Book Review: Techniques for Beginners (The Urban Sketching Handbook)

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I like Suhita Shirodkar’s sketches for their looseness and lively colours so it’s great to see her coming up with a book on urban sketching. You can see her many sketches on her Instagram page.

Techniques for Beginners: How to Build a Practice for Sketching on Location is part of the Urban Sketching Handbook series published by Quarry Books. This new book is authored by Suhita Shirodkar, a freelance illustrator and teacher based in San Jose, California, USA. I was actually able to sketch with her a few times during the Urban Sketchers Symposiums that I’ve been too. She’s very friendly and talks to people who come up to her while she’s sketching.

This particular book is in the same compact paperback handbook size as the earlier books. There are 112 pages packed with sketching tips for beginners of urban sketching. This is not a structured guided instructional book so it works better as a compliment to other artbooks you may already have. If you really want to learn how to draw quickly, I suggest you get Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson.

I really enjoy going through the books, looking at the beautiful sketches contributed by sketchers around the world. I have a sketch in the book too, on page 20. The tips are short but insightful and you can definitely learn a lot. There are ideas on what to draw, and basic explanation on using the eyeline, perspective, value and composition to make your sketch better.

The variety of sketches and styles just shows off how fun urban sketching can be. I’m been into urban sketching since 2009 so yeah, this is my type of book, and it’s one I can recommend easily to beginners and fans of urban sketching.

This book, just like earlier books, is one I can pick from the bookshelf occasionally just to get ideas and get inspired.

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Techniques for Beginners: How to Build a Practice for Sketching on Location is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | AU | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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