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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 March 2014
I don't write reviews - but this book is truly inspirational. Ideas, demonstrations, examples, explanations and clarifications on every page. If you are new to drawing, this book will get you through the beginning uncertainties. If you are experienced, this book will take you to a new understanding of your practices, and you will uncover a wealth of things you have not so far thought of. I'm not saying you absolutely need this book, but if you don't have it, you will suffer a loss and never know it.
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on 8 March 2014
A warm, attractive cover invites the reader to join the new breed of artists, those whose work is the sketch, not just the pre requisite for some carefully orchestrated piece later on.
In four chapters, he shows the equipment and materials he uses, how the technical things like perspective and composition work and why it matters, a clear approach to putting in people and animals and finally on choosing subjects with plenty of visual ideas on what can be done.
He has roped in the work of 46 other urban sketchers, so there are loads of ways of working to inspire. If you have little experience of location work, this book is a great read to get fired up. Alternatively, if you’ve been at it for years, there are loads of insights into the habits of other artists, all of which could confirm your own suspicions or addictions.
His coverage on perspective is excellent. It is a common sense approach, not a tedious course in technical drawing. There are people who prefer to understand before they create, and those who have to create in order to understand. I think Thorspecken has managed to cover both in one hit.
Good sketches don’t appear as if by magic. The book shows what goes on behind the scenes and that with a desire to learn from experience and mistakes, much is achievable.
There is a lot of work in here by some very able people but remember they only got there because they went out and did it.
At the end of the day, you can only draw how you draw. And any artist can only share what they do. As Thorspecken says “Learn what works best for you.”
At 128 pages, it is fat enough to be of use and thin enough not to lose the will to live.
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on 23 March 2014
While there's a number of books about urban sketching available, this book focuses much more on technique, as well as showcasing a variety of artists. Even for the seasoned sketcher, a quick glance through the book will immediately lead you to some very useful advice for improving your drawings – approaches to perspective, composition, tone, line etc that you might not have considered before, or (as is often the case with me) you were vaguely aware of but needed it pointing out to actually apply it properly in your own work. Whatever your skill level, it’s a valuable resource, explained concisely and eloquently by Thorspecken, with step by step demonstrations of how these techniques can be employed in urban sketching, and supporting illustrations. The book is organised around different topics, such as approaches for drawing buildings, animals, people, parks, public transport, etc which makes it handy to refer back to should you find particular elements you want to improve in your own sketching.
However, the real appeal of books like this is the sheer wealth of beautiful imagery – a casual browse of the Urban Sketchers Flickr group will prove what an incredible number of talented artists there are, all busy sketching their cities all over the world – but having a collection in printed format to browse through at your leisure is a real treat. I know sometimes people feel can feel intimidated by looking through pages and pages of fantastic artwork, but I never fail to feel inspired, and I hope that’s the reaction it provokes in most readers too – urban sketchers aren't revered masters exhibited in galleries and examined in hushed silence; they’re ordinary people carrying sketchbooks, recording their environment and their daily lives for the sheer pleasure of it. Some are professional artists, and some aren’t, but all of them are unique, and everyone is welcome, whether you've just picked up a pencil or you've been drawing for 60 years. It’s that diversity and enjoyment that comes through when you read Thorspecken’s book. Each page is bursting with creativity and all manner of different approaches, lovingly reproduced and laid out appealingly, and the overarching message is that this is something anyone can do.
If you’re thinking about getting more sketching into your life, if you want to know how, or you need a refresher; if you’re looking for inspiration and motivation, guidance on improving your drawings, choosing your subjects or just a reason to buy a sketchbook, I've no doubt this book will provide.
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on 19 May 2014
I am a beginner in water colour painting and trying to find a style that I like. The paintings included in this book, are vibrant and exciting and very tempting to see if I can try out the techniques.
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This is another wonderful book added to my collection of sketchbook. I was pretty excited because some of my sketches are included inside.

Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques is written by Thomas Thorspecken who's also contributor the the Urban Sketchers group. He happens to have one of those draw-daily blog and you'll see many of his sketches in the book as well.

This book is about urban sketching, or just sketching outdoors. It's filled with beautiful sketches, techniques and insight from more than 40 contributing artists. Every page is packed with interesting and helpful drawing tips, sketches with accompanying captions, and even the drawing process of some artists.

When I submitted my sketches for the book, I did not submit any captions. So I'm rather surprised to see captions analysing my sketches, pointing out things like perspective or other hidden meanings. When people sketch, they don't really think about these concepts because they are already in the subconscious. It's great that the book has captions that explain about the fundamental drawing principles each sketch that was featured.

Even though I submitted works for the book and entitled to a complimentary copy, I still bought one copy at the bookstore (because mine hasn't arrive from the publisher yet).

Note that there are different publishers for the book depending on where it's being distributed. Mine's from publisher Page One (Asia) which has a different cover from publishers Barron's Educational Series and Search Press.

Another book to check out would be James Richards' Freehand Drawing and Discovery. That book also covers urban sketching with tips and techniques from contributors.

Highly recommended to those who like to draw, urban sketching or just want fun book to read about how people sketch.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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on 4 July 2014
Disappointing in that much of what is written can be found in any other art instruction book. Also there is much emphasis on drawing indoors and by proportion not much on drawing outside. These are personal views and others will rate it differently.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 25 March 2014
Sharpen your pencils, circulate and sketch. This complete guide gives you the basic skills and more to capture scenes from daily life. Includes tools and techniques, going urban, populating your world, choosing a subject. All you need to know to sketch anywhere. The book has an almost cartoon strip look to it and there is too much on each page for my taste but it certainly is packed full of useful information. You'll see different styles of work from over 40 contributing artists, yet the work is cohesive and unified. Lots of tips, techniques and different media and approaches. Many examples of work but this is not a how-to or step by step book.
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on 4 July 2016
I really, really like this sketching book. I have owned it for a while, and each time I open it to read some aspect, I discover another idea for my mental arsenal. Anchoring the sketch for when those peskie people, who were standing so perfectly still, wander out of view! People in context. Starting in the middle of a complex sketch. Being set up so you can capture that human foible when it happens in an instant. And not all the examples are beautifully drawn; some are studies for the future, which helps my wobbly self-confidence no end!!
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on 21 October 2015
Really good intro to the topic which really encourages you to get out there and draw. There are some great guidelines for keeping your kit minimal so that you always carry it and can take advantage of even the smallest sketching opportunities. There are good ideas for homing in on suitable subjects and great guidance on how to tackle different views.
It doesn't have to be great art....just a sketch to remind you of a place or a happening....
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on 8 November 2014
I am an Artist from Devon, and found this book superb in the fresh way it gave many ideas about drawing and painting Frank Adey, ArtHouse North Devon. Thank you Search Press for introducing me to your fantastic range of art and creative books, I will certainly check out more in the range.
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