Learn to sketch – Sketching from Square One to Trafalgar Square – Book Review

Do you want to learn to sketch?  Do you want to develop your artistic skills or better understand what it takes to draw realistic pictures?

I recommend reading “Sketching From Square One to Trafalgar Square” by Richard E. Scott.  Filled with photos, sketches, illustrations, and 10 clear, concise, step-by-step directions and examples of sketching, this book will teach you to sketch while inspiring you to improve as well.

During the  weekend plein air workshop (that I posted about here) with Aaron Schuerr, we began discussing books. This was one that he was currently reading.  He shared the concept of the book, and I found the idea intriguing.  As I travel quite a bit, I don’t always have time to do a full drawing, and if there’s one area I need to work on, it’s drawing.

sketching from square one

In addition to step by step instructions, he uses examples with photos, showing the masses, the comparisons, and his process.  Given my propensity for going to the details too quickly, it was great to see how he deals with all those little details.

Richard Scott also goes into edges, line (creating marks with pencil), tone, contrast, and the all important point – knowing when to stop.  With hundreds of sketches, diagrams, and photographs, it’s clear that plenty of time and thought was taken in writing the book and making an effort to truly explain the process.

I particularly like how he shows the photo with side-by-side sketches and annotations on the drawing. This is how my mind works when I draw, but simplifying the image is my greatest challenge.  I tend to get swept up in the details of people, umbrellas, flowers, and moving parts.


So, grab your sketchbook (or piece of paper) and a pencil, or for the high-tech folks – your tablet :-) and start sketching.

What do you think?

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