Urban Sketching with Markers | Architecture | Julia Henze | Skillshare

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Urban Sketching with Markers | Architecture

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.

      Tools and Materials


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Step 1 | Contour Drawing


    • 5.

      Step 2 | Adding Color


    • 6.

      Step 3 | Refining


    • 7.

      Step 4 | Finishing Touch


    • 8.

      Final Thoughts and Thank you!


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About This Class

This is my second Skillshare class on markers. In the first one - Markers 101: The Basics and Step-by-Step Sketching - I taught you the basics of alcohol-based markers, in this a bit more advanced class I'm demonstrating one of my favorite marker techniques I use the most for my urban sketches (architecture and interior drawings).

When we draw outside, we want to be able to draw as fast as possible, especially when the weather is not that lovely. This technique will allow you to make quick and loose sketches, without fear of making mistakes. 

♥ I hope to see your amazing sketches in the Project Gallery! ♥

* The reference foto I use in this class is attached in Projects & Resources (photo 1).

If you have any questions or need help with your sketches, please, don't hesitate to contact me on the Discussions Page and, of course, I will also appreciate all your suggestions and feedback.

Enjoy the class!


On my BLOG you will find a few posts on markers:




* don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to get more information, inspiration, tips, and other great stuff! 


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: Intermediate

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1. INTRO: Hi guys. I'm Julia Henze, an illustrator and urban sketcher based in Netherlands. Markers are my favorite sketching tools. After publishing a basic class on all coal-based markers, I couldn't resist getting more in depth with them. In this class, I'm going to show you one of my favorite urban sketching techniques I use all the time. It's practical, easy and fun. We're going to do something very scary for a lot of people. Yes, drawing without the pencil and you will notice how simple it actually can be and not scary at all. Using this technique, you'll be able to create cubic endless sketches without the fear of making mistakes. I'm going to use this photo for my sketch. You can draw my scene with me or find your own photograph. If you don't have any reference don't worry, I've put some of my own photographs in projects and resources, you can find below the video. Of course it will be amazing if you go outside after watching this class and draw a real urban sketching scene. Let's get started. 2. Tools and Materials: The materials you need for this class, alcohol-based markers. I'm going to use Winsor & Newton Promarker and Promarker brush, and pretty light warm gray or brown color, the lightest you can find. I'll be using Promarker with number O819 almond, which is darker than I prefer to use. But otherwise you wouldn't be able to see what I draw because everything turns out much lighter in videos. My suggestion for Promarker users is Y418, named ivory, but you can use a new light, warm color, a fineliner or a thin brush pen. I'm going to use a thin brush pen. You can use a fineliner or for example, a fountain pen. With this drawing method, you in fact, don't need to worry if your pen fineliner or brush pen is marker-proof because we will apply them above the marker layers so they won't smudge. Thick brush pen. You can now also use a black marker if you want to. A white pen or marker, colored pencil, and finally the marker paper. I'm going to use the Wall from Canson. This is my favorite paper at this moment. You can use the paper of your choice. If you're not sure about the paper, just watch my basic marker class to learn what types of papers there are and what might be the best option for you. 3. STEPS: Before we start to make an actual sketch of the whole scene, I want to give you an overview of my step-by-step plan. A contour drawing, so different from what you are probably use to. In this class, we are going to start making a sketch with the lightest marker we can find. After that, we will color our sketch and add shadows. Then we will refine the whole drawing with a fineliner and a brush pen. Finally, we will call it this guy and add some white band to make the dark parts of our sketch a bit lighter. But why actually use a light marker instead of a pencil in the beginning? First of all, to save time, you will notice that you draw much faster this way, which may be very practical, especially when you are drawing outside. Second, sketching turns out much more expression. Somehow, we tend to draw very straight lines with the pencil, while the marker invites us to sketch loosely. A great ability of all coal-based markers is that the ink of darker colors that we will use to color the sketch will dissolve the light lines of our previous sketch. So we totally don't need to bother about making a mistake because we will get a chance or maybe even a few to repair it. Now you know what we are going to do. Let's start to draw. 4. Step 1 | Contour Drawing: Here's my reference photo. But before we start, I want to give you two quick tips. While a lot of beginning artists try to avoid skewing in the sketches, I like to use it the create some dynamics. The important thing is that the skewed vertical lines should be more or less parallel to each other so it doesn't look like an accident but as a conscious choice. There are different ways to begin with a sketch. Some people determine the whole composition before they start to draw out details. Others start with one object and build the composition around it. I personally prefer to draw major shapes first to get the right proportions, and to put objects in the right place on the page. Gradually I began to add smaller and smaller shapes, but not too detailed. We'll draw out everything later with the fineliner. Now, let's bring it into practice. As I said before, we start with a light contour drawing using a very light marker. I don't do anything special so far. Just draw what I see. There's not a lot of perspective in this picture except the house on the left. But I want to keep it as simple as possible. I suggest just to skip it. However, we may not forget that every object we see in this scene is a three-dimensional shape, which means that they all have more than one side. Sometimes we can see all the sides, sometimes not. But it's important to draw them when they are visible. At this stage, I suggest to draw only big shapes in more than one dimension. Like here, the site of the pointer [inaudible] and that yellow part of the house. If I'm not mistaken, it's called architrave. Later, whenever I refine my sketch with a very thin brush pen, I'm going to add the dimension to the doors, windows, and other objects. What if you made a mistake at this stage, a line goes in the wrong direction, or you drew something too small or too big? No problem at all. Just ensure you draw it right before we start the color and you will find out that all the wrong lines will disappear underneath the coloring layer. 5. Step 2 | Adding Color: When the contour drawing is done, it's time to add color. In this case, I take a color which is quite close to the real color of the house but it's also cool to use a very different color, like apple green or light blue, or maybe even dark gray. I don't think they have to stick to the reality too much. Not with colors, neither with objects. It's so much fun to make your own expression of what you see and feel the moment of sketching. A darker color for this shaded side of the roof. Second house, same thing. Nothing special. I just color all the surfaces piece by piece. By the way, I prefer to use a chisel or a brush shape for coloring largest surfaces it helps but work faster. For the line drawing like here and for windows and doors. The bullet neighbors absolutely great. Be aware that I still only draw the front side of the doors and windows at this moment. So it should be quite thin. As you've probably noticed, I don't draw every object in the foreground. I think that canoe is quite a strange thing and we won't really miss it in our sketch. The same thing for the garden furniture and other stuff. What I do like is the green in front of the yellow house, the green area always makes the picture more lively and I like to do over to very lose leaf at kind of spiral movement and add some darker color for the shadow, like there are leaves or something. By the way, I don't try to reproduce the exact form of the bush, but they make a situational fit. The color of glass and windows. I like to use the same or similar blue color as I'm going to apply later for the sky. No reflections just some color variety here and there to make the picture look a bit more interesting, I leave some white space between the frame and the glass. Later, I'm going to add depth to the frame. Because as I said before, every object in this scene has more than one dimension and we have to show it in our sketch. Here we see white cut behind the glass. I want to keep it simple. I don't draw out all the parts. I leave them white and only add gray shadow to create some depth. As for shadow on the color parts, I prefer to use a much darker tone of the main color. For shadows on the yellow house, I can use brown or orange color. I prefer orange in this case to keep my sketch bright and cheerful. For more realistic drawing, I would probably use brown. 6. Step 3 | Refining: So now I've finished the coloring part, it's time to use define liner or a very thin brush pen. An advantage of a brush pen, or if you have a fountain pen, is that it offers an expressive and variable line thickness that makes this sketch look more interesting. I think is a really easy way to sketch. I mean everything is already colored. We exactly know where the details will come, and there's almost no chance of making mistakes. Or if we make some, they are so minor that they can't make a lot of difference. So just enjoy the process. Now, it's time to add some depth to the window frames. Here I use a thicker brush pen to create a thicker line. You can also use the same thin brush pen or even a fine liner. It will just take some more time to create a thick line. We also have this white house in the background, we may not forget to draw it, because it creates even more depth in sketch. I think it makes a composition more complete. Now I want to add a dimension to the blue window frames. In this case, I draw them with a thin brush pen. It's a shadow side of course. So it actually should be dark like the side of the green frames, but I don't want to make blue frames too dark. So I choose to let them white naturalistic, but I think it looks much nicer this way. 7. Step 4 | Finishing Touch: Last step is the finishing touch. I will paint some more shadows to the windows. I can still do this with markers because I used a markable brush pen and fine liner. I wouldn't recommend you doing this if your brush pen is not marker proof. In this case, you can better use a dark blue colored pencil for example. I draw some walk bricks, not too many, just to show it's a brick wall. The road in front of houses is quite boring, so I suggest add some elements to make it more lively. The sky. You can do it in your own style of course, I like to draw a blue, unrealistic, cheerful sky. I'm alternating different tones of blue to make it more playful. Here I add some weird spots. Oh, I forgot to draw the chimney right there. No problem, I can do it now. Now we can add some white paint, to the white parts of our drawing. It makes the black shadows look less gloaming, and that makes entire drawing shiner. Maybe they're a bit too many of them, so I color them blue again with a pencil. As the very last thing, I add some blue bands on the left. I think it creates a good balance in the sketch. 8. Final Thoughts and Thank you!: Okay. I hope you enjoyed this class. Please take a moment to leave your feedback. I would really appreciate it. Here is my final sketch. Remember that I'm only teaching a method you can use for your own marker sketches. I don't want you to draw exactly the same, just the other way around. I'm wondering how you will apply this method combined with your own drawing style. I can't wait to see your sketches in the project gallery, and if you're on Instagram, I'd be happy to see it there as well. Don't forget to use the hashtag Julia Henze underscore Skillshare, and if you have any questions about this class, please ask them on the Community page below the video. Good luck with the sketching. I hope to see you very soon in my other classes. Bye bye.