sometimes more in one whole morning. But after getting married and having one kid, and then recently another one, and having more responsibilities at home and at work, I find that I now rarely have long stretches of uninterrupted time to sketch anymore. It seems like I'm busy pretty much all the time, and so it's easy to go with the flow and just forget to sketch altogether. But I didn't do that. Instead, over the years, I put together ways which allow me to sketch even during the most busy days. And that is what I'm going to teach you in this class. So hi, my name is Andrew, also known as Drew Skate and I'm a professional illustrator based in Singapore. And I've been doing this job for almost 20 years. As an illustrator, I do comics, picture books, and illustrations for various clients. Urban sketching is something I do as a lifestyle. How am I able to sketch? Even during busy days, I learned to draw quicker, smaller, and simpler, so that I could draw within small pockets of free time between all the things I needed to do during a busy day in my class. That's exactly what I'm going to teach you to do. I'm going to start teaching you how to draw with the contour drawing method because that's what got me started drawing a lot quicker. It involves seeing everything as shapes rather than treaty objects. In my own way of teaching contour drawing, I'm going to teach you how to break down big shapes into small shapes. So that not only will you draw things quicker, but you also draw things a lot more accurately. In the class, we'll also learn how to keep things a lot more simple. Like, for your lesson on perspective, I'm going to show you how to incorporate perspective with the contour drawing method when you'll only use perspective points and perspective lines as and when needed. Rather than constructing a whole drawing ground up using perspective lines, which can feel rather tedious. I'll also show you how to add simple textures to your sketches. And also how to use tonal values with just three to four shades. And to use those few shades effectively to make important things stand out and less important things recede into the background. Overall, we're going to draw smaller so that we can draw quicker. So we're going to be doing our urban sketching in these comic layout formats, and this is what you'll be submitting for your final project. Five page of urban sketching in small comic panels with scenes from various locations, all from the same location. Whether you're a beginner or you've been sketching for many years now, But you find that your life or your job has been keeping you too busy to sketch. But you still want to find ways where you can sketch, even during busy days. Then I think this class could be useful for you. Join the class and I'll see you there. 2. The Two Voices in Our Heads: To help us understand this conto, drawing approach, let me first tell you a story. I have a daughter. And when she was about 4.5 years old, she came to me with this drawing and she was looking very frustrated. She was trying to copy an illustration I did of her when she was a baby, and this was me and my wife beside her. But she said that no matter how carefully she tried to copy my drawing, her drawing just wouldn't look the same. She drew everything correctly. There was the cot, the baby lying down, the papa and mama beside the cot. So why doesn't it look the same? And after many years, I think I have a decent explanation of why this is. So I believe it has something to do with how our brains make sense of the world around us. Now, I'm not a brain scientist, so I can't offer you the facts, but I'll just tell you what I observed. I notice that when I look at any object, for example, a table, my brain feeds me two sets of information at the same time. One set is very logical. It tells me that the table has a rectangular top, has four legs of equal lengths, and they're all mounted parallel to each other. The other set is purely visual. It feeds me information about the silhouette shape of the table. It tells me the tabletop is a distorted diamond, not a rectangle. The legs are of unequal lengths and they're not parallel to each other. These two sets of information put together is how I think my brain makes sense of the world around me. But here you might now see where the problem is. These two sets of information contradict each other at the same time. They are also both correct in their own views. One is logical and one is visual. And these two views are like two voices talking to me at the same time. If I were to take instructions from these two voices as I was drawing, it might play out something like this. The visual voice would tell me to draw a distorted diamond, but the logical voice would keep telling me to draw a proper rectangle, four legs of equal length. So I would draw it like this. Then the visual voice would say, that doesn't look right. There are legs that come up from the side of the table. I might end up drawing this, which does not look like the table I see. In between what I see and what I think I see, which is probably what happened here, I discovered that if we want to draw from observation and just draw what we see, we have to do two things. Number one, train ourselves to listen to only the visual voice. Number two, learn a way how to silence the logic voice while drawing. And of course, not permanently, because we need logic to function in this world. How do we do that? First, let's start with a training to train our minds to listen to the visual voice as carefully as we can see you in the next lesson. 3. Seeing Everything as Shapes: In this lesson, we're going to train our minds to listen to what the visual voice tells us to draw. So we're going to practice reproducing shapes that we see in front of us and as accurately as we can get your A five sketchbook out or if you're using loose paper, fold an A four sheet in half and that's your A five page. This is just practice. So for me I'll use inexpensive paper. I'm using just photocopy paper. I recommend using a smooth pen and one that gives you a broad line. Let's start with this exercise. When you outline a shape, you'll find that you're either doing a straight line or a curved line. Do this, warm up. Draw a straight line, then a curve, then a straight one, and a curve one as one continuous line. Just follow along. Feel free to go in any direction and get used to these two movements. Make some curves big and some small. Pause your line whenever you need a moment to think where to go next. Done now divide your five page into four parts. There's no need to use a ruler. We want to get used to these hand drawn lines that are not perfectly straight. After quartering this page, make another two boxes on another page because we're going to practice outlining six shapes. As we're outlining the shapes, I want us all to observe this one rule. I call it discipline. When you're drawing, meaning as your pen moves, always keep your eyes on the shape. Only glance at your paper every now and then for a second or so to orientate yourself. And when you do that, stop drawing. Then when your eyes are back on the shape, then only allow your pen to continue drawing. This is how it looks like when I'm doing it. When my eyes are on the shape, that's when I'm getting visual instructions. And I can draw most accurately when you see this icon on the screen. That's the reminder to practice. Discipline. Got it. Okay, now let's start with the shapes exercise. We're going to start by outlining this block of colored shape. Watch me draw it first and then it's your turn. Right now, I'm drawing one of my small boxes. Just draw as slowly as you need to and stop. Anytime when you need a moment to think. I'm trying to capture the details as tightly as I can. Sometimes I find that it helps if I plant dots to help me aim where to go next. As you can see that my outline of the shape is a bit shorter, But that's all right, some distortion is perfectly acceptable, so long as the shape is recognizable. Okay, now it's your turn. Please pause the video and draw the shape. Now let's do this funny looking shape as much as you can. Try to keep your pen in contact with the paper, I find that that gives me a cleaner line. If you find it difficult to get the angles right, one thing that could help is to imagine a clock face with a hand that's pointing at the same angle as your line. Then draw the line again. Really go slow and pay attention to small details like is that corner sharp or is it rounded? But at the same time, we're not aiming for perfection. If it's more or less there, it's fine. If you make a mistake, don't sweat it. Just go over with a new line. I've been doing this for years and I still make mistakes. It's totally fine. The main goal is to train your mind to draw the shapes that you see. The more you practice, the better you'll get at it. Okay, now it's your turn again. Give yourself about 1 minute. Now, the third shape. I'm using the clock phase to figure out the angle. Now, I don't actually draw this clock phase. When I'm drawing, it's usually just in my mind, and this is just for demonstration. Even if the line looks really simple, I find that it helps that I keep my eyes on the shape as I draw. It helps me to know when to end the line going really slow, so I get the angles right. To help me get the proportions right, I just do a simple ratio in my head, like this. Top here is about one third of the length here, adding a dot to help me with this angle and we're done. My outline is a bit taller than the actual shape, but that's all right. Now it's your turn now for the fourth shape. Strange shape, isn't it? But that's what contour drawing pretty much is drawing funny, strange shapes. I'm starting with getting this angle right. Sharp bend here. Okay, my angle is not perfect. But all right, let's just move along using this corner to gauge where the other corner starts. Now the angle has changed. Remember I'm just drawing these clocks for demonstration, but you can draw them out if it helps you. This part can be higher, gauging where one corner starts from looking at the other corner. Remember to just leave mistakes there. That's part of the lesson. Your turn now for this one, we're going to practice drawing these shapes, but we're going to pay attention to how they are placed in relation to each other. Getting that first angle down as accurately as possible. Starting and stopping. Trying to figure out how far I should go Now, where should I start drawing that next shape? I'd say it's a bit past the halfway mark of the first shape. Again, if the shapes are a bit distorted, it's totally fine. But try to draw them as accurately as you can by keeping your eyes on the shape as you draw here, I'm using the corners to determine where this new corner starts, like how far apart they are. The more accurately you can draw these shapes, the more accurately you can draw anything. When you're looking at objects, observe yourselves to see how you're doing with the eye discipline thing. Make sure your eyes are fixed on the shape as you're drawing and not on the paper. If you're looking at your pen, move on the paper, that means you're not looking at the shape. Keep going back to the shape over to you, ready for the final shape. Here we go. You can see it is pretty much the same things getting their angles right, you can straight line and then later curves. Now for this part, although it just looks like a bunch of random curves, don't just do it loosely like this, that's too loose. In fact, make your pen cling to every small curve and corner. Go extra slow if you have to. This will be useful when you're capturing small details of objects in the future. But of course it does not need to be 100% accurate. Perhaps aim for about 70 to 80% accuracy, or so long that it is recognizable as the shape. Now for this next line, if I wasn't looking at the shape, I'll probably draw it as a perfectly horizontal line, but it actually has an angle. Just correcting it a bit, we're done. Now you can see the difference between the outline that is too loose and the outline that's done more carefully. Go for the more careful outline. Your turn. Last one. Now look at all the shapes you have drawn. Do they resemble the shapes on the screen? If it's more or less there, that's what we're aiming for. Good effort. You're getting better at drawing shapes more accurately. Now with these shapes, let me show you what you have actually been drawing. These shapes actually make up parts of this scene. There is your first pink shape, the mustard shape. The purple one has just been rotated. The one with many small curves, the one that looks like a dinosaur, and the three blue shapes. If you could draw these shapes more or less accurately, this shows that you can draw any scene, because every scene that you see with your eyes are also just made up of shapes like these. Therefore, we can end the course here. Just kidding, There's more. Now you know how to draw the shapes that the visual voice tells you to draw. In the next lesson, I'm excited to introduce to you a way I used to silence the logic voice in my head. So stay tuned. 4. Forming Big Shapes: When you were outlining the shapes in the last lesson, I believe that most of you could capture the shapes fairly accurately. Am I right? That shows that you were able to listen and follow the instructions of the visual voice. Or you could say you were able to draw what you see, what you saw. And I believe that most of you found it easy because of one reason you couldn't or didn't logically identify what you were drawing. Most of you thought that you were just drawing random shapes. So the logic voice was silent and only the visual voice was talking. This time we're going to look at real objects in a real scene. We're going to interpret them as shapes and then outline them. But because this time we will be able to identify the objects we'll be drawing. The logic voice is going to be talking while the visual voice is telling us how to draw. Now here are some items found in the bathroom. If we try to look at these objects as individual shapes and try to draw them can be quite a challenge. Supposing I tried to draw the first shape, the shape still looks a lot like a toothbrush, right? If it's still easy for my brain to identify the object, the logic voice would still be telling me how to draw it. And I might draw it like this instead of this, which is what we really want. So how do we quieten this logic voice or at least tune it down really low? When I first started teaching urban sketching, I'd often hear myself telling students, just see everything as shapes and just draw the shapes you see. But they still wouldn't be able to draw the shapes that they saw. So I gave it more thought and I started observing my own thought process as I drew. And this is what I tell students now to quieten the logic voice, combine a few objects together to form big shapes like this. Now, from this shape, can you easily identify what the objects are? It's a lot harder. Right? And that's what we want. When we make it difficult for the brain to identify the objects logically, the logic voice goes quieter or mute, and we can listen to the visual voice talking a lot more clearly. Okay, let's do the first exercise. Again, we're going to draw small, try drawing roughly within a quarter of an, A five sheet of paper. Now let's practice outlining big shapes. Starting with this one. Just treat it as though it were just a random shape like from your earlier exercise. Keep your eyes on the shape as you draw and not on your paper. Go slow if you have to pay attention to the angles. Oops, I miscalculated the size of it. If this happens to you, don't worry, Just keep drawing. If you're thinking this feels unnatural, I would agree, because I think most of us grew up learning how to draw by drawing objects separately. But with some practice, you'll get used to it. Okay, My outline is not perfect, but it's more or less there. And that's what we're aiming for. Now it's your turn. Please pause the video and outline these objects as a big shape. Just like I did remember that some distortion is perfectly fine. You'll get better as you go along. And with everything else, expect to get more accurate the more you practice. So go easy on yourself. Now, we're going to do two more shapes in this lesson. Again, let's practice this process. Look at the objects in the scene, combine a few objects to form a big shape. Outline that big shape. And let's not cut it up yet. I know you must be itching to do that, but hold onto these drawings for now and we'll cut them up into small shapes in the next lesson. You know, when you're out there in an urban setting, they're going to be vehicles. So we're going to draw this scene with this car in it. I know some of you might be starting to freak out like, I can't draw cars. Cars are really hard to draw, so don't let your brain think about the word car. How do we do that? If I see just the car as a shape, it's still pretty easy for me to identify it as a car. Let's combine even more things together into one big shape here, you can see I've combined the car, the building next to it and all that stuff under that shade, And even the shadow under the car, it's hard to tell where the car ends and where the shadow starts. Anyways, as you can see, I've combined about seven items here and the shape doesn't look like a car anymore, And that's what we want. Let's just outline this big shape like this. I'm just drawing the frame first. It's not mandatory, but usually it helps me to know where the boundaries of the drawing are. I'm not thinking about the car or the building, I'm just focused on the contours of this shape. I'm showing you the red colored shape on screen right now just for demonstration purposes. But when you're out drawing, you'll have to learn to see the big shape with your own mind in just a little while. I'm going to remove the colored block from the photo, but I want you to continue seeing it with your own imagination. Can you still see the big shape in your mind? To help you grapple with seeing the big shape, imagine that the objects you have combined are back lit, and all you can see is this big, black, silhouetted shape. And imagine nothing else exists around it. And that's the shape you outline. Now I've completed my outline, and now it's your turn. So please pause the video and do your best in outlining this same combination of objects I just did. But this time I want you to practice imagining the big shape without my help. So I'm not going to show you the colored block. You can do this, go for it. If you feel like you're still struggling with drawing the big shapes, observe yourself as you draw. Make sure that your eyes are locked onto the shape that you're looking at as you're drawing. That is key. And only glance at the drawing on your paper every now and then just to orientate yourself, or you could try this as you draw. Fix your gaze on the shape you're drawing for seven to 10 seconds, like 1-234-567-8910 And then allow yourself to look at your drawing for like one or 2 seconds. But stop your drawing and then continue another 10 seconds. Just don't look at your paper draw for another ten, seven to 10 seconds, Try that. Okay. Now, for the last exercise, you have drawn objects, you have drawn vehicles, and no, what's left? People. Most scenes are going to have people in it. So let's draw this some of you, when you look at people, you might start to switch gears and go into portrait mode. Don't do that. Just see everything the same way, everything are just shapes. Just practice the process we've been doing so far. Combine the objects to form the big two D shape and just contour or outline that big two D shape. If it helps think of the contours of the big shape you're drawing, like the contours of a country on a map. It's just a flat two D shape and just outlined that two D shape. So let's draw this guy. This is a random person at a coffee shop down the road from my house. Let's just continue practicing combining things into one big shape here. I've just chosen to combine all the things closest to me in the foreground. So I've combined the man and all his body parts altogether. The table, the bench, the bench across from him, the bag on the bench across from him. Even the plate on his table, everything combined into one big shape. Now let's outline this big shape. Just like before, it's really up to you how you want to combine stuff together. I usually aim to make it one big chunk of shape. And I combine just enough objects to make it difficult for my brain to identify what they are. Again, I'm going to slowly remove the big shape. Practice imagining the big shape in your own mind. Oops, get a bit confused at that part there. But remember to just keep moving on. When you make a mistake, don't crumple up the paper and throw it away and start a new one. Just keep at it going a bit slower around these small details, seeing that clock face in my head for the angles comparing corners. Just reminding myself, I'm not drawing a person, I'm just copying some two D shapes and putting them down on paper. And we'll just stop at this big shape for now. Remember that this big shape part is really important and it's good that you master it before you move on. Next, we'll learn to cut these big shapes into small shapes. See you in the next lesson. 5. From Big Shapes to Small Shapes: Now let us break down big shapes into small shapes to complete outlining the objects. We'll continue the big shapes drawing from the previous lesson, so get them ready now. How do we break down the big shapes? Where do we start and where do we end? Our main goal is to make the shapes we're drawing recognizable as the objects correct. So I follow the simple principle, outline, the most essential shapes that make the objects recognizable. This is where we stopped in the previous lesson. Just the big overall silhouette shape. Now I'm going for the most essential shapes that make these objects recognizable. Cutting the big shape here, I think. Now I'll cut out the shape of the toothbrush, making a small correction in my line here. Yep, you can do that too. Although I just called it a toothbrush, I'm still seeing it as a shape now. The silhouette shape that represents the toothpaste and cutting out the shape for the other toothbrush, I'm skipping those details. On the other toothbrush, you can choose to leave stuff out that are not essential. Defining the shape of the toothbrush brushes, the shape is a bit smaller than the actual object. It's okay, never mind, leave it. My eyes are still locked onto the scene, seeing each part as small shapes and that is still really important. Even at this stage. Using dots to plot my path angle can be more accurate, but okay, it's okay paying attention to where and how this line curves. This is the cap, so I consider it essential and also the top part. I think some lines would help to communicate that this is a toothbrush and some dots to represent. Well, this part, I guess I should include a bit of these graphics to communicate that it's a toothpaste. But I'm just going to keep it really minimal just to give an impression of it. But my eyes are still locked onto the scene as I'm doing these bits. Now, what about the objects we can see through this translucent material to make it semi defined, I draw the shapes without closing the outlines. Or you could say, I'm just drawing parts of the shape and leaving the rest unfinished. Well, that's how I do it. I'll stop here. Now that the objects are recognizable enough for those who like more detail, feel free to keep capturing more small shapes. But if you'd like to keep things minimal, just stop here. That'll be enough. Okay, now it's your turn. Pause or rewind the video and cut this big shape into small shapes. Now let's cut up this big shape with the car. The first thing I'm doing here is separating the objects from each other. In my mind, I'm seeing the shape of the car and I'm just outlining that flat two D shape. I'm not going to separate the shadows under the car from the car because they seem pretty integrated with the car. I just want to draw what I see, not what I think should be there. Drawing the little aerial, you can decide what's essential for me. I think it'll be nice to include it trying to figure out that angle for that shade. Oh well, I think I still got it slightly off. Maybe you'll get it more accurate than me. In the next lesson, we'll use perspective points and that should help with all these angles. But you know, for quick loose drawings like these, some inaccurate angles and wonky lines still look fine, so long as people can recognize objects from the shapes, that's the main aim. Okay, so what are the essential shapes that define a car? I'd say the shape of the windows. So I'm going with that. Yep. If you make a mistake, just go over again with a new line. Keep it really casual like that, because the windows are dark. I'm trying to cover over my mistakes. Yep, you can do that too. In this part, you're essentially drawing small, floating shapes in relation to each other. Remember this exercise? I'm just darkening the windows to cover up my mistakes. Now, what other essential shapes define the car? Okay, the shapes of the lights will make it recognizable as a car. Defining the pavement is important. These small lights and the white part of this car, that's a pretty defining feature. It looks like my big shape for the tire area wasn't so accurate. I'll fix that later. The hub caps are pretty defining, correcting that big shape. Now I think I'm going to just fill in all these black parts because that's pretty defining for this car. Yeah, I guess that's a good way to think about this small shapes part aimed for the defining essential features. Now just some smaller details here and there just to define this particular car, because this car is a bit more close up in this scene, I'm just drawing a bit more details. If this car is further back and not so important, I would draw a lot less detail. Now, what about all those complex details under the shade? How do we define them? Simply here is how I do it. I squint my eyes and look at all those small, brighter shapes against the darker background, and I'm just outlining those brighter shapes. I feel that there's no need to define the objects under the shade because they are not essential to what the scene, at the scene is about. The car. Just a vague impression of those things is enough. Just going to correct that angle there. Add a few more of those bright shapes. I'm calling it done. Now it's your turn to break down this scene into small shapes. You don't have to break it down into the same small shapes I used. Break it down your own way. But just aim for the essential shapes that define the objects. You decide what they are. Okay, now let's break up this big shape with this man in it. First, I'm going to try to separate the man from the table. Should I make that line go up or should I continue with the shape of the body? I think I'm going with the shape of the body first. These are some decisions you're going to have to make on your own. Remember that the key is to aim for the most essential, defining shapes or features. First, separating the hid from the shoulders. I'm just going to draw one crease there, I don't want to overdo it. I think the shape of the shirt should go down a bit lower. Well, it's also because I got confused with the height of the bench, and now the bench part is a bit warky. Now, just a few cut lines and I've cut out the pants. The bench across from him and the bag and the other piece of the bench. Yep, I'm leaving it distorted like that. It still tells the story and sometimes these wonkiness looks charming to me. As you can see, once the big shape is in place, just some simple cut lines and you can define the objects. Now these crease lines seem inconsequential, but they can be really important. They give off a lot of information about the form of the figure and how the figure is leaning. They may look simple, but don't go into autopilot mode and draw from memory. Instead, keep your eyes on the scene as you're drawing these crease lines. And pay attention to the angles of the lines. It's not perfect, but how is this? Is it defined enough? I think he will look more complete if I did the hair too. That should fall under the texture lesson, but we'll do a bit of that right now. How do we capture the hair in a simple, minimal way? I noticed that the hair looks pretty short. I'm going to represent the hair with short dashes. I'm also observing the angle of how his hair flows down his head. So I angled my dashes accordingly, just adding those additional creases by being really careful because my pen is broad and I don't overdo it. Okay. So I think the scene is defined enough and we can stop here now. It's your turn. This is the last exercise. Do your best. 6. Perspective: This lesson, we're going to learn how to use perspective in our drawings. That involves learning how to draw parallel lines from different angles. When we look at lines that are logically parallel to each other, from this straight on angle, they look like this, right? But from a different angle, visually, they look like this. And now here's an important thing to note. All these lines that are parallel to each other will always converge to a point. How do you find that point? Pick two or three of these parallel lines, and with your mind, follow their path to where they meet. That will be the point that will guide you in drawing all the lines that are parallel to each other in this scene. All right. Get your paper or sketchbook ready. We're going to practice drawing these parallel lines from this angle. I know it's starting to look a bit more challenging, but remember what we have learned. It's all a bunch of shapes. I'm using a broad marker pen this time and I'm drawing it small. I think this building starts close to around the halfway mark here. Using a dot to help me aim where I want to go next, the big shape is the most important. I'm going slow, just like before, to silence the logic voice in my head. I'm combining the building and the trees together as one big shape. And I'm outlining that shape now for these fine leaves that don't really have a clear border, using a broken line is one way to outline them. I don't have to be too exact about every branch, but I'm still keeping my eyes on each branch in the scene as I'm drawing them. And I've combined these other small background objects too. Now to break down this big shape into smaller shapes, I'm just looking for the essentials squinting my eyes. I've decided to separate the areas that are in shadow from the areas that are brighter. I feel this best helps define the scene. For me to finish this shape, I realize I need to figure out that perspective point. How do I do that? I'm picking out a few parallel lines from the scene to see where they lead and where they converge. Can you find the perspective point before I do? Is it here? Let me double check. Okay, More or less here, and let's just put a small x there. Now I will use this perspective point, or some people call it a vanishing point, to guide the angle of this line, and then I can finish up the shape. I think adding a separation line here would help me define the building a bit better. Now remember our small shapes exercise. Don't try to figure out objects that you can't really see clearly. I'm just outlining this brighter area that is against the darkness. Now let's get to those perspective lines. I usually move my pen like this to help me aim at the perspective point. Adding some marks also help. Then I'm just drawing the lines toward the perspective point. I'm just going to color this in because when there are many lines, it can get confusing. Adding a point at one end, marking a point where the line stops and joining the line, that's another way to do it. Remember that if the lines are a bit wonky, or a bit distorted, or a bit crooked, just don't worry about it. Let it be loose. Now I just want to loose representation of this building, but I do want to get the number of floors right. I've counted eight floors and this is one of the rare times where I'm looking at my drawing on my paper. As I'm drawing, because I need to aim the lines at my perspective point. I also note that the lines become closer together as the floors go higher up. At this point, I realized I made a big mistake. I was focusing so much on the perspective lines. I forgot about this column right now. I'm just fudging it to fix it. And I'm just going to leave this mistake in the video so you can see that these mistakes do happen. Even to people who have been sketching for such a long time. Look out for this as you're drawing this scene. But also don't stress so much about mistakes. It's all about practicing and learning as you go along. I've counted about eight flows. So eight dots just outlining this other essential shape and we're done. As for me, I'll just color all this black so that you can see the scene a bit more clearly. Okay, so that's how I use a perspective point with a contour drawing, and now it's your turn. Let's see how you handle the perspective lines. Now here's something that you might encounter when you're out sketching. Remember this car scene. These angles look like they're all headed to the same perspective point, right? But if you follow where they lead, you'll find that the angles from the building converge to this point. While the angles on the road and the car converge to this point. Why is this so? It's because the road slopes upwards, and so those angles become a different set of parallel lines. We're not going to draw this scene, it's just something for you to take note of. But we're going to draw this scene with two perspective points. Well, actually there are three, but let's just focus on two of them for this exercise. Again, drawing it small to keep it simple and quick. Combining multiple objects to form the big shape. Now I'm breaking it into small shapes, focusing on just the main essentials. Now let's find the first perspective point, looking at the angles in the scene, as well as looking at the angles. In my own drawing, I realize that the perspective point is way outside of my drawing. I don't want to draw on my table, so I'm adding an extra paper there. Just trying to trace the path of the angles. And the point should be around here. This perspective point will be useful in angling all those tiny windows. Okay, I'm counting roughly ten windows along this row. Before I draw the windows, I guess I should draw this column first. Okay, So using the perspective point, I'm drawing my first set of windows. And then just dotting the other windows downwards, just ten of them and then just dotting the rest of the windows. You know what? As I was dotting, I forgot all about the perspective point that could happen for the rest of these dots. I should pay attention to the perspective point as I'm drawing them like this, Adding in that top part with the same perspective point. Let's add the lines on this other building because they're parallel to the small windows that we have just drawn, just like that. Okay, now let's find the other perspective point for the windows on the other side of the building. But first, it'll be good to know this, since the windows on both sides of the building are on the same horizontal plane. The other perspective point should appear along the same line, which is actually the horizon line. If there are no buildings or objects and we can see where the sky meets the sea, this is just knowledge that is good to know for troubleshooting purposes. Okay. Now finding the perspective point for the other set of windows, looking at the parallel lines on this side of the building, seeing where they converge. And here's the other point now just lining up the windows to the point counting the windows, I'm just going to do ten windows and trying to roughly match it to the other side of the building. I'm just doing it loosely. I have a rather big tolerance for looseness, so even though some windows are off, it looks fine to me. If your goal is to give people a general representation of the building, just having the big and small shapes more or less accurate, and having the windows angled more or less in the direction of the perspective point. I find that it is good enough, but it is up to you to dial up the neatness and accuracy if you like. Just go slower and more carefully. We're looking at it again. My windows could afford to be neater, but right now it's your turn. Remember that the perspective points are far outside the picture. Draw small and give yourself enough space to mark out the perspective points, or use a separate sheet of paper, like I did in the next lesson. Textures. 7. Adding Textures: When you're drawing urban scenes, it is inevitable that you'll end up drawing plants and trees, and that means capturing texture. For some scenes, you're going to have a multiple range of textures like this one. Now, it will be rather ridiculous and unrealistic to capture every single leaf on these trees. It will take all day, or maybe forever. What's a quick and simple way to capture these textures Using a line tool, like a pen or pencil. So this is how I do it. If I were to draw what's in this circle, I'll first try to separate the most obvious clumps of foliage for the outline. I'm using a dotted broken line because the separation between these clumps isn't exactly very clear. Now for these leaves, I pay attention to their shape and size and also the direction they're flowing. The leaves are small, but not exactly tiny. I feel that these short dashes will represent them. Well, note that I'm keeping these dashes more or less consistent in size and shape. I'm treating it like a repeated pattern, you know, like patterns found on a wrapping paper. This somehow helps me keep it looking neat and pleasing to the eye. I also find that the consistency of size and shape will help differentiate this section from another section of texture. As I'm drawing these leaves, I'm also paying attention to the direction the leaves are flowing out, or how they are angling as they are flowing out from the branches. I'm keeping my eyes on the actual scene as I'm making these short dashes and I'm angling them as I go along. It's important not to just look at your drawing as you're drawing this. If not, the angles will not be accurate. This small area will look something like this. I'll do two more and then you can have a go at it. Now these textures have a different shape and size. I think I'm going to represent them like this. There's no right or wrong. It's just about keeping it simple and consistent. Now I'm drawing what's in the circle. I'm angling the direction of the lines as I see it in the scene. I'm keeping my eyes locked onto the actual scene, but I'm also glancing at my paper every now and then. As for consistency, I'm still keeping it more or less the same pattern, but according to the scene, some lines are shorter and some are longer. I'm representing it that way. I'm just drawing the essentials, trying to keep it simple. Now, one more. The leaves on this tree are the tiniest in the scene. I'm going to represent them with these dots or rather short dashes that are almost dots. Drawing what's in the circle. My own personal strategy is to start with the branches. I hope you realize that nobody is really going to double check if you get the branches right or wrong. But I'm keeping my eyes on the scene anyway and trying to capture them as accurately as possible. Just like outlining translucent objects or things that can't be seen so clearly. I'm using these broken lines now to add these tiny leaves. Again, I'm trying to observe the direction they're flowing. I can't really tell because they're so tiny. But I'm doing my best. I find that just a loose representation is enough. Okay, now it's your turn. Practice drawing the textures in all three circles. Remember to draw them small. You may draw all three circles in one five sheet of paper. Next up, we're going to learn how to break an entire scene into a few big shapes. See you there. 8. Sketching a Whole Scene: All right, So far we've learned how to combine multiple objects into big shapes and then to break down that big shapes into small shapes. But we have not done a complete scene yet. Now I think you're ready to break down an entire scene into a few big shapes and then we're going to break down all those big shapes in that scene into small shapes. And that's how we're going to complete outlining an entire scene. Here we go. Remember we're drawing small, about a quarter of an, A five page. And I recommend using a broader pen. But if you want more of a challenge, you can use a finer pen. First, I'm dividing this scene into a few big shapes. Remember that we form big shapes by combining multiple objects together. This first big shape pretty much combines all the objects in this scene together. For the second big shape, I'm combining the building with this bush here, and then I'm separating the building from the bush. Both are big shapes. You may cut up this scene into big shapes however you want, but follow this principle in general. Divide the scene into big chunks of big shapes and try to attend to the smaller shapes only later. Okay, right now we have 123456 big shapes. Now for the second part, let's cut these big shapes into small shapes. Here are the small shapes within this particular big shape. Remember to just aim for the essential defining details for this big shape. I'm just outlining the clumps and then adding in the textures. Same for this big shape, adding in a suitable texture that represent these leaves. Remember to pay attention to the direction the leaves are slanting. As you can see, after doing the big shapes, I'm just going from big shape to big shape. And filling in the small shapes in this shape is just branches and tiny dots for the leaves. These leaves are slightly bigger, so I'm using slightly longer dashes. And that's all for outlining this scene from big shapes to small shapes. But to make this drawing look a little more complete, let's do this. Screen your eyes and look at the scene. And fill into your drawing all the areas that look solid black. Making the blacks as black as you can will make the image come out more clearly. I'll cover more about this in our tonal values lesson. Okay, let's call this done, and now it's your turn. Pause this video and outline this scene from big shapes to small shapes. Now here's a scene from around my neighborhood. I know it may look complicated, but by applying what we have learned, we can break this down. Simply draw the frame out loosely. And remember, we're drawing small now to simplify things and to block out the logic voice in my head. I'm going to combine all these things as one big shape first. Now to cut out the other big shapes, I first need to find the perspective point for these parallel lines here. Roughly gauging where they lead. It should be around here, maybe a bit higher like here. That point will help me with the angle of the big shape. Here you'll notice that I'm combining the small little people together with the objects to form big shapes. This helps me keep my logic voice quiet, cutting out another big shape. Now we have 12345 big shapes like before. Let's cut each of these big shapes into smaller shapes using the perspective point to accurately get the angles right for these parallel lines. I'm only using the perspective point as and when it's needed. I'm not constructing the entire scene ground up from the perspective point. Now these small detailing, although they look very complex, I'm actually just looking at the scene, looking at the form of the tiny shapes and I'm just outlining them. I'm not logically processing what those tiny shapes are. If you look closely, they're just blocks of shapes, but they just give an impression of many things there. Usually just a few of these shapes will do the job. You don't have to capture every single object or every single shape there, adding texture on the tree, and just filling in the blacks to make the scene more clear. These windows probably go to a perspective point, but I'm not going to care about these. It's a personal choice. You could find the perspective point for them if you like, texture patterns for these plants here and the fence. And I'll call this done. As far as outlines go, announce your turn. Pause the video and outline this scene from big shapes to small shapes. Next up, we're going to draw a scene with things in motion. 9. Capturing a Scene in Motion: So far we've been drawing scenes that don't move, but when you're out there doing urban sketching, things in the scene are going to be moving all the time. People are not going to stand still and wait for you to draw them. It's going to be slightly different from drawing from a photograph. Here's an exercise to prepare you for how it's going to be when you're drawing scenes in real life. I usually meet up with my friend Daniel for breakfast and we just sit down, have coffee or tea, and we talk about life. This is the scene I'm going to draw, but I'm going to demonstrate how I draw it while things are in motion, observe the decisions I make as I draw this scene. This scene is going to start moving in 321. I'm not going to speed up this video so you can see how I make decisions real time. Again, I'm drawing small. This time about a third of an five sheet. First thing I'm doing is grouping the objects that are closest to me, or you could say in the foreground, as one big shape. I'm combining the table, the plates, the cup and my friend, the stuff on the table as the first big shape. The chairs, the second big shape, well, actually is a small shape, but I'm making an exception. Does a waitress serving coffee behind have to move fast? I'm just capturing the essential, defining shapes. Now the man just the essential details, no finer details because he's not the main focus of the picture. Probably notice that I went directly to small shapes for the people behind Daniel. That's because they were in motion and I had to do my best to capture all the essential details as quickly as I could to do this corridor. I figured out the perspective point, because in this scene, there are a lot of parallel lines converging to that point. But I want to quickly draw the people standing there because they're gonna move. I'm drawing the overall silhouette for this guy first. For the rest of these guys, I think I have to go straight into small shapes too. Because although small shapes are in motion, I'm still trying to capture their outer silhouettes. First, I'm adjusting my perspective point a little, could be more accurate, and I realize I've drawn the people a little bit too tall, but I'm just rolling with it. Since I'm pretty much done drawing all the moving people, I can now take my time drawing the parts in the scene that are pretty much stationary. You'll notice that I'm not filling in the details for my friend yet. Well, that's because I know that he's not going to go anywhere anytime soon. So I can relax and get to him later. If you were to scrutinize the perspective point should be actually behind his shoulder, but I have positioned it a bit too high. So right now I'm just improvising and still trying to make the scene work with the perspective point that I have. Should be close enough. But I think as I said before, when you do a contour drawing, you have some license to draw it loose and some distortions is perfectly okay. But the main thing is that you have to be okay with it. So right now I'm drawing everything on the shelf and making sure they all point to the perspective point, since they're parallel. As for all the final details within the stalls window, it's not important what they are because drawing them will not add to what the scene is all about. So I'm just trying to capture whatever shapes I see within that window. Just very loosely, just creating an impression of objects there, filling in the rest of the lines that define the corridor, figuring out what shapes the fan should take. I'm just going to loosely represent them with this shape. Just adding a hair line for this guy based on the new guy that's standing there. I should finish drawing all these canned drinks here, just very loosely. Now for the main subject matter drawing my friend starting with the essentials first. For me, I think that's the hair line now for the arms to keep moving. So I have to gauge what the overall shapes of the arms look like and draw them quickly. The key is to see the arm as a shape and not as an arm. So as you can see, this is pretty tricky. Some points I'm imagining how the arm looks like based on how I remember seeing it in that last position for the facial features and the plate, the phone and his wallet. Just some separation lines for the rest of the background. I have to look at the perspective point since they're all parallel with the perspective point. I know exactly how to slant those lines, so it makes things a lot easier now just adding some small details here and there. Touch ups. Let's just fill in all the parts that are black because they're going to stay black. Adding the shape of the arm for this guy. I believe he was wearing black, so let's just color him black. Oh yeah. In these small pictures, they slant to the perspective point as well. That's how I draw a scene with things in motion. Now it's your turn for this exercise. Go out and practice drawing a scene with things in motion. 10. Applying Tonal Values: Up till now, we've been focusing mainly on the outlines. But the sketch done in just outlines can look a little incomplete, don't you? Think so. So what else do you think it needs? Tonal values. And what's that? Tonal values are basically the light and dark parts of a scene. I'd say it's pretty important because it allows us to see the forms of our objects in our scenes a lot clearer. And I found that knowing how to apply it strategically will allow me to control which areas of the drawing stand out and which parts recede into the background. Here, I've made the car stand out the most. Okay, to begin understanding tonal values, we first have to separate it from color. So let's remove the colors from this picture like this. And what do we have left? We just see very dark areas. Not so dark areas and lighter areas. Those are the tonal values of this picture. They range from white all the way to black. And there could be 1 million shades of tonal values in just one scene. But for a quick and simple sketch, I found that picking just four values from the range is more than sufficient white for the highlights. A light middle tone, a darker middle tone, and black to represent the darkest parts of the picture. Now, before we start putting them into a scene, let me first share, Two principles are found to be true of tonal values. This will help you control what stands out in your scene and what doesn't. The first principle, the more contrast an area has, the more attraction power it will possess. Just looking at these four values here, if we put a white next to a light midtone, we have some contrast Ait next to a darker midtone, we have more contrast. Ait next to a black, we have the highest contrast. So if we had this word here in a light middle tone gray against this white background, we have some contrast. And our eyes will be attracted to that area of the screen. Am I right? But if we had another word here, in the highest contrast, black next to white, our eyes will be most attracted to that area of the screen. Now, the more contrast area has, the more attraction power it will possess. Using just this principle, I can actually control where you're looking on the screen right now. Now here's the second principle. Larger areas of contrast will have more attraction power than smaller areas of contrast. Over here we have this word. In the highest contrast we can have black against white. But if we had another of that same word on the same screen, much bigger, taking up more area, our eyes will now be more attracted to that area. Instead, the bigger area of contrast trumps over the smaller area of contrast. Making it bolder increases the attraction power even more. Conversely, having another of that same word, smaller, takes away the attraction power and makes it seem less important. Using this principle, we can also give this giant word a lower contrast, and still have it stand out against the smaller word that has the highest contrast. Size does matter. Okay, now let's get to the drawing part. Now, There are many ways to represent tonal values with different art mediums, but in this course we're just sketching with a black pen. So how do we represent tonal values with just a black pen? For the highlights, I just leave it the color of the paper so I do nothing for the arcs or shadows. I usually start with downward strokes, then go over again with the strokes tilted at a slightly different angle. Then again with another different angle and another. I do this until there are hardly any white parts left again. This is how I do the angle. To achieve a light mid tone, I try to do my downward strokes with minimal pressure. I want my lines to be as thin as possible, and I try to give some space in between them. This allows the area to have more white than black. To achieve a darker mid tone, I use a normal pressure, and I space the lines closer together. I can also add a layer of angled lines if I want this area to be darker. Now, try this out for yourself on a piece of paper. Okay, now this is how I apply tono values to a sketch for this scene. Here, I feel that the main focus on the main story points is my friend in the foreground and the area where the people are getting their food from the counter. So I want these two areas to stand out, but I want my friend to stand out. The most I do that by raising the contrast around the area where my friend is. I'm using the blackness of his hair to contrast against the lightness of his skin. To maximize the contrast, I'm keeping his skin white. Black against white is high. As contrast more attraction. I want to stay true to the scene so I can't make his shirt black. So how else can I make his form stand out? Squinting my eyes. I noticed that the background behind him is kind of dark but not too dark. So I'm going to fill in the ceiling and the floor as a dark midtone. If you have a wetter pen, you can do a little smudging. This can help smoothen out the area and also add some interesting textures. Now as you can see, the dark mid tone in the background, put next to the lighter values of my friend's form now makes my friend stand out even more. Now how else can I add contrasts around the area of my friend. Darken the shadow in his cup and next to his elbow, darken the values of his plate. So he stands out against the whites of the table. Hm. What else? I'll color the waitress who was there earlier. I'll give her a dark shirt, so it contrasts against the white of my friend's shirt. That helps my friend stand out even more. Now let's increase the contrast of this area. It's not completely black and there's lots of details within that window. So I'm just going to fudge some details there. But what I'm really doing is adding more black into that area, making it a darker mid tone. And that will contrast against the lighter values on the outside of the window. I'll also give this guy solid black hair. Black against white is high contrast, and that's how I make this area more attractive to the eye. But I have to watch out that it doesn't become more attractive than the area of my friend. So maybe I should give my friend a bit more contrast. Black outlines are basically small areas of high contrast, so thickening and outline will raise the contrast a bit. Adding some light mid tones against white. Some darker, smudgy mid tones against white. Let's just try smudging ink directly from my finger so that can create a lighter mid tone. And it looks more gentle on the eye than hatching. Light mid tone against white creates some contrast. So I'm hoping it will help increase the contrast around the area of my friend, darken her shirt a bit more. Making this guy's shirt a mid tone will also help my friend stand out a bit more. This black against white area has a bit too much attraction power. I'm going to reduce it. I do that by adding some mid tones there. It's white against a mid tone and a mid tone against a black. Less attraction power. I'm thinking, should I add any values to this area? Okay, just maybe a very light mid tone, but I don't want that area to stand out. So I'm just going to leave it unfinished. Just as outlines, my friend stands out and the counter stands out, so I think it works. And that's how we apply tonal values to a sketch. Next up is your final project, where you'll be drawing scenes with tonal values and all and applying all you've learned so far. See you there. 11. Your Final Project: Now here's what you'll do for your final project. Prepare a pen and an A Five sketchbook. Preferably a pen that is broad and smooth. Carry these two items with you throughout the day and whenever you have some time to relax during the day, maybe at an eatery or a cafe, even if you just have ten or 15 minutes, take out your sketchbook and pen and sketch what you see around you here. I've just stopped over at a food center in the morning after a gym session, and I'm just taking some time to sketch. I find I'm able to sketch even during a busy week, if I slot it within small pockets of free time during the day. Remember that our goal is to draw quick draw in these small panels, just like comics. When you draw small and with a broad pen, it will force you to keep things simple and you'll be able to draw quicker. Aim to spend about five to 10 minutes for each sketch, but of course, take more time if you need to. Here I'm drawing at another eatery on the same day after lunch before picking my daughter from school. I'll leave it up to you. You could fill up a whole page all in one sitting with different views of the same location. Or you could do what I'm doing here. I'm drawing each scene from a different location as I'm going about my day. And now I'm parked outside my daughter's school waiting for her to come to the car. And I'm drawing what I see from the driver's seat. So here are different scenes from different locations, all in one page. In one day. You could also do it over a few days if you like. No need to stress yourself from another day. Here I drew all these panels while sitting at a yogurt cafe with my daughter and wife. I drew my daughter with a yogurt, a design on the wall, the shop counter, a strange fortune cat with a giant arm on the counter, and my wife. In this one, everything was from the same location and all done in one sitting. For those who are new to commit paneling, have this grid in your mind as you're drawing the panels. With this grid, you can draw your panels in many different ways, the classic six and one page. If you need wider panels, some variation in size, well, it's really up to you. But note that the reader will read it according to the natural eye flow, which goes from left to right and then down, and then left to right again. So present your sketches in this order and avoid positioning your panels too wide apart, because the spacings between the panels create a pause in the reader's mind and you don't want the pause to be too long. As a rule of thumb, keep the spacings between the panels really small. The smaller space between panels side by side, and the spacings between the top and bottom panels slightly wider. This helps the reader move more smoothly through the panels. And these are examples of how I do my panels in my own sketchbook. To make a page of sketches look more interesting, it helps to vary the views. Some wide shots where I show more of a scene. Some mid shots where I focus in on what I'm really interested in. And some close ups where I go even closer on certain objects or like just a person's face. Oh, and I highly recommend drawing from direct observation and not from a photo from your phone, because I do want you to experience drawing a scene while in a moment. To make your sketches have more meaning when you look back at them in the future. Add in the name of the place, time, or any other information that will give more context on what the scene is all about. After you have completed a page of sketches like this, take a photo with your phone or scan it, and upload your sketch onto the Skillshare website. This way we can all celebrate each other's progress and also learn from each other. In a way, we'll be giving each other a peek in how each of us sees the world. And that's what Urban Sketching is all about. I look forward to seeing what each of you will produce. And with this, we come to the end of the class. Hope you found this helpful, and thanks for joining me.