Urban Sketching (For the mountains too!) with William Elkins

Urban Sketching (For the mountains too!) with William Elkins

We will start with a brief orientation to find out what it’s all about.  I will then do a very quick and simple demonstration just to get the conversation going.  We will then try some quick sketches in the studio, or around View.  We will talk a bit about perspective (everyone’s favorite topic, right?) to try to help alleviate some fears.  We will then work outside on the View grounds, or on the porches if raining.

To whet your appetite, check out www.urbansketchers.org.



Think PORTABLE!  Keep everything simple and compact.  Can it easily fit in your shirt pocket or purse?


Tools:  I use Pigma Micron drawing pens, mostly in .01, but I also carry .05.

            And, I splash on some watercolor afterward.  But, for this workshop, I’m suggesting any drawing tool that works for you -  #2 pencil,crayons, charcoal, ball-point pen, watercolor pencils, sharpened sticks with india ink….


Paper:  I use spiral-bound Stillman & Birn hard cover sketchbooks in about 5”x 7” size.  This particular brand comes in several series, depending on requirements.  I use either Beta or Zeta series because Beta is watercolor paper, and Zeta is heavy enough to accept wet media.

You can use whatever you are comfortable with that accepts your chosen drawing instrument(s).  Size should probably be the key factor.  Something in the 5”x 7” range is easy to carry around, yet large enough to create a decent sketch.


Other stuff:  If you plan to use watercolors or gouache, try to limit the size of your paint selection and palette surfaces.  You only need a small mixing area – a few inches square.  Don’t forget a brush (just one is enough) and a small water container.  Some of you may prefer a small folding stool, but, to me, it seems like one more thing to lug around.  I end up sitting on railings benches, low walls – or just standing.