Sketches from Tallinn

Sketches from Tallinn - student project

01 / Cityscape

This one was relatively easy, though the windows kept going wonky and I wasn't sure I was adding enough variety in the shapes and patterns. The balance is also a bit off, I would have liked to keep the tallest part more towards the middle.

Sketches from Tallinn - image 1 - student project


For fun, I tried colouring this in with some simple shades of watercolour:

Sketches from Tallinn - image 2 - student project


02 / Free-hand perspective

This is where things got more tricky, but also a lot more fun. I kept it monochrome, with fine-liners and a bit of watercolour for the shadows. Could have done the shadows with hatching, but as I usually work with watercolours, I automatically went for that style. Next one will be purely in ink, I promise!

The exercise was very enjoyable and also showed me that I need a lot more practice in freehand drawing. The rows of windows are still wonky. But I got a much better understanding of perspective and that was the point of the exercise, so I'm happy.

Sketches from Tallinn - image 3 - student project


03 / Texturing exercise

This took ages. I made things more difficult for myself by focusing too much on getting the shadows right, since the lesson also dealt with shadows. They turned out to be very tricky for me to get right, so I did the printable exercise three times before I dared to tackle the one I had to upload for the project. The texture sheets were done several times as well to get a better feel for them.

I'm rather pleased with the end result. Since this is on normal printer paper, I couldn't use watercolours for enhancing this one, but I don't think it would suit the highly textured image anyway.

The windows are lined up slightly better this time. I really enjoyed coming up with the background for this image, adding some elements from Tallinn (though not necessarily in the right locations...) and practising trees. The wood plank texture was also highly enjoyable to do, but the tiny dots of concrete can go to where the sun does not shine. Ain't nobody got patience for that.

Sketches from Tallinn - image 4 - student project


04 / Populating the sketch

Trying to figure out what the people should look like was the trickiest part of this drawing. In the end I settled on strange starfish-people and a collection of shadows sitting in the corner café. I'm surprisingly pleased with the shadows in this one - I finally started letting go of my perfection and using more bold brushstrokes.

According to a family member, the figures look like something out of a Soviet women's magazine.

Sketches from Tallinn - image 5 - student project


05 / Vegetation practice

I came up with a quick farmyard sketch from my imagination. Just trees would have been boring, so I added a barn and two people chilling around. The greyish shape in the background is a mountain, though that could do with some work. I'm happy with the shape of the trees, grass and rocks though and this was a lot of fun to do. Added some extra details to the barn with the wood texture that quickly became my favourite in the texture practice lesson.

Sketches from Tallinn - image 6 - student project


06 / Awesome Perspective Sketches

I put this one off for so long, because my perfectionism got in the way and I freaked out over not being able to deliver what I wanted. Eventually I just picked a street in Tallinn and went for it. This is Liivalaia street and I liked how the little green house looked in the middle of the taller buildings. For depth, I added some trees and used the super cheap watercolour set visible in the background. Worked surprisingly well for creating a city atmosphere.

Sketches from Tallinn - image 7 - student project


Encouraged by finishing that one, I got inspired by the rainy weather and recreated a street from Brussels that I loved seeing in the autumn. First a thumbnail sketch, then some colour testing to make sure I got the right feeling in the image. Not too much architecture in this one, as trees took most of the attention.

Sketches from Tallinn - image 8 - student project


This final sketch made me feel that I got exactly what I needed from this course. I didn't have any illusions or expectations that I would be creating architect-level sketches of intricate buildings. What I wanted was to feel more comfortable in urban sketching and in using perspective. Those combined with my interest in nature and colours create the perfect combination for me.

Sketches from Tallinn - image 9 - student project


Thank you, David, for creating this awesome class! It was the first one I took on Skillshare and also the one that encouraged me to stick around. Thank you for the professional feedback and the positive comments along the way :)