Get a nice Urban sketching spot at the right time |TIP55


It was 2pm. I was looking for a nice spot to sketch. So I decided to go to the Jetty for the awesome view of the sea. However I underestimated the sun of Penang. I was walking toward the famous jetty under 30°C. The sun was above my head and there was no place to hide.

I continued my way
and loved the view. But it was so hot that I couldn’t imagine myself sketching long under that boiling sun. If I would do, I may end rushing and ruining my sketches.

TIP#55  Get a nice spot at the right time

The solution was actually simple. Go back to town and look for covered places (under a tree, temples, coffee…). Then come back later about 6pm when the sun is still around and the timing good enough to enjoy the sketching session before the sunset.

Note: I am sketching with a black pen. But take note that the timing before a sunset is the best for photographer and illustrators who work with colors. That’s when the ground, houses, people skin come out warm and soft. The shadows as well are more diffused.

Few hours later, I sit on the edge of the jetty. It was quiet and windy.

At that time the sea was low so I could sketch a guy cleaning his boat.

Sometime, you don’t have to go into details. With only few lines, you can already express a mood.

That picture represents quite well my mood when I was there. So peaceful, just myself in my own world.

I often say that a designer need to be productive when he sketches. However. enjoy drawing outside at your leisure time. Look for places with a kind weather which you can sketch and concentrate. You will learn discovering new shapes and get familiar with the real world.

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About The Author


If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my career, I believe that they can also help you to learn, and help you with your projects. Whether Design is a job or a hobby it doesn’t matter, so long as you do what is important to you.

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