The Art of City Sketching: A Field Manual guides readers through the process of freehand architectural sketching and explains orthographic, diagrammatic, three-dimensional, and perceptual-type drawings. The book presents hundreds of drawings of historic buildings and urban spaces, examples, and exercises, which help readers develop their drawing skills and employ sketching as an analytical tool. The book is divided into three parts, based on the reader’s skill level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. As an architect and field sketching instructor, the author shows that through drawing the reader can discover, analyze, and comprehend the built environment.
The new edition of The Art of City Sketching expands on the drawing techniques of the previous version by adding new drawing examples, exercises, and two new chapters—Chiaroscuro and Storyboard. New drawing tips, demonstrations, and composition "do’s and don’ts" will support readers when they illustrate their viewpoint of the city by using simple drawing tools. The lessons in this book will allow readers to mix method with imagination and sensibility.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION SKETCHING SUPPLIES GENERAL DRAWING TIPS PART I BEGINNER: ORTHOGRAPHIC PROJECTION 1. ELEVATIONS 2. SECTIONS 3. PLANS PART II INTERMEDIATE: 3D PROJECTION 4. PARALLEL PROJECTION 5. PERSPECTIVES 6. TONE PART III ADVANCED: PERCEPTUAL PROJECTION 7. CHIAROSCURO 8. ANALYTIQUE METHOD 9. SPATIAL SEQUENCE 10. STORYBOARD CONCLUSION
Michael C. Abrams is a registered architect and an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland–College Park. He has taught design and drawing at several colleges and universities across the United States. Abrams obtained his Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and a Bachelor in Environmental Design from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras.
In The Art of City Sketching, Michael Abrams reminds us that one of most innate and intriguing of human abilities is our capacity to use our hands as a sensing device for "seeing," perceiving, and knowing our environments. Like spending time outdoors, eating well, and exercising, sketching is a way to engage in the kinds of full-body, sensory experiences that humans need in order to feel healthy. In this important book, Abrams beckons us into the world of sketching by using accessible language and an extensive collection of compelling original images to illustrate how beginners and those with years of practice alike can experience the full range of benefits of sketching.
-Jana VanderGoot, RA, Associate Professor in Architecture, University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, Preservation, and Real Estate Development
Now more than ever, The Art of City Sketching is proving itself to be an essential reference for architects, landscape architects, and urbanists. In an age preoccupied with digital simulations, parametrics, automations, and abstractions, where the designed artifact is often understood as an object estranged from its context, The Art of City Sketching affirms tools that have been essential to designers for centuries, namely drawing by hand and diagramming in situ. Michael Abram’s book challenges readers to imagine a myriad of ways in which the city can be represented and interpreted. It supports the notion that the individual building, or the unique place within a city, are all part of a broader and richer urban context that contribute to the utility, beauty, and meaning of a designed urban set-piece. And, what better way is there to understand architecture, landscape, and the city than by keeping a sketchbook or a visual journal?
- Brian Kelly, AIA, Professor, Associate Dean for Development and Faculty Affairs, Area Chair / Director, Architecture Program, School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, University of Maryland
In times overcome by the advantages of digital representation, Michael Abrams recognizes free-hand sketching as a current and valuable tool to explore and exploit the intricate relationship between the human eye, hand, and mind to properly represent what we see, understand, think, and feel about the built environment. Impressive in quantity and quality, the exemplary sketches in this book attest to the relevance of free hand drawing as a fundamental translator of design intentions whether observed in analysis or proposed in design. For anyone committed to improve on his/her drawing ability, the lessons in this book are thorough, well organized, and carefully delivered to effectively assist in the development of practical skill and technique.
-Juan C. Penabad-Sánchez, Assistant Professor, Architectural Design & Method, University of Puerto Rico
The feedback loop that’s created between the hand, eyes, and brain, while sketching, is an invaluable way of comprehending the world around you. In the age of SketchUp and Revit, learning this analog method and concentrating on how to see are imperative for the beginning architecture or design student. Sketching brings to life one’s ideas and makes them visible, ultimately, communicating intentions. This book is highly accessible and underscores succinct, yet important lessons that brings an analytic approach to each topic, providing the "why" to the "what" and "how" of sketching.
- Catherine K. Anderson, Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture, The George Washington University
The Art of City Sketching is an essential graphic handbook for students and emergent professionals of architecture and urban design. In an immediately accessible way, and through beautifully rendered illustrations, the book provides clear tips, lessons, and principles for drawing space and place.
-Austin Raimond, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of Interior Architecture, The George Washington University