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The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes: Tips and Techniques for Drawing on Location (Urban Sketching Handbooks) Flexibound – 4 Dec 2014


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Product details

  • Flexibound: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry (4 Dec. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592539610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592539611
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

GABRIEL CAMPANARIO is a staff artist at The Seattle Times and the founder of Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing. Campanario's newspaper column, Seattle Sketcher, was awarded first place for blog writing in "The Best of the West" journalism contest. The blog and weekly print column, which combine location sketches and written stories, have quickly become popular in the Seattle area, where Campanario has been featured in TV and radio appearances. A native Spaniard, Campanario moved to the U.S. in 1998 and has lived near Seattle with his wife and two children since 2006. His journalism career spans two decades, working for newspapers in Barcelona, Lisbon, California, and Virginia. Campanario has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Parka HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 28 Nov. 2014
Format: Flexibound
Length: 1:30 Mins
I managed to get this book early here in Singapore because apparently there are two publishers for the book. One's Basheer Graphic Books and the other is Quarry Books. Basheer distributes for Asia and the book is out in Asia first.

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes is almost A5 size but smaller as in it it's more vertical. It's a paperback with 112 pages and comes with a rubber band to hold the covers together, like some sketchbooks do.

Gabriel Campanario is a staff artist at The Seattle Times and also the founder of UrbanSketchers.org, an online community dedicated to location sketching. I've followed his personal blog as well as the Urban Sketchers blog for a long time and some of his work and those from other sketchers are included in this book.

The drawing tips in the book are actually contributed by the guest artists including Gabriel Campanario himself. They are written in a concise manner, usually not more than three sentences. Each sketch also comes listed with the tools used. I can imagine that could be quite dangerous to the wallets of those who like to experiment with drawing tools.

An important point to note is this is not a technical or in-depth book on architecture, or for that matter, a technical book on drawing with rules to follow. For example, it talks about vanishing points, and about buildings in perspective with the usual two vanishing points plus building example, but it does not go too much in detail and just focuses on common perspective problems people face. The basic foundation of observation drawing is understanding proportions, and while that is not explicitly taught, there are several tips based on proportion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Music man on 26 Nov. 2014
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
The A5 format is too small to appreciate the drawings and the text skimpy to say the least. The art of urban sketching book by the same author is much more useful and covers everything in this book and more. By comparison a poor effort, but in an interesting moleskine like package.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Residency on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
Full of excellent drawings, but spoilt by the book's small size. As a result most of the drawings are too small to be of great value for studying. A larger standard sized book would be of much greater use and merit 5 stars!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GWM on 27 Dec. 2014
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Good for beginners but a bit too brief 7 Nov. 2014
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Flexibound
I managed to get this book early here in Singapore because apparently there are two publishers for the book. One's Basheer Graphic Books and the other is Quarry Books. Basheer distributes for Asia and the book is out in Asia first.

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes is almost A5 size but smaller as in it it's more vertical. It's a paperback with 112 pages and comes with a rubber band to hold the covers together, like some sketchbooks do.

Gabriel Campanario is a staff artist at The Seattle Times and also the founder of UrbanSketchers.org, an online community dedicated to location sketching. I've followed his personal blog as well as the Urban Sketchers blog for a long time and some of his work and those from other sketchers are included in this book.

The drawing tips in the book are actually contributed by the guest artists including Gabriel Campanario himself. They are written in a concise manner, usually not more than three sentences. Each sketch also comes listed with the tools used. I can imagine that could be quite dangerous to the wallets of those who like to experiment with drawing tools.

An important point to note is this is not a technical or in-depth book on architecture, or for that matter, a technical book on drawing with rules to follow. For example, it talks about vanishing points, and about buildings in perspective with the usual two vanishing points plus building example, but it does not go too much in detail and just focuses on common perspective problems people face. The basic foundation of observation drawing is understanding proportions, and while that is not explicitly taught, there are several tips based on proportion. Another example is that you can create depth using varying tonal values, but the exact techniques of creating those tonal values are not mentioned, and of course the technique will depend on your tool.

This is more like a book that compliments other drawing books, and here it focuses on drawing at urban spaces, the buildings and architecture.

From page 77 onwards, there are galleries featuring pen, pencil, watercolour and mixed media works from other artists. The commentary are the artists' thoughts on using the tools and there are also some drawing tips.

This book is for beginners who know basic drawing, and they can use the tips to improve their sketches in the different areas taught, namely composition, scale, depth, contrast, line and creativity.

Overall, I wish the book could be more technical, but for the price it's still quite worth the purchase.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Don't waste your time and money on this 23 Oct. 2014
By Discerning Realist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
Don't waste your time and money on this. First of all, the format is too small for any art book. They tried to play cutesy with a "moleskin" look and pocket size. It is a collection of sketches. Some are nice, but again a two inch image isn't much help. The text is a random collection of one liners categorized into such as composition, scale, depth, et cetera. Very limited as a "handbook". If you're writing a book, let's put some thought and effort into it. Sorry Gabe, but this is a disappointing effort.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A succinct, compact manual on architectural sketching 28 Oct. 2014
By Tina K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
Unlike The Art of Urban Sketching, Gabriel Campanario’s first book, which is a huge, coffee-table gallery of sketches from around the globe, The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes – Tips and Techniques for Drawing on Location is a compact manual of key principles that are essential to fully expressing oneself when sketching on location. It’s an ideal companion piece to the Art of Urban Sketching’s inspirational eye candy.

The six principles – composition, scale, depth, contrast, line, creativity – are illustrated with Campanario’s sketch examples as well as those of many urban sketchers worldwide who exhibit a vast range of styles and media. Each of the book’s sections presents direct and practical information as it relates to architectural and street sketching along with an example to illustrate each concept. For example, in the section on composition: apply the rule of thirds; use thumbnails to plan; choose interesting formats.

The book’s sixth key, creativity, encourages the reader to push beyond simply rendering a building to finding one’s unique style. “Developing your own drawing style takes time. Be patient,” Campanario urges. “You risk not finding it if you give up too soon.” The last section is a slim gallery of works organized by media by artists well-known in the urban sketching community.

Campanario’s personal approach and attitude toward urban sketching and toward drawing as a form of personal expression are apparent throughout. “A line made with assertion, even if it’s in the wrong spot, is worth a thousand marks made with hesitation,” he says. He encourages sketchers to engage with interested bystanders who comment on your sketch. “Urban sketching is about immersing yourself in your city or the places you travel. You’ll miss out if you wear headphones or don’t welcome interaction.”

To a would-be urban sketcher who has never even touched a sketchbook, I might not recommend this as a first reference, as there’s no information about tools and materials or practical suggestions (bring a hat and stool!) for on-site sketching. (To those folks, I might recommend James Hobbs’ Sketch Your World, which is a more comprehensive guide on how to become an urban sketcher.) For all the rest of us, though, Architecture and Cityscapes is a handy, compact volume small and thin enough to throw into our sketch bags. (It even has an elastic band to look like a Moleskine and a few blank pages inside to sketch on!)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful and helpful but hard to read 31 Oct. 2014
By L. Huls - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I can only second the glowing reviews above. Just AS beautiful as The Art of Urban Sketching with useful technique. It IS, however, extremely difficult to read because the font is very small, very thin and printed lightly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
simple and straightforward enough for new sketchers but useful for more advanced creatives 24 Oct. 2014
By Pat Loughery - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
Seattle's Gabriel Campanario is well known as the Seattle Sketcher whose work is published in the Seattle Times newspaper, giving us artistic looks at life in and around the city.

This handbook, the first of a pair, is a brief but helpful look at sketching architecture and cityscapes. It's creative, simple and straightforward enough for new sketchers but useful for more advanced creatives.

Perhaps the most helpful page is 111, which lists the 40+ contributing artists and their own sites. It will be very useful to go look through their work as I continue to practice my own urban sketching.
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