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Review: Essential Techniques for Sketching the Energy of Places (Craftsy course)

Craftsy seems to be very active in getting members of Urban Sketchers to become instructors in their platform. There's Stephanie Bower, Marc Holmes, Paul Heaston, Steven Reddy and Shari Blaukopf. Veteran sketcher James Richard is the latest addition.

James Richard is a sketchbook artist, writer and also teaches architecture. I've actually featured his book Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers a few years ago.

This Craftsy course Essential Techniques for Sketching the Energy of Places talks about techniques that makes sketches more lively.

The whole course runs for 113 minutes and there are 6 lessons:

  1. Finding the Perfect Place
  2. Drawing People in the City
  3. Buildings as Backdrop
  4. The Entourage
  5. Adding Color
  6. Hitting the Streets: On Location

There are usually 7 lessons for Craftsy courses and this one only has 6. I was like "that's all?" at the end of the course. However, it's still a very enlightening course.

This course is for those who sketch outdoors.

The techniques related are more on artistic style. You'll learn how to improve the location sketch that you may already have by focusing on techniques such as adding people into the scene, using buildings as backdrop in the composition, handling props like lamp posts, tables, cars and other elements in the scene. The last lesson is on how he colours his sketch.

There are lots of useful tips and you'll also get to see James in action on location sketching from life. James talks about the many things you can use to make your sketches look less static and also how you can actually draw them. It's pretty easy to follow along.

The course was launched in November 2015 and at the time of this writing, there are more than 1,000 students enrolled.

This is a course that complements other sketching courses that I've featured so far. There are already courses that deals with the overall picture so this course which focuses on the specific elements is a good complement.

Enroll in the course or check out more reviews on Craftsy.

Check out other video courses from Craftsy that I've featured at

Disclosure: This course was provided to me by Craftsy for review purposes. You can support Parka Blogs by using the affiliate links as I get a little commission from each sale. :-)