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Urban Sketching Step by Step


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Table of Contents

Foreword 4

Urban Sketching - Sketching in the city 6
- Equipment 7
- Quick sketches as essential training 20
- Lines and surfaces in your drawing 24
- Pencil, ink or colour? 28

Spatial perception in the city 30
- Selecting a scene in public places 30
- Perspective: horizons, position lines and vanishing points 34

Composing a harmonious sketch 38
- Arranging people and objects in space 40
- Foreground, middle ground and background 44
- The illusion of spatial depth 45
- Bringing your picture to life 46
- Shading and textures 50
- Light and shadow 51
- Getting your message across 52
- Tension and dynamism 56
- Using colour 60

Bringing individual elements to life 64
- Buildings and architecture 64
- Trees and vegetation 66
- People 68
- Cars, buses and trains 74
- Surfaces and materials 75

Capturing typical locations in sketches 76
- Streets, alleyways, courtyards and squares 76
- Landscapes, parks and gardens 82
- Details 88
- Canals, rivers and the sea 92

Afterword - The magic of particular places 96

About the Author

Klaus Meier-Pauken was born in 1952. He studied architecture and worked as an architect and urban planner from 1983 until 1992. He has worked at Cologne University of Applied Sciences since 1992, and also teaches perspective and freehand drawing at the FFI in Cologne. His works have been shown in multiple exhibitions.


Drawing the urban environment is becoming increasingly popular, with urban sketching groups and global communities of artists practising on-location drawings where they live and travel. In Urban Sketching Step by Step, artist and architect, Klaus Meier-Pauken, shows us how it's done in his inspiring guide to urban sketching. Klaus looks at the basic materials and techniques you will need to get started, including helpful advice on perspective, tone and composition, and encourages you to look at your surroundings with fresh eyes. The emphasis is on creating quick and lively drawings that reflect the character of urban scenes.

* Leisure Painter, June 2019 *

Urban Sketching Step by Step

The latest addition to the urban sketching canon is certainly one of the best. The larger format has provided the opportunity for a less cramped layout. All the familiar subjects are here: buildings, people, street corners, cafes and vehicles, but the pace of life on the page has slowed and more time and space are devoted to each subject and topic. The result is a book that's charming rather than enervating and where longer discussions and explanations add clarity to the drawings themselves. It's not the a bad place to start.

* The Artist *

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