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Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – mar 2014

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75 di 75 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle People are at the center of urban sketches 9 aprile 2014
Di Tina K. - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I think I can safely say that I’ve read every book in print with the words “urban sketching” in the title or that I know have an urban sketching focus. Although all of them have much to offer on various aspects of drawing on location, some have left me wanting. My personal urban sketching interest leans toward people rather than buildings or urban landscapes. Some books that focus on architecture relegate humans to the general “entourage” (an architectural term for trees, plants and other stuff surrounding a building) of the sketch. Even as I appreciate the information on architectural sketching (goodness knows I need the help), I’m often left wondering, “Is that all people are? Part of the ‘entourage’?”

By contrast, as a regular reader of the blog Analog Artist Digital World, I am dazzled daily by the vibrantly peopled, fully saturated watercolor sketches of Thomas Thorspecken. Compared to most other well-known urban sketchers, Thorspecken’s sketches are unique in that they focus invariably on people and their activities rather than architecture. And the people who populate his sketches are usually not passively sipping coffee or gazing at laptops; they are more often busily dancing, acting or otherwise moving, performing and doing in their community. More than any other urban sketcher whose work I’m familiar with, Thorspecken is interested in documenting the actions of people.

Knowing his sketching style, when I read his book, Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques, I was not surprised to hear him emphatically state numerous times that people are – and should be – the center of any urban sketch. “I firmly believe that adding convincing figures to any scene is the most important aspect of any urban sketch,” Thorspecken says. “Remember that no city scene is complete without the human element, so keep an eye open whenever you are sketching buildings to catch people on the street, too.”

With the human focus clearly established early in the book, he spends a significant portion of it showing the reader how to capture the gestures and poses of people we see in urban life. Although nude people are rarely seen in the urban landscape, he strongly advocates attending life drawing sessions to practice sketching the human form quickly. In fact, he encourages sketching not only the nude model but the other life-drawing participants as well, since capturing the entire life drawing session is good practice for composing multiple people in a composition.

“Although an understanding of some anatomy is important, your job is to catch each person’s individual character with as few lines as possible,” Thorspecken says. “You need to pay attention to how people hold themselves – a person’s slumped shoulders or proud stance will say more about them than their facial features.”

The specific techniques he describes for effectively capturing human gestures, stances and movement are invaluable – and rarely discussed in urban sketching books. Thorspecken’s background as a Disney Feature Animation animator becomes clear in this section. In particular, he shows a five-part breakdown of what legs look like when walking, which is probably the single-most-often observed human movement in the urban environment.

The second-strongest point I gathered from the book is related to storytelling. “Your goal shouldn’t be to just draw things, but to convey and imply the underlying story,” he says. By posting daily sketches and blogging about the details surrounding his subjects, Thorspecken himself is not merely documenting a scene; he is acting as a reporter. “When you begin sketching events every day in your city or town, you will become a journalist, reporting on the activity of your community. . . . Your art can inform, enlighten and help bring people together.” Indeed, blogs, Facebook and other social media can be treated as news media available to anyone who wishes to broadcast their sketch stories.

Another major portion of the book is devoted to composition. Instead of simply drawing whatever is in front of us, we are encouraged to shape the composition to tell the strongest story. Thorspecken does not hesitate to move or remove objects, details or people from a composition if they don’t contribute to the story he sees and wants to tell with his sketch.

Throughout the book, Thorspecken includes numerous inspiring examples of his own work and that of many well-known urban sketchers to illustrate the principles he describes.

If you need lessons on drawing convincing architectural perspective, I recommend looking elsewhere. Covering the topics of one-point, two-point, three-point and three-point curved perspective (accompanied by thumbnails of converging lines that are so tiny they are useless) – all in 10 short pages – left me dizzy (although the examples he shows of these types of perspective are fascinating to examine).

Likewise, if putting people into your sketches is not a primary interest, your needs will not be served by this book (Thorspecken’s position on the importance of humans in sketches cannot be ignored or avoided). Fortunately for me, my perspective of the role of people in the urban landscape is generally the same as his, so my conclusion in reading this book is, “Finally – an urban sketching book for me!”
36 di 37 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
2.0 su 5 stelle The content of this book seems really great! However 8 settembre 2014
Di Brenda - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
The content of this book seems really great! However, the Kindle presentation of it is NOT. A good bit of the book is over a 2-page spread and you cannot, CAN NOT look at it that way! The Kindle App for PC and the app on my Nexus 7 Android tablet only allow a ONE page view. It also will not turn (re-orient) in the apps so you can see better. The zoom function is not that great either in this version. I am not happy about this! I have asked for a refund and will purchase the hard copy version!
10 di 10 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Nice little book 16 luglio 2014
Di Reviewer - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
For me personally, this book came along at an opportune time. At my current level of artistic skill, the idea of getting out and doing simple pen and ink drawings in my sketchbook, with a good artist's "multiliner" pen, to document various events in my life, is just the thing. Given that, some of the contents are particularly relevant to my situation.

I have to say honestly that the book's main value to me isn't tips on drawing, or tips on an approach to learning to draw. I think there are many much better books about learning how to draw. I recommend those by Andrew Loomis particularly, but there are many others too. This book is mainly about taking a certain mindset with your drawing. It's about sketching in particular, about getting out and boldly drawing what you see and experience without worrying too much about creating works of art. The idea is to concern yourself mostly with capturing the essence and feeling of a situation with a simple sketch, on whatever level of ability you may be on, without undue fuss. There's a lot of value in that as a general way of life, whatever else your artistic goals might be, and pen and ink with watercolor or water-soluble colored pencils, using water brushes, is the perfect medium for it. With such a medium, you are pretty much forced to just "go for it," which is a good thing.

There have been moments when I grew tired of this book and put it down. Sometimes it kind of seems to be repeating itself. But for me it has been the kind of book that has proven itself to be worth absorbing slowly, and the main thing is learning from the examples of all the sketches, along with the author's comments about them.

Definitely recommended.
13 di 13 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Best book on sketching I have ever read! 12 aprile 2014
Di meg - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This is the best book on sketching I have ever read, hands down. I picked this up largely because of the beautiful visuals within the book and expected to just thumb through because I was attracted to his painting style. Instead what I have found is that the book is filled with amazing tips about how to become a better artist. Thorspecken takes his years of experience and provides detailed instruction about everything from perspective to value to color to composition and beyond. He provides visuals links back to his work and the work of fellow artists to show examples of how each tip maps to an actual sketch. I have been pouring over this book for weeks now and I'm only halfway through it. I will return to it again and again and again as it is the best book I have seen for anyone who wants to learn the art of sketching on location.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle So packed with gorgeous very complex drawings it can be discouraging for a beginner! 9 ottobre 2015
Di Naomi Manygoats - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This book is a work of art, but I found it to be discouraging for me. The author says that two types of people are drawn to urban sketching; architects and fine artists. I am certainly in neither camp, but hoped for solid techniques for how anyone could begin to capture the scenes around them quickly and accurately. There are some techniques in here, but honestly each page is so packed with so many super detailed and brilliantly colored sketches that I totally missed the techniques the first pass through. I do love the book, it is a stunning example of what is possible! But for technique I like the other book I ordered at the same time much better, The Urban Sketcher by Holmes. He has very clear step by step examples that you can easily follow.