Travel Journal Tips #2 · URBAN-SKETCHING (ft. Skillshare) · semiskimmedmin

Travel Journal Tips #2 · URBAN-SKETCHING (ft. Skillshare) · semiskimmedmin


For today’s second instalment in the travel
journalling series, I’ll be continuing to work on a spread for my recent New York trip,
covering a topic that was suggested in the comments of my last video which is urban-sketching,
which I do think is one of the main skills to be able to incorporate into a travel journal,
with the added help of some lessons learned on skillshare who were kind enough to sponsor
this video. Urban-sketching for me is the practice of
quickly capturing the scene in front of you, often in ink and or watercolour and it’s
generally practiced on location or in plein air but the same effect can be achieved from
photos if needs be. Urban-sketching is such an invaluable skill
to have for a travel journal because it allows you to sketch on location and capture the
moment, render buildings and landscapes and snapshots of your trip from your own unique
perspective. It’s something that I’ve really had to
work on, I generally have quite a careful and detailed approach to drawing buildings
and landscapes and anything really, so in order to nail down the main concepts that
produce a successful urban-sketch; drawing what you see, drawing quickly without letting
your brain take over, and just general ink and watercolour sketching techniques, I ended up having a look through Skillshare
who, as you know, have been a huge help for me in the past in gaining skills and a more
confident and informed approach to my work. Since I signed up to the site at the beginning
of this year, I’ve taken classes on lettering, comics and visual story-telling and even creative
writing. If you don’t already know they’re an online
learning community with classes on all sorts of things, art, design, lifestyle, I’m planning
on looking into some of their photography and videography classes. Anyone can sign up from anywhere, they even
have an app where you can access your classes offline which I think is an extra relevant
feature for this video, as travelling artists. Once you’re signed up to their $10 a month
premium membership, you have unlimited access to all the classes, there are something like
15,000 on there now with more being added all the time. And you can actually get 2 months of premium
access, completely free with the code MINNIE2, I will have a link below. You can’t tell me it isn’t worth checking
out. It’s really become my go-to resource for
learning developing new skills. And this case was no different. So on top of taking classes on fast inking,
combating metal blocks and expressive watercolour techniques, all of which I’ll have linked
below for you, I found this incredibly in-depth course taught by Peggy Dean, who you may actually
already know from her website The Pigeon Letters, she’s someone I consider to be a pretty
big name in illustration and lettering, someone who’s work I admire and someone with an
invaluable wealth of knowledge and among a few other classes on Skillshare she actually
has one on urban-sketching. And she spends a good two hours talking through
techniques and demonstrating in real-time with a lovely thorough commentary on everything
she does, in terms of choices she makes and even making the odd mistake and showing how
she deals with that. So today I’m going to be using what I’ve
learned to create a quick sketche to be part of my New York travel journal. And I’ll talk you through what I’m doing
and why. Now obviously since I’m no longer in New
York, I’m gonna be drawing from a photo, which isn’t ideal but also isn’t uncommon
for an urban-sketch. I will try and make a video later on in this
series specifically about sketching on location. This is just a picture I took while I was
on the bus. I like the framing of it and I always love
the look of telephone wires breaking up a scene. In terms of tools, I’m keeping it simple
and realistic to what I would typically use, just my fine-liner and Portable Painter palette,
you can check out my last Travel Journal video for info on all the tools I take with me on
a trip. But these are the two things I used while
drawing the Washington monument on location. And before I jump right in, I have spent a
little bit of time prior to this, practicing a few of the typical things that pop up in
these sketches. In her class, Peggy actually demonstrates
a few different ways to simplify and draw things like people, windows, trees, and once
you have that in your repertoire it makes it so much easier to get them down quickly
almost from muscle memory. So try to spend a bit of time before diving
right into an urban sketch, just practicing some of the smaller elements that come up
a lot. Another thing to think about before you get
started is how you’re going to frame your drawing. Think about the space it’s going to take
up on the page, think about what parts of it would want to include, whether you want
a panoramic type of view, so going along the page, long and slim, or maybe you want to
highlight the height of a building by making your drawing tall and narrow and not including
all the stuff on the side. And the final thing to think about, even before
beginning your drawing, is what the focus points of your drawing will be. You can’t give everything detail and attention
in this kind of situation, and you don’t really want to anyway, that would overwhelm
the piece. Whether it’s a photo or you’re there in
person, look at which areas draw your attention and put the most detail into those while you’re
drawing. Everything else can stay relatively simple. In a fast drawing setting, where you might
have a lot of people walking by or have to deal with the changing light of the day, something
where you don’t want to spend a lot of time in one spot with your head down and pen on
the paper the best thing you can do for yourself is spend a little bit of extra time, thinking
and planning your approach so you can spend less time actually executing it. And now you’re thinking just get on with
it! I know someone in the comments is gonna be
like ‘the drawing starts at 5 minutes 15 seconds’ but I wouldn’t say these things
if they weren’t important. So moving on to actually putting it together. One of the most important things that I learned
was to start at eye level. So I’m actually gonna start with quite obvious
feature over here. Now you can start wherever you want in your
drawing, but with your starting point at eye level, it makes it a lot easier to work out
your perspective and angle lines coming away from the point. Another great place to start would be a scenes
vanishing point but this particular picture doesn’t have a clear one, but both of these
things are covered more thoroughly in Peggy’s class. Another great tip to do with eye level, something
I had no idea about before, is that regardless of how close or how far someone is, if they’re
average height, their head, or eyes are generally on the same line. It’s a great way to show perspective. So for example, even though there’s only
one person in this picture I can just add one say over here, further back and you see
his head is on the same level as this guy, but his body is obviously smaller because
he’s further away. IT really gives depth to your drawings and
is an easy way to make things make more sense. You can also see that I’m omitting a lot of
the little details that are over here, all these cars and windows and things. I might add a few bits in a bit later but
at the moment I’m just kind of picking and choosing which bits I include and which bits
I don’t. And that’s the best part about urban sketching. You can make your drawing whatever you want
it to be. Add things, take them away, move things around. As long as you’re not drawing a famous landmark,
like the statue of liberty, you have free reign to alter buildings and things to work
with you and your perspective. So now that I have these few elements in here
I can start looking at things based on their scale and location. An easy cheat for urban sketching is using
different parts of your drawing as measuring tools for the rest. So for example, this building in the background
here is about two thirds bigger than this one in the foreground. Now you can see I’m just kind of using that
measuring method to block in basic shapes. Learn to see a landscape as a collection of
geometric, flat shapes and pay attention to how each shape relates to the next in terms
of size and angles. It’s all about this line leads to this line
at this angle for this long. Not so much, this building is this tall and
it has this many windows. Train yourself to see shapes and lines, not
things. Now when it comes to colouring your piece,
it’s really up to you how you approach things. Peggy gives some great watercoloring tips. For me I like quite a bit of white space in
my urban sketches and I think that lends itself well to a limited palette and a limited amount
of time. I focus on shaded areas and don’t try to
be too close to the actual colours, mainly focusing on tone. All in all this sketch took about 30-45 minutes
and would probably have been quicker if I wasn’t talking and sketching at the same
time. I’m confident I could work just as fast
in a plein air setting. And as I said, we’ll talk about that more
in future videos in the series as well as choosing what to record in your journal and
some ideas for page layouts and drawings. In the meantime I hope you enjoyed today’s
video, I hope you do check out Skillshare, I will have the website and info on the free
trial linked below. Thanks so much for watching, I’ll see you
in the next one. Bye!

100 thoughts on “Travel Journal Tips #2 · URBAN-SKETCHING (ft. Skillshare) · semiskimmedmin

  1. Question: I'm going on a trip for a month this summer, and I want to have a travel journal. Right now, I have a journal set aside for this trip, but it's lined and the paper is mostly meant for writing and not art. Should I do a Travel Journal/Diary and a Travel Sketchbook, or just one with the one I have. I want to capture as much as my trip as possible, but I would like to both write and do art. (lovely art by the way)

  2. Nice video again as always, it is such a confident video. Thanks for the two months on skills share.

  3. I just bought Peggy Dean's new book about line drawing botanicals. Cool to know she's on Skillshare too. I'd like to go back and "travel journal" the last two years I lived in Europe and all our vacations.

  4. Your videos are so inspirational. I barely ever give myself time to paint anymore, and whenever I watch one of your videos I instantly decide I want to draw or paint something. A lot of the things you paint I fear aren't in my skill level, but why not give it a go? Thank you, Minnie 🙂

  5. Minnie you are clearly answering for the Universe as I asked for direction and something to help me move forward with my work and Skillshare looks to be it. I have just signed up, thank you very much for the free 2 months and hopefully it will help to move out of the rut I am in and also help me gain my confidence back. Loved your urban sketch, inspiring as always x

  6. I'm so happy! I am starting with urban sketching and i have been watching classes on skillshare, i already watched Julia's Class and currently i am watching Peggy's. And then you upload a video talking about this classes and doing an urban sketch yourself! Thank you for the inspiration 🙂

  7. Taking time to observe and draw a location makes you absorb the "placeness" of a location like nothing else (especially in an age of photographic saturation)

  8. Very pleasant to watch your videos and full of inspirations.

    I seem to have a problem with sketching outdoors. I feel nervous and shy and I wonder if people think I'm weird.
    What would you mind giving me some tips on how to overcome such issue?

  9. I am so appreciative of you sharing this type of drawing. I'm normally a 'portrait' type of girl but have so admired your 'place' drawings and have wanted to try my hand at it. Didn't quite know where to start. This seems do-able. You are helping me grow as an artist!

  10. Minnie, thank you for you video, it's very inspiring me!)
    Can you make video "One day with me"? Where we can see your typical day in life! What do you usually do, what is your schedule and other. It's really interesting to watch how freelance people organize they days. Thank you!)

  11. really enjoyed this one.. ! Very informative.. and well presented.. thank you!! cheers ! 🙂 ………. oh.. btw.. just subcribed …………

  12. I know it's a small thing but I love how you always go slightly over the 2 pages. Like, you go through the line that divides the two pages. It just makes it a little more interesting and it never occurred to me to do that till I saw your videos

  13. I was amazed by the fact that your liner didn't bleed ink at all, can you please share a link in the description for them?

  14. I really love your videos! Thank you for the tips and for this online courses thing, I did not know it existed !

  15. Kind of a weird comment, but your hands and voice are beautiful! 😃. Love the content of your videos, they are very inspiring. Thanks for doing these. Cheers!

  16. Your voice and accent are so beautiful and relaxing I could listen to you talk for hours! I've always loved drawing but I never got to do it seriously, your videos are really inspiring and they motivate me so thank you! Love from France xx

  17. really useful video. it is amazing how simple tips and ideas shared can have such a massive impact on your work. please do make more tutorials in this area, thank you.

  18. thank you so much for these videos, seriously! I'm sure I'm not the only artist out there who finds it difficult sometimes to find the time or the self motivation to actually sit down and put my creativity to good use, but your videos always inspire to do just that! I've really been getting back into drawing and painting again and I have you to thank<3

  19. Another GREAT video! Yours are truly the most inspiring and instructive artist videos out there. I always learn from you! Thank you, so much!

  20. I would love to see you make a video where you try to use acrylic paint to make one of the drawings that you normally would. I especially want to see you trying to mix it with water 🙂

  21. I really enjoy your style. I like the thought of practicing some of the elements beforehand. I really would like to draw landscapes more often.

  22. I always love when the color starts to come in 🙂 really brings everything together and makes it look like a whole 'scene' or a captured moment. I also find watching people work with watercolor is really soothing somehow?

  23. Hey, I need your help. In thought my paper was watercolor paper but my paint keeps bending it so much. I love your art so much

  24. minnie, your videos are so, so lovely! Question, though: what do you find is the best way to clean gouache off your palette? It's the only thing that stops me from using it sometimes. Thank you dear!!

  25. this style is so pleasant to look at for me! damn girl, I wanted you to do one or two more even! always such a talent xoxo

  26. The most well known Urban Sketchers, who are blog correspondents for the group, teach on Craftsy.
    http://www.urbansketchers.org/p/correspondents.html

  27. Hi Minnie. I loved the video – but I have a question / problem. Skillshare seems like a scam. I tried to sign up for a free 2 months and they wanted my credit card. I was confused and very suspicious so I looked it up and very many people are saying it is a scam and that they bill you loads for the "free" month. I don't believe you would intentionally pull us into a scam – so i'm trying to let you know about this. Plus when you open it – it says "FREE" but there are options you have to choose for when you get billed…. here : http://i.imgur.com/p162ePY.png
    It seems a bit suspicious so I wanted to ask.
    I'm a huge fan and I love your videos, sorry this comment had to be negative. Keep posting amazing videos, just without the skillshare! <3

  28. If skillshare gives you free month for each friend you've invited you probably get life-long free subscription for you and your grandkids 🙂

  29. I've been searching for a notebook exactly like the one you feature in your intro because I got one as a gift and fell in love with it and I can't find it anywhere): do you might know where you got it?(:

  30. i just want to say that i'm completely in love with your channel (and i just found it out about 30 minutes ago), i love drawings and stuff and i find your channel very inspiring and helpful! thank you for so many good content, wish you the best ❤

  31. can someone please to me explain the perspective of the people and why they are at eye level? So if the people in the picture are the same height, then they fall on the horizon line? thanks in advance 🙂

  32. this made me want to draw again! thanks for all the techniques and reminding me that art or making art doesn't always have to "look perfect"– because that ideal would stress me out a lot. This has been very therapeutic and I'm glad I learned lots! Thanks, friend ! :))

  33. I love seeing the fun ways you choose to shoot and edit your videos. Its something I originally wanted to do on my channel but It's soooo time consuming so I never really get into it as much as I imagined I would. So I'm really impressed by what you do.

    I also really enjoyed watching you draw the scene. Going straight with pen is very impressive. Reminding us that during urban sketching you have the ability to adjust and change things at your will. Thanks for the tips and sharing your art! 🙂

  34. Thank you for talking about skillshare, I didn't really know where to look for online classes and this site sounds like a great learning place. I love watching your videos and your art inspires me everyday. 🙂

  35. I consider myself an experienced artist but I learned something new today. I love the tip about a person's eye line being on the same horizon line/eye level.  I will remember this.

  36. I know this was posted quite a while ago, but what brand of paint did you end up using in your Portable Palette? Mine is still in the box (shame on me) 'cause I've been waffling over what brand to use. I really like M. Graham, but thinking they might not be good for travel as they don't really dry. The colors you used in this sketch are beautiful. Cheers!

  37. I had skillshare, but with youtube, patreon and instagram i just never ended up logging on. SO even though it is cheap, i just felt a bit lazy to open a new tab for skillshare. Also it didnt want to work on my iphone which wasnt ideal. But otherwise Skillshare is a brilliant resource for those who need a variety of creative classes. 🙂 I Also love Peggy Dean. Obsessed with her Instagram and have her books. I've moved away from line drawing and back to impressionist oil, but IT IS still great fun when i am looking for inspiration.

  38. Nice! Love listening to you talk and draw 🙂 I realized quickly as well to focus more on the gradients and not color as much, although I still gravitate towards being ‘true’ to the colors I see. More practice is needed for me, I guess 🙂

  39. Thank you for this video. It really helps to see how someone else goes about things and we can pick up tips from it also. It is always good to have a different viewpoint I think. Hope you enjoyed your trip. We can all learn something everyday.

  40. Thank you so much for this wonderful video. You inspired me to start urban sketching 💓💓

  41. Thanks for showing your approach for hte coloring. I usually started with lightest areas first but I can see advantages in your approach with shading areas for quicker sketching!

  42. I will never get why folk have a problem with video timeframes beyond five and ten minutes.

    As far as I am concerned, the longer the better particularly with a YouTube personality like "Minnie!"

    My gosh I can't get enough of her masterful productions.

    Thumbs down…why?!
    Art is too subjective for negetivity. There are plenty of other artists out there just go to one of them. Without leaving negative gesters.

    Peace, love, harmony and abundance to you Minnie.

  43. Loved the video and the comments as well. I did not find your narration boring or distracting, and I did appreciate the comment about taking time to "plan". I'll do my best to put what you've said to use. Thanks.

  44. If you’re new to sketching-she discusses great tips on urban sketches. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips

  45. I can't say enough about the power of urban sketching! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWseO_DWsWM&list=UU8yw5kiI0qg7UinjB6-aiFQ

  46. Thank you for the 2 months free with Skillshare, This is such a great video, your art is incredible I aspire to be as good as you one day 🙂 x

  47. This afternoon I literally watched someone else doing this sketch. I think it was word for word the same.

  48. THANK YOU, I believe that you are the FIRST ONE, where you had balanced out the explaining of what your method is with having some areas go at a faster speed, I usually don't like those because you don't hear the artist's thoughts but I LOVED yours, I am glad that I didn't skip this video.

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