Urban Art: Buildings and Cityscapes
Written by Brian Enright
Have you ever found yourself admiring a beautiful city? Perhaps you wanted more than a quick photo to remember the sights of a city you visited. Urban sketching or street photography is a great way to document the places you have visited. If you are an artist sketching the sights of a city is a great way to practice drawing perspective.
What Is Urban Sketching?
Urban sketching is the act of drawing from observation while on location. People who enjoy this hobby will draw either outdoors or from inside different locations of the city such as museums, landmarks, coffee shops, and parks. The beauty of this activity is that you do not have to be a skilled artist to take part, the beauty of sketching is that it is an informal art. Those who enjoy keeping a journal may enjoy urban sketching too. Many large cities have groups of urban sketchers who organize events to meet up and draw together. Participants are welcome to use all mediums but the most popular choices are pencils, inks, or watercolor paints.
Perspective and Drawing Fundamentals
If you are interested in advancing your illustration skills drawing from observation is a great place to start. Drawing from life is different than drawing from a photograph and it can be a little trickier, but the knowledge gained will make the obstacle worth it. Drawing from a picture may cause the artist to ignore the fundamental structures and only focus on details, plus if you draw from a two-dimensional image your sketch may lack the illusion of depth. One great thing about sketching cityscapes is that it will give you a lot of practice for learning perspective!
Finding a Location to Draw
If you are just starting out you may want to pick a secluded location that is comfortable for you. For example sitting outside your house and drawing the view from your street. Focusing on a particular building like a church or skyscraper rather than an entire street scene can make starting less overwhelming. Here are some art tutorials to help you get started.
If drawing does not interest you but you are still interested in creating city-inspired art then digital photography is a good place to start. You will be surprised at the different patterns and shapes you can capture in a city setting. Many artists take photographs to use for reference too if they want to continue developing their sketch. Some artists may want to use these photographs to create digital artworks on their computer at home. No matter what medium you use hopefully your cityscape art will inspire you to explore new surroundings.