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The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World

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The Art of Urban Sketching is both a comprehensive guide and a showcase of location drawings by artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel. Authored by the founder of the nonprofit organization Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org), this beautiful, 320-page volume explains urban sketching within the context of a long historical tradition and The Art of Urban Sketching is both a comprehensive guide and a showcase of location drawings by artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel. Authored by the founder of the nonprofit organization Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org), this beautiful, 320-page volume explains urban sketching within the context of a long historical tradition and how it is being practiced today. With profiles of leading practitioners and discussions of the benefits of working in this art form, this inspiring book shows how one can participate and experience this creative outlet through modern-day social networks and online activity. You'll find more than 600 beautiful, contemporary illustrations, as well as artists' profiles and extended captions where these urban sketchers share their stories, how they work, sketching tips, and the tools behind each drawing. With sketches and observations from more than 50 cities in more than 30 countries, The Art of Urban Sketching offers a visually arresting, storytelling take on urban life from different cultures and artistic styles, as well as insight into various drawing techniques and mediums.


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The Art of Urban Sketching is both a comprehensive guide and a showcase of location drawings by artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel. Authored by the founder of the nonprofit organization Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org), this beautiful, 320-page volume explains urban sketching within the context of a long historical tradition and The Art of Urban Sketching is both a comprehensive guide and a showcase of location drawings by artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel. Authored by the founder of the nonprofit organization Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org), this beautiful, 320-page volume explains urban sketching within the context of a long historical tradition and how it is being practiced today. With profiles of leading practitioners and discussions of the benefits of working in this art form, this inspiring book shows how one can participate and experience this creative outlet through modern-day social networks and online activity. You'll find more than 600 beautiful, contemporary illustrations, as well as artists' profiles and extended captions where these urban sketchers share their stories, how they work, sketching tips, and the tools behind each drawing. With sketches and observations from more than 50 cities in more than 30 countries, The Art of Urban Sketching offers a visually arresting, storytelling take on urban life from different cultures and artistic styles, as well as insight into various drawing techniques and mediums.

30 review for The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate Merriman

    The first thing I said when opening this long-awaited book was "OK, now that's how it's done!" I've purchased so many books about artists and their sketchbooks only to find these teeny tiny images and lots of purposeless white space. Well, The Art of Urban Sketching is what I always wished those books would be! Tons of great images from each artist, interesting descriptions of the artists themselves and their process, awesome tips and tricks about tools and just for "how to deal with being outsid The first thing I said when opening this long-awaited book was "OK, now that's how it's done!" I've purchased so many books about artists and their sketchbooks only to find these teeny tiny images and lots of purposeless white space. Well, The Art of Urban Sketching is what I always wished those books would be! Tons of great images from each artist, interesting descriptions of the artists themselves and their process, awesome tips and tricks about tools and just for "how to deal with being outside and sketching in public." Beautiful! All you Sketch-crawlers NEED this one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arielle Walker

    Simple, well put together, entertaining and reasonably inspiring. Though I did not recognise anything remotely kiwi in the illustrations of Auckland...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Larry Marshall

    Sometimes books come along that surprise you. Gabriel Campanario's book is one of them. When I ordered it I expected to get a compendium of eye-candy in the form of sketches done by some of the foremost urban sketchers around the world. I got that, beyond my wildest dreams. What I didn't expect was a book that would take me into the minds of those artists, a book that would teach me so much, or a book that would provide so much information about the process of sketching. If you sketch, or if you Sometimes books come along that surprise you. Gabriel Campanario's book is one of them. When I ordered it I expected to get a compendium of eye-candy in the form of sketches done by some of the foremost urban sketchers around the world. I got that, beyond my wildest dreams. What I didn't expect was a book that would take me into the minds of those artists, a book that would teach me so much, or a book that would provide so much information about the process of sketching. If you sketch, or if you want to learn to sketch, this is a must-have book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    A great book for outdoor sketchers, plein aire painters, and those who want to step outside the studio and into the streets. This is not really a how-to book, but an ideas book about how to expand your drawing into places and subjects you may not already go. The author collected hundreds of sketches from artists all over the world and collected them by city and subject. If you're a beginner or an experienced artist, you will find much inspiration to go out into the world and capture what you see. A great book for outdoor sketchers, plein aire painters, and those who want to step outside the studio and into the streets. This is not really a how-to book, but an ideas book about how to expand your drawing into places and subjects you may not already go. The author collected hundreds of sketches from artists all over the world and collected them by city and subject. If you're a beginner or an experienced artist, you will find much inspiration to go out into the world and capture what you see. Highly recommended!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    This is a great book for anyone interested in sketching more from life and plein air sketching and painting. It is filled with the most wonderful drawings of people drawn on the spot and landscapes etc. I am sure I will continue to seek inspiration from this book. I recommend for beginners and non-beginners alike who wish to get outside in the world and draw more from life even if it is only for yourself.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexandros Costas

    The sketchbooks featured in this volume, along with tips and how-tos from various sketchers around the world, is wonderful and inspiring. I really love it and I've started making my own urban sketches-- it's a way to spend time and not money! plus it's meditative and great. I really like this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Eveleigh

    Every page in this book is a delight. It motivated me to get a sketchbook and pens....now to head outside! If you sketch, want to sketch or like to look at sketches... I can't recommend this book highly enough. A brief flip-thru can be found at: youtube.com/watch?v=D43pFYupBXw

  8. 4 out of 5

    Parka

    (More pictures of the book on my blog) The book for the blog Urban Sketchers is finally out. I managed to get mine early at Basheer bookstore. While I was at the bookstore, I met my sketcher friends, with the books in their hands. Mine was the last copy on the shelf yesterday. The book should be in stock in February 2012. Urban sketchers is a community of sketchers who share their sketches online. There are groups in various countries. I'm a follower of the main blog. I find it very interesting to (More pictures of the book on my blog) The book for the blog Urban Sketchers is finally out. I managed to get mine early at Basheer bookstore. While I was at the bookstore, I met my sketcher friends, with the books in their hands. Mine was the last copy on the shelf yesterday. The book should be in stock in February 2012. Urban sketchers is a community of sketchers who share their sketches online. There are groups in various countries. I'm a follower of the main blog. I find it very interesting to be reading about places around the world, getting to know the streets through the eyes of people living or traveling there. This book is 320 pages thick. For the price, it's a terrific bargain. There are over 500 sketches featured from artists all around the globe. The styles are incredibly varied, ranging from pencil sketches to watercolour paintings. Each artist has a personal style, and each sketch has a story to tell. Some of the artists are so good they should publish their own books. Gerard Michel is one of them. There are three sections in the book. The first is the introduction on urban sketching. The second section showcases the different places drawn. That's the bulk of the book. And the third provides inspiration on where and what you can draw. The location drawings are accompanied by artist profiles and drawing tips. I like the short stories on the sketches. Florian Afflerbach and his friends were drawing in Venice when the flood came and soak their feet. Nina Johansson documented the demolition of a public bath house, and the protest against the demolition. Artist Joao Catarino has a sentiment that I share: Drawing everywhere is like traveling all the time. Sketching is one way to get the holiday mood all the time. I can look back at my sketches and remember vividly the places visited. I cannot say the same for travel photos I've taken. The experience is richer when you're not looking but studying a place. I wish I had started sketching earlier. This is a fantastic book. Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Notess

    I just got to tool around the world with people who spend their free time outdoors drawing things they see in real life. I loved every single one of these people via their drawings (lots of them seem to be architects or designers who sketch to keep their creative juices flowing) and loved seeing the variety of techniques, approaches, materials, etc. Also it was a glimpse into famous locales of famous cities, like Paris and Venice and not-so-famous locales of not-so-famous cities like Kansas City I just got to tool around the world with people who spend their free time outdoors drawing things they see in real life. I loved every single one of these people via their drawings (lots of them seem to be architects or designers who sketch to keep their creative juices flowing) and loved seeing the variety of techniques, approaches, materials, etc. Also it was a glimpse into famous locales of famous cities, like Paris and Venice and not-so-famous locales of not-so-famous cities like Kansas City and some place in Sweden. Some sketches took hours, and some only a few minutes. I pored over every page. It has inspired me to get out there and draw things!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jadelin

    This is a great sample of the international urban sketching movement that seems to be going on in larger cities. It shows plenty of variety of styles for ideas. Still, I was looking more more advice and technique as well as step-by-step examples, which wasn't the focus of this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Amazing and inspiring compendium of international "urban sketchers" and their art! Makes me want to go out and draw everything I see--now!

  12. 5 out of 5

    G

    some good examples of urban sketching, very few actual tips. not exactly a travel guide either. more a promotion of the website/idea of sketching.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Camilo Vasquez

    As an urban sketcher this book has been, by far, the more inspiring read I have found in the subject, not only it comes packed with technical, conceptual, and lets say "behavioral" tips, (actually useful ones), lists the tools and papers used for the artists, something that one always tend to wonder while contemplating artworks and ask, ¿how did they did this?, but also gives wonderful snippets of the lives of both the artist and cities portrayed, making you feel both in travel mode and sketch m As an urban sketcher this book has been, by far, the more inspiring read I have found in the subject, not only it comes packed with technical, conceptual, and lets say "behavioral" tips, (actually useful ones), lists the tools and papers used for the artists, something that one always tend to wonder while contemplating artworks and ask, ¿how did they did this?, but also gives wonderful snippets of the lives of both the artist and cities portrayed, making you feel both in travel mode and sketch mode. Frequently seeing cities that I had the opportunity to visit and angrily wonder ¿why the hell didn´t I sketched there??? I may have taken photos but... A really enjoyable read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael Anderson

    Less an instructional guide than a comprehensive showcase of urban (I.e., on the go, quickly rendered) sketches by a variety of artists around the world. Not a lot of tips, many of them trite, but overall very interesting to look at. I especially liked that each sketch was annotated with the kinds of pen and paper used, as well as how long it took to do.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margarita

    This was one of those books that caused a positive ripple effect in my life. The pictures were simply enough to get me started. Since this, I've read and bought many books on Urban Sketching and joined a number of sketch groups in my city.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terrie

    Good intro to urban sketcher by the man who started it all; good variety of images shared to inspire and show various styles.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    If you are looking for inspiration, this book is great.

  18. 4 out of 5

    alex

    really well put together and great for artistic inspiration!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Proxima Das

    More of a showcase of various urban artists' works than an instructional guide on urban sketching

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Arriola

    It wasn't what I thought it would be, but still enjoyable.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Criss

    I rated it 4 stars because some of my favorite artists were not included (Tommy Kane, Fabrice Moireau, Jim Watson etc.). So, not the best selection IMHO but many great examples.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Polly Castor

    This book arose out of a vibrant online community of urban sketchers sharing their locale through the internet; there are tips and sketches shared here from people all over the world. Not only did this book show a broad range of sketching styles and diverse subject matter, it also was like going on a world tour culturally and architecturally. I am inspired to sketch more right where I am instead of pinning away for more interesting fodder. I have also “liked” the Urban Sketching group on Faceboo This book arose out of a vibrant online community of urban sketchers sharing their locale through the internet; there are tips and sketches shared here from people all over the world. Not only did this book show a broad range of sketching styles and diverse subject matter, it also was like going on a world tour culturally and architecturally. I am inspired to sketch more right where I am instead of pinning away for more interesting fodder. I have also “liked” the Urban Sketching group on Facebook so will continue to see this work shared incrementally. Below are some of the bits of text that I found interesting: • “I believe no amount information or detail is too daunting if you take one thing at a time.” • “Sketching is something close to a spiritual experience, a state of meditation.” • “The calmer I am, the better it gets.” • “I feel a close connection between traveling and drawing, a fact that has many advantages: I get lots of memories from my sketchbooks when I travel, and the fact that I feel like I am traveling whenever I draw enables me to travel day after day, in my own town.” • “Drawing everywhere is like traveling all the time.” • “Draw in black the spots with less light.” • “It’s easier to catch the light on an object or face if you sketch in monochrome, because you don’t have to think about the color of the subject and you can concentrate on the brightness or darkness of its different parts.” • “Try to wet each shadow part completely. That way, you can push around the paint and let it flow, which makes the shadows come alive a bit. You don’t have to draw in every detail... you can focus on the parts you find interesting.” • “To create a sense of distance, I add more details in the foreground and less in the background, lightening things as they move farther away from me.” • “My personal mantra is ‘less is more,’ and I am still working on reducing the clutter when I sketch.” • “The priority was ‘quick grasp’ then accuracy.” • “I try to take in the scene and find what fascinates me about it. I never sketch it out first but try to see the drawing before I put it down on paper.” • “Most sketchers agree that patience is step number one for drawing architecture.” • “One of the secrets is to be organized and patient. I think that with a basic technique, in which we go from less to more, you can obtain very good results.” • “To create a sense of distance, she used different pens: a gray brush for the buildings farther away and a black ink pen and more detail for the closer ones, to make them pop.” I loved the variety and caliber of artists in this book. Even though I’ve already gobbled up every word and poured over each sketch appreciatively, I’d still love to own this book (I read a library copy.) I give this book an enthusiastic five stars and look forward to joining their community by looking at my world with positive attention and creative results. I am thrilled there is this burgeoning movement, making the world even more close-knit and better able to understand each other by sharing in this way!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anna Richland

    This book left me dreaming of having a different life, one where I carry around a sketchbook, pencils and battered watercolor tin, pause on street corners in Europe to capture the light on an arch, and wear black. A life where I would drink more and be thinner, too. Wait. I live in Seattle. I wear black all the freaking time already. I just don't carry the sketchbook and artists' tools that all the contributors to this amazing book must have as extensions of their hands. (I used to, back "B.C." This book left me dreaming of having a different life, one where I carry around a sketchbook, pencils and battered watercolor tin, pause on street corners in Europe to capture the light on an arch, and wear black. A life where I would drink more and be thinner, too. Wait. I live in Seattle. I wear black all the freaking time already. I just don't carry the sketchbook and artists' tools that all the contributors to this amazing book must have as extensions of their hands. (I used to, back "B.C." - before children...) The sketches are by different artists, ranging from colorful splashes of marketplaces around the world to monochrome studies of Swedish bathhouses facing destruction. The sections range from skylines, seasos, buses, cafes -- and cover places from Seattle to Jakarta. Recognizable places like the Sydney Opera House and obscure spots like a famous bookshop in Malaga, Spain. I loved that each artist describes his tools, and the time it took to make the sketch. Many tips from them, and anecdotes about what happened when they drew someone. As great and interesting to read as the sketches are to look at. For a lesson in art homeschool on perspective/vanishing point in the built environment (for a ten year old Lego-loving city kid), I paired this amazing book with the bird's eye skyscrapers project from Drawing in 3D with Mark Kistler. First we did the basic Mark Kistler drawing on graph paper to demonstrate vanishing point. Then we walked around taking photos of fences, brick buildings, stairs, etc outside, printed them, and used a ruler and marker to draw the lines to the vanishing point right on top of the pictures. That way he could deconstruct real cityscapes. Then he studied this book, and then tried to sketch some of the things he had photographed. It was ambitious plan - we ran out of time due to Dreaded Standardized Testing. Ugh. But he wants to finish the sketching of his favorite photograph, and maybe add a little watercolor, so that's good. I checked this book out of the library, but I will now buy a copy for Christmas. It's inspirational.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Omar

    When this book arrived at my house, my first thoughts about it was the size of it. Its three hundred and twenty pages long and I thought it would take a long time to read it. But as I began to open the book, I was astonished by the amount of artwork that is displayed in basically every page. The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario is a book that I believe anyone will enjoy; new or experience sketchers. To me, it mostly like a blog filled with postings of other urban sketchers expressing When this book arrived at my house, my first thoughts about it was the size of it. Its three hundred and twenty pages long and I thought it would take a long time to read it. But as I began to open the book, I was astonished by the amount of artwork that is displayed in basically every page. The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario is a book that I believe anyone will enjoy; new or experience sketchers. To me, it mostly like a blog filled with postings of other urban sketchers expressing their artwork to anyone that is can be influenced or motivated by. Whats makes this book very viable is the help and teachings they give to become or improve your sketching skills. For example, one technique that I learned from this was the use of people in the drawings. The artist incorporated the use of people because it helps it create a depth like effect to it, making it more realistic. Thus, it helps you get more ideas or helps you develop a better imagination. Throughout the book, many artist can be very inspiration when it comes to their way of sketching; it speaks to you. That's why the artist that became influential to me when I read this book was Virginia Hein. When I came across her work, in Los Angeles, it impacted me by her usage of the right colors towards what tone, scenario, emotion she is setting in her artwork, creating a vivid sense. It seems like if you were actually watching the view of the Griffith Observatory; one of her sketches. So if your a person who seeks new perspectives of the world and would like something that can motivate them to just draw, this book is for you my friend. Hope for anybody to enjoy this book as much as I did.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid Hardy

    This is the second book about "urban sketching" I've read these past few weeks. If pushed, I'd say this was my favorite of the two. It's a book I'll be going back to again and again... There are some techniques but mostly it is a page or two on different artists and where/what they sketch. The vastly different styles are wonderful to look at, and are inspiring when it comes to my own sketching, something I'm returning to (outdoor "quick" sketching) after many years of putting that part of my lif This is the second book about "urban sketching" I've read these past few weeks. If pushed, I'd say this was my favorite of the two. It's a book I'll be going back to again and again... There are some techniques but mostly it is a page or two on different artists and where/what they sketch. The vastly different styles are wonderful to look at, and are inspiring when it comes to my own sketching, something I'm returning to (outdoor "quick" sketching) after many years of putting that part of my life aside. Several of the artists featured in this book are animators or sequential artists, and even one or two architects, who enjoy leaving the digital world aside for a moment to stay fresh with sketching. I'm sure "sketch" books are not everyone's cup of tea, but this one is a book I'll be carrying with me when possible, as encouragement to get back at it. Which reminds me... Though I VASTLY prefer art books (and cookbooks in paper/hardcover, ebooks of this sort would be amazing just to be able to take with you when you travel. I wonder if it's possible to make nice-looking art books in e-format.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amal Al-hourani

    I liked the book a lot. very light reading and delightful book. When I purchased it, I thought it was related to teaching sketching, to give some skills and techniques, but then I was shocked that it was full of images with few texts (similar to magazines). However, I liked it because It shows sketches drawn on location at different countries by different artists/architects. it makes you discover the countries worldwide, and gives you inspirations to create your own sketches. I loved that each art I liked the book a lot. very light reading and delightful book. When I purchased it, I thought it was related to teaching sketching, to give some skills and techniques, but then I was shocked that it was full of images with few texts (similar to magazines). However, I liked it because It shows sketches drawn on location at different countries by different artists/architects. it makes you discover the countries worldwide, and gives you inspirations to create your own sketches. I loved that each artist talked about their experience of drawing on location. I enjoyed looking at their sketches, see how much time it took them to finish it, discover what tools they used, and the tips each artist provide below his sketch.

  27. 4 out of 5

    melydia

    Tour the world, one sketch at a time. I've been familiar with Urban Sketching for a while now, but this was the first book of theirs I'd read. It's mostly a book of inspiration: short artist bios and tips, but mostly just drawing after drawing, each with a description of the tools used and how long it took to complete. This last was especially telling: yes, it's amazing, but the artist also sat there on the sidewalk for two straight hours to complete it. Definitely recommended if you're looking Tour the world, one sketch at a time. I've been familiar with Urban Sketching for a while now, but this was the first book of theirs I'd read. It's mostly a book of inspiration: short artist bios and tips, but mostly just drawing after drawing, each with a description of the tools used and how long it took to complete. This last was especially telling: yes, it's amazing, but the artist also sat there on the sidewalk for two straight hours to complete it. Definitely recommended if you're looking for something to sketch, or just want to see some amazing artwork.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Not so much a how-to as an inspirational art book. The intro has some info on tools you could use, but the rest of the book is filled with examples from a variety of artists who sketch on location. I really enjoyed the wide range of styles and the virtual trip around the world presented with the drawings. Cool ideas: using ledgers and other repurposed notebooks to draw on, doing a fisheye view of your surroundings, and white-out for highlights on darker paper. Wish I had more patience for sketch Not so much a how-to as an inspirational art book. The intro has some info on tools you could use, but the rest of the book is filled with examples from a variety of artists who sketch on location. I really enjoyed the wide range of styles and the virtual trip around the world presented with the drawings. Cool ideas: using ledgers and other repurposed notebooks to draw on, doing a fisheye view of your surroundings, and white-out for highlights on darker paper. Wish I had more patience for sketching all the time!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    *Thank you Nancy for the recommendation!* I've recently been spending some pleasant after-school hours drawing from Ed Emberley's books with my son. My happiness at being able to draw thumbprint people has given me the confidence to try more sketching ... and this book is a beautiful inspiration. I'm nowhere near the skill level of the sketchers in these pages but it doesn't matter - reading the stories, seeing cities sketched many different ways - it is fantastic. Very recommended (as are Emberl *Thank you Nancy for the recommendation!* I've recently been spending some pleasant after-school hours drawing from Ed Emberley's books with my son. My happiness at being able to draw thumbprint people has given me the confidence to try more sketching ... and this book is a beautiful inspiration. I'm nowhere near the skill level of the sketchers in these pages but it doesn't matter - reading the stories, seeing cities sketched many different ways - it is fantastic. Very recommended (as are Emberley's books!).

  30. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Another great art book that makes me want to go to downtown Boise, sit in the patio at some restaurant and just sketch. Our little city is perfect for urban sketching, with a combination of historical, buildings, brand new construction (I would love to try to draw the JUMP building!) and outdoor spaces. The book has a wide selection of styles and techniques, in a format that takes you around the world to a large number of cities!

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