Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Drawing with a Tablet Easy Techniques for Mastering Digital Drawing on Location

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Drawing with a Tablet is a tutorial and technique guide for digital art, specifically field drawing techniques. Due out 11th Feb 2020 from Quarto on their Quarry imprint, it's 112 pages and will be available in flexibound and ebook formats.

This is an accessible, well written guide which shows a variety of work in a number of styles from different artists. I really liked the wide variety of looks which can be achieved from similar tools and techniques. This book is one of a series of books aimed at sketching in the field and on the go, with a limited number of portable tools (this volume concentrates on electronic formats).

The layout is logical; the first section introduces the tools, supplies and techniques, the second section contains three galleries with widely different styles and many artists' work arranged into cityscapes - indoors and outdoors, and landscapes. One thing that the book possibly could have spent more time on was actual soft-and hardware selection. The author clearly wanted to avoid a command prompt 'buy this product'; there's a table full of comparisons for programs which run the gamut from nothing to quite expensive. I found the array of products quite bewildering and will do more research later to find what fits my needs (total newbie, amateur electronic artist here). The learning curve for the software is a significant hurdle for electronic drawing and that is more or less not within the scope of this volume at all.

The overall feel of the book is technically rich, useful, and varied and I saw so many things which got my fingers itching to jump in and start drawing. I think most (non)artists are a lot more shy about drawing on paper/media than drawing on an electronic device which 99% of us have in our hands a majority of the time. Seeing 'real' working artists using these techniques and devices to produce art was inspiring for me.

Four stars. I really liked this book and will definitely use it going forward for my own drawing sessions.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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