About the Book

Sketching - from Square One to Trafalgar Square, was a 12-year long project, using the classroom as a laboratory to test and refine an innovative approach to seeing and sketching. The release date was held back again and again, until the lessons had been distilled into their simplest form, and could be applied to achieve immediate results.

Written for the person new to drawing (the book opens with a dispelling of the myth that artistic talent is needed), as well as the seasoned pro, anyone interested in sketching can advance their skills and find inspiration in these pages.

I have a hundred drawing books because I always think there's going to be the one that actually teaches me something, and this one did. It's a fantastic book! A must-have for every artist's library, no matter what level of experience.

Kathleen Dunphy
Artist

This book will light your passion for sketching.

William Wray
Animator, THE REN AND STIMPY SHOW, and Cartoonist, MAD MAGAZINE

This book is like having a year's worth of lessons in one package - an awesome piece of literature that's clear, concise, well-organized, and straight-to-the-point. Exceptional!

Alex Bodnar
High School Art Teacher, LA Unified School District

I get asked all the time about good books for learning how to draw. This book is one of the best out there. Raw beginner or seasoned veteran, this book has something for everyone. Hint - don't skip any of the tutorials. He takes what may seem like simple exercises and carefully builds upon them until you are drawing in a manner that will surprise you. Measuring proportions, understanding angles, shapes, contrast, composition and one of the best explanations of perspective I've seen in a long time. Help get the word out on this fantastic book.

Iain Stewart
Instructor, Auburn University

Square One

In the first part of the book, you will learn 10 lessons to better drawing, starting at square one. Drawing is not a technique thing (as many people assume), it is a mind thing. People who believe they cannot draw have a simple problem: they have not yet learned how to think as they draw. As a result, they do not know what to look for. They pay attention to the wrong things. They do not know where to begin or what to do after that. They quickly become overwhelmed or stuck. For these people, drawing is no fun.

People who can draw well do so because they think differently as they draw. As a result, they know what to look for. They pay attention to the right things. They see things that those who cannot draw are not seeing. Because drawing makes sense to these people, they have fun doing it, and they continually practice and improve

If you include yourself in the first group, after reading and doing the exercises in Part One, you will understand exactly what it takes to join the second group. One does not become competent at any skill by trying 4,000 different things. It is doing a handful of things 4,000 times that creates the master. Here we will learn exactly what to look for and what to do. Practicing is then a matter of repeating these correct steps, again and again. The good news is that when you understand how to practice properly, the experience is similar to hitting golf balls at a driving range. The practice not only develops skill, but is also relaxing and enjoyable.

You will find that the lessons here can be applied to successfully draw any subject, from architecture, to landscapes, to a human figure, to anything else that interests you.

My all-time favorite art book. All the seeing + thinking + sketching concepts are presented in a logical and comprehensive way. I have a lot of drawing books, and most of them have some really good sections. But this book has gold on every page.

Amazon Review

How to See

In Part Two, we will explore the act of perception, and learn to see with the eyes of an artist.

In this part, we will close our sketchbooks and concentrate our minds on observing and responding to a subject matter. You will find that it is how you see a subject matter that will determine what you choose to sketch and how you will sketch it. The kind of seeing referred to here is different than how most people see

Seeing is a three-step process. In this process you change what you pay attention to, find something that sparks your interest, and then break the subject down so that you can translate it into your sketchbook.

All three steps are studied in-depth with easy-to-follow examples, inspiring illustrations, and an acronym so that the process can be remembered in sequence.

Most sketching tutorials basically show how the author sketches and then say (essentially), "now you go and do likewise." Scott's approach is different. He presents an extended tutorial on the art of seeing, which is the essential first ingredient of drawing. He teaches you how to see and how to properly evaluate what you see, so that you can efficiently capture it in your sketch. The ability to sketch effectively falls out as a natural consequence.

Amazon Review

I've had the book for about one week and have done 15-20 sketches using methods the book details. I have NEVER drawn this accurately or created such compelling and interesting compositions. I am shocked and super happy with this. Drawing has become so fun and challenging. If you are serious about improving your drawing abilities, this book will seriously change the game.

Josh Walden
Artist

How to Sketch

In Part Three, we will re-open our sketchbooks and graphically express what we observe and respond to in a subject matter.

Sketching is a six-step process. As we learn the process, we will explore everything about the act of making a sketch, from composition, to accuracy, to perspective, to expressive lines, to tonal values, to contrast, and even knowing when to stop sketching. An acronym will help you remember each step in sequence.

You will also learn how to break through the tendency to copy everything in front of you, detail for detail. You will learn how to select those things in a subject that are most meaningful to you. In doing so, you will draw less but express more.

Direct and easy to understand explanations and excellent examples that will encourage and inspire anyone who picks up this book.

Kenneth S. Nakaba, FASLA
Former Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture, Cal Poly Pomona

I would love to have had this book last summer when I taught a class in drawing. It will certainly be in my next class.

William G. Hook
Renown Architectural illustrator, Architect, and Teacher

I have been drawing and painting (casually) for about forty years and this is the first book that for me has provided everything that I have ever wanted/needed to learn about sketching. An extremely informative, well balanced and wonderfully illustrated book. A joy to read and follow. A must buy as far as I am concerned. Even after my first copy was stolen in a local UK coffee shop I immediately ordered another.

Amazon Review

I am a professional artist and art professor with over twenty five years' experience. Over many years, I have collected an extensive number of excellent art books, particularly ones on drawing techniques and approaches. This book is one of the very best books on the subject of drawing that I have ever read. This book does not simply provide the usual type of step-by-step examples found in so many books on drawing, it teaches principles and procedures which are useful, practical, and applicable to depicting subject matter of all kinds. And, this book shares concepts which enable its readers to be both analytical in their thinking, as well as self-expressive. For teachers and drawing instructors, this wonderful book can easily serve as a textbook that students will be able to easily understand, follow, and relate to. I highly endorse this incredible book and I would give it more than a five stars rating if possible.

Amazon Review

Sketching Trafalgar Square

The book concludes with a visit to Trafalgar Square, where you will get an up close and personal view of how the seeing and sketching method can be applied to capture the sights and experiences at one of the world's most beloved public squares.

A brilliant book. Although I have been sketching for many years I think this is possibly the best book I have read on the subject. It is very inspirational and would benefit both beginners and the more experienced artist.

Amazon Review

Pick up this book, your sketchpad, and pencils and quickly your sketches will improve. This book is one you will cherish and consult repeatedly.

Stephanie Landregan, FASLA
President, Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards

The Specs

The book is 192 pages in length, measures 8" x 10" (landscape format), is comprised of 3 parts, 10 chapters, and contains a whopping 419 illustrations (sketches, step-by-step diagrams, and photographs). The book is softbound so that it's lightweight (just over a pound), sleek, and can fit comfortably into a backpack (perfect for those who want to take it as a companion on their travels).

I ordered this book based on a recommendation I heard on the Artists Helping Artists podcast. I am really glad I did as I have been drawing for years but never felt like I had the technique/talent for interesting sketches. I love how the book starts out and builds upon the basic ideas to help you break down a composition using various options all of which can lead to incredible pieces of art. I highly recommend to anyone looking to improve existing skills or learn new ones.

Amazon Review

What You're Paying For

Ultimately, what you're really paying for is not a book, but an experience. That experience is you, sketching with skill, artistry, and confidence, and having a good time doing it.

The book plays the roles of teacher, coach, and reference in this experience. All of the lessons and examples will be at your fingertips whenever you open your sketchbook. You can relax and learn at your own pace. Meant to be a life-long sketching companion, you can refer back to it again and again, for guidance, to help solve a particular problem, or for a friendly push forward, anytime you like.

You gain all of this for a price of only $29.95 (25% off the retail price of $39.95).

It goes way beyond any "how to" book I've ever read...and I've read a lot of them. This book was recommended by a favorite artist I follow on the web. I took the hook, bought the book, and it far exceeded all of my expectations. It has already become a "go to" textbook in my studio. I've noticed immediate and significant improvement in my sketching abilities. This book has opened my mind to a completely different approach to sketching... very helpful. It's a really great book for anyone wanting to elevate their sketching skills and enjoyment of sketching. To give it a "five star" rating seems inadequate.

Amazon Review

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I have a shelf full of how-to-sketch books, but none has ever addressed the roadblocks I've encountered as effectively as this book. Could you not identify what to draw first? Were you trying to tackle too many aspects of the drawing at once? Did you completely lose sight of what attracted you to your subject in the first place? Did you forget that the experience of making any drawing is worth at least as much as the resultant rendering? If you can see your own frustrations in any of these scenarios, get this book. Your teacher has appeared.

Amazon Review

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