Urban Sketching: Let's Draw Some Doors! | Julia Henze | Skillshare

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Urban Sketching: Let's Draw Some Doors!

teacher avatar Julia Henze, Artist | Teacher | Urban Sketching Lover

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.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Drawing a door in 3 steps


    • 6.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

This is another Urban Sketching class for beginners and this time you'll be learning how to draw a door, but there is more... For this class, I took into account the following difficulties some of you mentioned in my very first class - Urban Sketching for Beginners: Watercolour Sketch in 3 Steps:

1. How to measure PROPORTIONS


3. How to choose COLORS for your sketch

In this class, I'll be explaining these three topics using some examples and my own sketches, and demonstrating how I draw a door myself. Find reference photos in Your Project page.  

I hope all your questions will be cleared up in the videos, but if you don't understand something, need any help with your sketches or if you have suggestions/feedback, please, don't hesitate to ask me anything on the Community page.   

♥ Looking forward to seeing your amazing doors in the Project Gallery! ♥

Enjoy and have fun!


Additional Resources:

  • Check out my BLOG
  • Subscribe to my NEWSLETTER
  • Follow me on INSTAGRAM
  • Follow me on SKILLSHARE (by clicking the “follow” button above the video you will get notified of when my next class)


For INSTAGRAM: tag me @julia_henze and use the hashtag #juliahenze_skillshare I'll be happy to share your artwork in my Stories!

Meet Your Teacher

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Julia Henze

Artist | Teacher | Urban Sketching Lover

Top Teacher

Hello, creatives! My name is Julia Henze. I'm a freelance illustrator and urban sketcher living and working in a village with a name that nobody can pronounce, Bergschenhoek, in The Netherlands.

I love to share my passion for drawing and urban sketching with you, and show you how to make the drawing process easier and more fun. All my Skillshare classes are very easy to follow and perfect for beginning artists. But also advanced students can find interesting tips and tricks.

Visit my Instagram for inspiration and drawing tutorials. Tag me (@julia_henze) when you post a sketch made with one of my classes and use a hashtag #JuliaHenze_Skillshare. I'll be very happy to see your artworks!

And find speed-drawing demonstration videos on my YouTube channe... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: In October 2017, I participated in October Instagram Challenge with one particular subject, Doors. After a month of drawing when I got a collection of a few beautiful doors. I thought it would be great to make a sculpture class about door-drawing. In this class, I'll be teaching you how to draw wonderful doors. But this course is not only about drawing doors, it's also about sketching in general. A funny thing in sketching is that there is only one rule, that there are no rules at all. Just your what you see and enjoy the process. However, there are some things that can help you draw more consciously and get better results. In this class, we'll talk about proportions, Light and shadow, and Colors. The practical part of this class, I'll be demonstrating how I draw a door with watercolors. However, it stately and not important for this class, what materials you choose. Grab your color pencils, watercolor pens, markers, or wherever you want. Because this class is not about drawing with particular drawing materials, but about the way of drawing in general. If you're ready, let's start. 2. Proportions: Proportions. [MUSIC] Whatever you draw; doors, buildings, other objects or people or whatever you're drawing style is, realistic or stylized proportions will always be important. Except proportions are more important for elastic sketches. While we have a lot of freedom to experiment with stylish drawings. But before we can start to experiment, we need to know what the exact proportions are and how to find them. Let's take a look at this picture. This blue and gray door will be our model for this class, to prevent you from being destructed by nice colors and beautiful details. What are proportions? Proportions are the relationship between the height and the width of objects and spaces. Measuring proportions is quite easy, especially when you draw from a photo. But before you can do this, you need to learn to look globally and see objects as simple shapes like squares, rectangles, triangles and circles. I have chosen doors as the main object for this class because they are not as complicated as a whole urban scene. We can easily define simple shapes. Let's take a look at our door. It might look complicated to you. There are a lot of details. There is a round part on the top, tiles on the door frame and so on. But if I trying to find simple shapes in this door, it will be much easier for us to draw it. What we can see here, is that the whole door is nothing more than a rectangle. While the round top is a half circle. We can take a whole circle to be clear. The center of this circle divides initial door rectangle into two parts; rectangle 1 and rectangle 2. I hope it's clear. You can go on and break down the whole door in simple shapes. You can even break down entire urban scene to make it easier to draw. But for this class we have enough shapes to measure. Let's move on and learn how to do measuring. First of all, always start with the bigger shape and there is a chance there will be no need to measure smaller shapes because over proportions, but already clear. As I said before, measuring from a photograph is very easy. You can use your pencil as a measuring stick to find the ratio of height and width of an object of space. The idea of measuring outside is quite the same. You only need to ensure your measuring is consistent. Take your pencil, hold your arm fully straight out in front of your eyes without bending your elbow. Shut one eye, hold the pencil parallel to the ground against the left side of the rectangle and put the tip of your thumb at the right side. Point of the pencil up until your thump is the distance we need to know. Of course, when you measure perpendicular lines you have to hold your pencil perpendicular to the ground. The play that measurement to your sketch just use the same set of proportion of the pencil marked off. It's very important to understand that it's not always the actual length of the pencil you marked off that you're applying your sketch. It could be sometimes, but normally is the relationship between the height and the width. If you use two times the height, don't forget to use two times the width respectively. The more you measure, the more information you will get about an object or a scene. But don't overdo this. Your sketch shouldn't be perfect little mistakes and imperfections actually end up making our sketches even more expressive. Now we know how to measure. Let's take a look at what we need to measure to find the right proportions. I always measure the shortest side first, in this case is the width. The green part of the pencil is our base unit. Now I'm going to compare the height. It's one time the base unit plus another time, almost the whole base unit. We need to get rid of a little bit. Of course, this is a rough estimation since we aren't using a ruler. But it gets quite close to the original proportions of the door. Though now we mark down this measurement on our drawing page. We don't draw the actual door at this point, we're only sketch vertical and horizontal lines with very slight measurement marks. Later we will draw the door inside. Here's the next great example of measurement. Now you can see why it's so important to transform complicated objects into simple shapes. Not only because it's much easier to do things this way, but also because it's much easier to measure them. How do we know how big the whole circle at the top should be? We can use the same method as before; starting with measuring the shortest side of the rectangle. But since we already know the width we could just as well use the first base unit, it would end up being a bit less than half of it. Playing with proportions. I hope it was clear. Last thing I want to tell you about proportions is that the except proportion shouldn't be the rule. The more stylish your drawing is, the less except you have to follow the proportions of objects you draw. Exaggeration proportions is not only the fun thing to try, but it also a very useful tool to change or make more clear the meaning of your sketch and that can even determine your entire drawing style. In this picture we see two sketches on the same door. The door on the left is show that the narrow edge door in the photo. This door looks more playful, cute, like the door from a fairy tale. The door on the right is exactly the opposite. It looks more classy and elegant and would make the entire sketch more stronger. As you can see, proportion shouldn't be the perfect reflection of their reality. The most important thing you have to keep in mind is that you have to make a conscious choice. Then your sketch will be confident and the message you put in the drawing clear. That's all for this part. But before we jump into the next one, I want to ask you to do some proportion practicing pick a door you want to practice with from my references in your project map or your own reference; make three door sketches, one with normal proportions, one short and one long. Feel free to exaggerate proportions to extreme. You can make better sketches if you want, but you don't have to. Quick sketches just to experiment a little and see what changing proportions does as more than enough. See you in the next part. 3. Shadows: Light and shadow. How important are light and shadow? Light and shadow are probably the most important things in drawing. I see a lot of people barely use them in their sketches. But without light and shadow drawings are flat and boring even if you use the most vivid colors. Let's take a look at these two sketches. They both are drawn in a similar way, but I only applied colors to the left door while for the right door, I took into account where the imaginary sun comes from and where the shadows fall. Maybe you like the left picture more because their colors are bit brighter but the right one is much more interesting. It looks more natural and you're more drawn to it. Let's take a look how we can make our sketches better using light and shadow. First of all, we need to understand how light and shadows work in drawings. I don't want to explain how to draw complicated objects and shapes like a sphere, because we actually don't need it for a door sketch. What I want to show you very basically is how light and shadow work for cube. Then how you can apply this in your door sketch. Let's take a look at this cube. As you can see, the light source is here in the top left corner. That means that the top of the cube is the lightest. I would let it white in my sketches, the left side of the cube is a bit darker because there is less light on it. I would use a neutral color for it. I would say the predominant shade of the color of humane object, the right side of your cube is even darker than the left because it's farther from our light source, but it's not as dark as the bottom. In this picture, we can see that the bottom is the darker spot of the whole cube. This is because the light can barely reach that side. You have probably noticed it's on the opposite of lighter side, the top. I think it's clear so far, but I see you asking, what has a cube got to do with a door? The answer is very simple. When you look at this picture, you can think of a door as a shape made up of a lot of cubes. Let us share the work that same way for each of them. Of course, we should not forget the shadows on and around the door. There are core shadows which are on the object, as well as cast shadows which come from the object. I think it's quite obvious that the cast shadows will always be next to the core on the opposite side of the light source. We don't really see the lighter side here, but I always like to add some highlighting to my sketches to make the shapes and contours stand out. Now I want to show you something that could help you to understand light and shadow even better. Maybe I'll be surprised, but we make wonderful sketches without any lines by drawing only with light, shadow and mitten surfaces. Let me show you how it's done. I trace the lightest parts of the door with a white paint and the darkest with the pink paint for a moment because it's easier to see it on the gray door. Now you can easily guess where the light source is because as we already know shadows fall on the opposite side. Now I'm replacing the pink parts with dark gray and the white with light gray. This is how I made them. Did you see what's happened? Yes I've just created the door without drawing any lines at all. When you do wet lines you should actually do the same thing with light shadow mid tones. If you followed my very first of sketching class, you might remember that I was teaching how to draw a building without perspective. A lot of you have shown your beautiful works at a project gallery, I was really impressed by the quality of your sketches. There was one thing some of you struggled with though, the shadowing. In this class, I want to show you very briefly what happens when you draw shadows on the wrong side. Let's switch to light and shadow surfaces by the door frame on the left. Do you see what happened? The tiles now appear sunken in. Is this always a mistake? Not in this case if you do the same on the right, but it looks very strange when it happens inconsistently or with objects that shared on that piece sunken in, like a doorbell or something else. Once again, to be very clear, the light source on the right means all the shadows are on the left. The light source on the left, shadows on the right. Simple as that. You just need some practicing and you'll get it very soon even if you've never done it before. I hope this theoretical part was clear. I just want to go over how it works in a drawing. Our door from a photo has a very complicated shadow. But do we need to draw so precisely. We can try if we want our drawing to look realistic but it's not really necessary, but could just simplify it. In my sketches, shadows are like this. I'm not sure how they were when actually drew these doors. But the most important thing is that our eyes can easily detect the depth in all these pictures. You may have noticed that I usually place a light source on the left in my known sketches. I know a lot of people who always have their light source on the right. It's up to personal choice for imaginary drawings. But having a consistent light source really helps you avoid confusion between light and shadow. For you as an artist, especially when you're a beginner. As well as for the view when you are displaying drawings together in the sketch book on the wall. I only wouldn't recommend you to draw shadows on your favorite side if they are clearly common from the other side when you draw outside or from a photo, because there is a big chance you end up making mistakes. For practicing you can make some quick sketches with light source on the right and with light source on the left. That's all for shadows. Let's move to the last theoretical part of this class, colors. 4. Colors: Colors, the same thing I talked about in the previous parts. The more realistic your drawing is, the more realistic colors, shapes and proportions should be. That means that when we make a realistic sketch, we use colors we see. But don't forget that our eyes naturally simplify colors. We tend to use pure red when we draw a red door. But if you really want to make it realistic, you need to notice that the red door has a huge amount of red you use, and even different colors like orange or purple. Again, we have much more freedom to experiment when we make a stylized sketch, a sketch like an illustration. We can pick colors we like and color our sketches how we want. However, there is a very handy tool to help you make better color combinations. When I was setting up this class I noticed I've used this tool for pretty much on my door sketches. That was unconsciously, just because it's so natural. Once you start using it in your drawings, it becomes second nature. What I'm talking about is the color wheel. I'm going to show you two color schemes we can usually use for our door sketch. Let's take a look at the complementary color scheme first. Complementary colors are pairs of colors opposite to each other on the color wheel, like green, red, yellow, and purple. The strong contrast between these colors creates a vibrant look. Here's an example of how we can use complementary colors for our door drawing. Green door and a red brick door frame. The other one, purple door with a yellow door frame. I love both of these combinations and I use them quite often, not only for doors of course. The second color scheme I want to show you is about analogous colors. It's safer and more subtle, but it also works very well. Analogous colors are pairs of colors next to each other on the color wheel. They create a very harmonious feeling in a drawing. The last thing I want to tell you in this part is about shadow colors. In realistic drawings, shadows have the opposite color of the object. This is how I see it. But when we make a stylized illustrative sketch, we can use a darker version of the neutral color. Like here, it's much easier to do, but it looks very good. For practicing, make some quick sketches using complementary colors and using analogous colors. That's all for this video. In the next part, I'll be demonstrating how to draw a window in three steps. 5. Drawing a door in 3 steps: Drawing a door. As you probably noticed in the previous parts, drawing is all about making decisions. Then this practical part we will decide step-by-step how we want our sketch to look. Here is our reference. First step. We started making a pencil sketch and the first thing we need to decide is about proportions. As the first part of this class, we can do proportionate, says they are or we can play with them, slightly changing the meaning of our drawing. I'm choosing to draw door a bit longer than a it is. You can choose to draw it as it is, make it shorter, or longer. Let's start. Second step. This is the easiest part of the drawing process. We don't need to think a lot. Just refine your sketch with a fine liner. Step 3 is coloring. Now we have the easiest part of the drawing process behind us. It's time to do the hard work. In this part, we need to make two important decisions. First of all, about the colors we'll use for our door. Secondly about the light source. You're unsure yet, just make some thumbnails first, it will help you make the best choice. I decided to make the door itself blue and the surroundings orange. Then I source robot on the left. Of course, that means that all the shadows where we're on the right. I've just finished my sketch, and I'm looking forward to see yours in the project gallery. 6. Final Thoughts: Thank you very much for taking this class. I hope it was fun and informative. But before you go, here's a quick summary of the main points of this class to remind you of what we covered. In the first part, willing to measure proportions. We discovered that we don't need to apply them exactly as they are. In the second part, we learned to understand how light and shadow work. In the third part, I explained how to use complimentary and analogous column metals for your doors sketch. Finally, I demonstrated how to draw a door. This is what you've got for practicing. Practice as much as possible to improve your drawing skills. I am looking forward to see all your sketches in the project gallery, but I will be especially very happy to see your practicing experiments. Play with proportions and colors, but don't forget the put light and shadow. If you have any questions about this class, you're going to ask them on a community page. If you like this class, please leave thumbs up. If you're in Instagram, I'll be very happy to see your sketch there. Just tag me @Julia-henze and use the #juliahenze_ skillshare. Good luck and see you in my next classes. Bye bye.