The Art of City Sketching: A Field Manual, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Art of City Sketching

A Field Manual, 1st Edition

By Michael Abrams


312 pages | 584 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-06-12
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The Art of City Sketching: A Field Manual guides you through the laborious and sometimes complex process of sketching what you see in the built environment so that you can learn to draw what you imagine. Illustrated with hundreds of drawings by students and professionals of cityscapes around Europe and the United States, the book helps you develop your conceptual drawing skills so that you can communicate graphically to represent the built environment.

Short exercises, projects, drawing tips, step-by-step demonstrations, and composition do's and don'ts make it easy for you to get out into the city and experiment in your own work. Author Michael Abrams uses his experience as a field sketching instructor, to show you that by drawing, you can discover, analyze, and comprehend the built environment.


"Trusting the power of passion, Michael Abrams offers each of his readers an indispensible urban companion."

J. Chaffers, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of Michigan

"Michael Abrams provides a clear and creative methodology to guide students in sketching cityscapes, and the beautifully drawn examples provide extra inspiration."

Stephanie Travis, Director and Associate Professor, The George Washington University

"…an inspiring manual for students and professionals to capture and draw architecture in a fresh, yet systematic way…"

Sophia Gruzdys, Senior Lecturer, University of Southern California

"The book provides easy to follow guidelines and principles to make drawing a useful tool for research and analysis of buildings and places."

Edwin R. Quiles-Rodriguez, Founder, Community Design Workshop, University of Puerto Rico

"Michael Abrams encourages us to slow down, use our eyes, hands, as well as our mind to step outside of ourselves so we can better understand the many diverse strategies that have historically defined and constructed our surroundings."

Stanley Ira Hallet, Former Dean, The Catholic University of America

"This welcome field manual takes classes or individual students away from the computer, into the streets, pencil in hand. Summing Up: Recommended." -M. Nilsen, Indiana University South Bend, CHOICE Reviews, February 2015

Table of Contents

Contents; Foreword; About the Author; Preface; Acknowledgements; List of Contributors; Introduction; Sketching Supplies; Part One – Beginner: Orthographic Projection; Lesson 1: Elevations; Lesson 2: Sections, Part Two – Intermediate: 3D Projection; Lesson 4: Axonometric; Lesson 5: Perspectives; Lesson 6: Tone; Part Three – Advanced: Perceptual projection; Lesson 7: Analytique Method; Lesson 8: Spatial Sequence; Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Michael C. Abrams is Clinical Assosciate Professor at the University of Maryland-College Park.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Design, Drafting, Drawing & Presentation
ART / Techniques / Drawing
ART / Techniques / Pencil Drawing