Workshop: Urban Sketching for Beginners

In ‘other news’, I taught a multi-session workshop called Introduction to Urban Sketching  at the Cupertino Library. Many thanks to the staff at the library and to the Friends of Cupertino Library for making it happen! The class was designed for beginners but open to all levels and it was both challenging and rewarding to watch the group of mostly-beginning (and some returning-to-drawing) students discover the joys of everyday drawing.

We covered a lot of basics of what it would take to draw and paint in a sketchbook. We covered drawing objects, buildings and trees, and incorporating figures into our sketches. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I had a bunch of really enthusiastic students, unafraid to try new stuff, so it was fun. Here are some quick snapshots of the content we covered.



And along the way, we sneaked in value studies, a little bit of color mixing, some watercolor tips and tricks, and simple approaches to perspective.

I never remember to take photos because I’m so busy squeezing in one more thing we can talk about… All I found on my camera were these two photos, (left, below) taken from our last session: I took them to explain how to look beyond color at value. On the right is the demo from that session. The fountains really were on and the kids were playing in them when I did the demo.

It’s really fun to teach a bunch of adventurous students: they’ll take on anything, even if they’ve never done it before. And I love watching how they surprise themselves with what they can achieve.

Do you know a group that would be interested in the class? I’m always happy to reteach it, especially close to San Jose. Just email me at



About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in Close to home, teaching, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Workshop: Urban Sketching for Beginners

  1. congrats — looks like a good class!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ArtReach says:

    Would love to have been a part of your class! If San Jose was just a little closer to Middle Georgia…..


  3. Mark Hodgson says:

    Yeh. Buildings ok. People ok. Buildings and people… more tricky!


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