Urban sketching

Natalia Yakovleva - artist, teacher, brand ambassador

Instagram account - https://www.instagram.com/nataljajakovleva/

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Hello friends!⁣⁣⠀
Today I would like to discuss everyone's favorite topic “Urban sketching. What you need to take with you, and what you can easily do without on a trip” and share tips and life hacks of an experienced travel sketcher!
I traveled a lot before this pandemic, and of course, markers are the most convenient material for plein air, because you don't need to worry about thinners, water, brushes, easels and any other nonsense that weighs +100500 kg and is completely inconvenient to carry on yourself. 
If you paint with markers, here is minimum required:⁣⁣⠀
- paper pad A5 (the most convenient format so as not to stay in one place for 3 hours), or a sketchbook (I prefer to draw in it).⁣⁣⠀
- a set of markers (I take 36 Sketchmarkers travel organizer-handbag. I'll talk about this in more detail below).⁣⁣⠀
- black or brown liner (my favorite is 0.1 or 0.3)⁣⁣⠀
- white gel pen + white pastel pencil (this is for final accents)⁣⁣⠀
- pencil 2B + eraser⁣⁣⠀

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As for the materials needed, that's all. Now let's deal with the marker palette, because this is the most difficult thing - from such a variety (Sketchmarker’s palette has 400 colors), choose really those that will be useful to you in the city.

If you are going on a trip, then I suggest you to look at photos of places that you plan to visit before the trip, and you will understand the color spectrum of the city.

Look at the overall color. Usually these are light gray or light beige facades of buildings, dark gray / cold or gray-green, copper or terracotta tile roofs. Two blue colors will be enough for the sky.

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Each city has its own "features". If you are going to London, remember their red phone booths and grab 2 bright and juicy red colors.

If it's Prague then bright orange tiled roofs.

If it's Egypt then all sorts of warm colors (sand, ochre, brown). I was not there, but I looked pictures.

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If you are not a fan of drawing urban landscapes, but like drawing food, then most likely you have already formed your own set, because here you will need the same colors, regardless of the city.

I'm trying to complete my set every time and I can always call the following numbers of basic colors that are always with me:

Warm gray and cold gray: SMB-GG2 Gray Green 2; SMB-GG4 Gray Green 4; SMB-GG6 Gray Green 6; SMB-GG8 Gray Green 8; SMB-CG1 Cool gray 1; SMB-CG3 Cool Gray 3; SMB-CG5 Cool Gray 5; SMB-CG7 Cool Gray 7

Brown palette: SMB-BR85 Cosmic Latte;  SMB-BR84 Latte; SMB-BR82 Brick Beige; SMB-BR71 Sienna; SMB-BR60 Mid Brown; SMB-BR10 Brown

My favorite gray-green (I use it in nearly every sketch): SMB-BG83 Arctic Gray; SMB-BG42 Slate Green; SMB-BG52 Dark Cloud

Mandatory maroon: SMB-R81 Firebrick; SMB-R90 Deep Red; SMB-R10 Red Wood

Other colors by necessity. I can take a few green ones - SMB-G53 Mantis; SMB-G41 Moss; SMB-G10 Crocodile; 2 blue ones for the sky (SMB-B93 Shadow Mauve; SMB-B63 Carolina Blue), maybe orange ones that will mix well with the existing brown and red ones.

In general, if you draw any city in the world and you need cool pastel colors, then look at all Sketchmarkers from the BLUE GRAY line.

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Probably, we have finished with the materials, now we can start to talk about the most important thing: place and how to make yourself comfortable so that you are not distracted by passing onlookers.

    Choosing a location and angle is a skill that has been developed over the years! So that you do not spend a lot of time trying and searching, I will say right away:

    • choose the simplest angle;
    • simplify and stylize;
    • don't try to fit the entire street and adjacent intersections + people and buses in A6 format;
    • draw a fragment;
    • don't overdo with the number of colors. It is better to stay in a limited color scheme than to add everything.

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    What about a place to sit down and draw, to each their own. I really like to find a cafe, get a cup of coffee and sit down in a comfortable chair to draw. But sometimes, in the summer, you can just sit on a bench or lawn, take off your sneakers, put ob your headphones and get high.

    BUT! Going out to sketch in the city, you should be ready for everyone's attention. If you sit down to draw in a public place, then be kind, be a STAR!

    People are always very interested, they come up, look in, take pictures of you, sometimes comment and not always in a positive way.

    There is a way out!

    1- headphones

    2 - do not react, otherwise you will never finish.

    But it should be noted that when traveling abroad, it can be very interesting to chat with the local people, who are interested in communicating with you.

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    Probably the last thing I want to mention is that you need to be confident in your own success when you go out.

    Believe me, it's an incredible emotion when you are not flipping 100500 travel pictures in your phone, but look through your sketchbook, remembering how you sat "in the very place", how it was painted, how it rained, how come a passer-by, how you missed the bus because you lost all sense of time, how you was cold and ran to bask in the nearest cafe for hot tea, etc.

    Oh, actually drooling!

    Why not to go drawing right now?!

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