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Sketch Now, Think Later: Jump into Urban Sketching with Limited Time, Tools, and Techniques Flexibound – October 1, 2017
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From the Publisher
Sketch Now, Think Later
The perfect "quick start" guide to sketching on the go!
Statue of Liberty
I was attracted to the idea of looking up at the statue, as it was an angle I had never seen before. I also liked being able to fit in the Manhattan skyscrapers in the background. There are two faint, horizontal lines, one of which was a mistake horizon reference line.
When sketching very famous landmarks, sometimes focusing on the well-known postcard view can be boring, too much of a cliché, or just difficult since you have seen it too many times.
In those cases, it’s fun to look for the most unusual view to sketch. Sketch the most extreme angle, such as looking straight up at a statue/building or looking at it from the back side.
Once you have sketched those unusual views, then it’s sometimes easier to go back and sketch the postcard views.
Quick Start Guide
1) Find a Subject
Find a subject you really want to sketch.
Roughly imagine how you’d like to fit the sketch on your page.
Understand the theme/focus of your sketch (e.g., in this example I was attracted to the pigeon on the structure and the flock of birds on the ground).
2) Start Sketching
Sketch mostly in contour. Keep the lines simple.
Don’t spend too much time looking for the perfect angle. Find a nice, safe spot and start sketching.
Use thin/thick lines with a Fude pen.
Add some surrounding details.
Start sketching from the closest object, working backward. Don’t overdo it.
If the sketch doesn’t match your original thinking on the page, don’t worry about it. It happens all the time, so just keep on sketching.
Jump right into coloring.
Use water brush only.
Use straight color.
Keep mixing of colors to a minimum.
4) Finish Later (optional)
If you run out of time, take a photo of your scene and finish the sketch later.
You can add annotation, extra color, graphics, and stamps.
About the Author
Mike Daikubara began carrying a sketchbook in 2000 to be able to communicate better and faster at his design day job. Now he sketches daily to see, understand and enjoy! A Japanese-American, Mike grew up in Tokyo and New York City attending an International school with kids from all over the world. He’s currently the Director of Brand & Design Development responsible for Brand Development and Industrial Design at a Boston-based kitchen and bath manufacturer.
Top customer reviews
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What the book IS about:
First and foremost, this is an artist's travel journal documenting places and scenes that he wanted to capture. While that's nice and somewhat interesting, it is formatted in a much more story-telling style than instructional. I was disappointed in that I want to improve my skills as an artist, not so much learn where this guy has traveled.
Most accurately described, this is a how-to guide on creating a travel journal. If that is your end goal, then by all means, buy this book. It will even describe why he chose the perspectives he did when painting / sketching monuments, etc. He tells you what parts of the structures to focus on and which parts to ignore and even how to find out-of-the-way seating so as not to disturb or be disturbed by others on your tour. Nice info, but again not what this book advertised to be about.
As a hobby artist, I learned very little beyond the most basic concepts. I'll use the info about which supplies to use, but that is about it. Also, worth noting that it was not available as an ebook at the time I purchased it, which a preview might have helped to prevent me from buying this book and being disappointed.
Hopefully this review helps you to determine if this book is what you are looking for!
Sketch NOW Think Later is Daikubara’s first instruction book. Subtitled Jumping Right into Sketching with Limited Time, Tools, and Techniques, the book is based on principles of urban sketching that he introduced to his workshop participants at the Urban Sketchers symposium in Manchester in 2016.
A travel lover, Daikubara would sketch all the time if he could, but he’s realistic enough to know that the weather, the needs of travel companions, or other constraints can keep him from taking as much time as he’d like on a sketch. He believes firmly that a sketch can be done – no matter how little time you have – as long as you keep your tools and methods simple and adjust your expectations to the conditions.
To help explain his principles, he has developed a unique quadrant graph to help sketchers evaluate their own energy level (and therefore ability to concentrate) balanced with how much time is available. Ideally, we’d all like to have plenty of time and energy to make all of our sketches, but if either is short, a good sketch can still be made – if you follow his approach.
Sketch NOW Think Later begins with an overview of his compact, portable sketch materials, tools and bag that all help him work as quickly and simply as possible. Unique to the book is his emphasis on his favorite fountain pen, a Sailor with a fude (“brush”) nib. One reason he favors the Sailor fude is that its ability to impart a wide range of line widths enables him to carry only one pen instead of several (which keeps his kit slim).
Other chapters focus on line, color, composition, and other sketching elements, all with an emphasis on working efficiently to capture the moment with spontaneity and energy. For example, if time is short, don’t color the entire drawing, Daikubara suggests. Instead, choose the parts that caught your attention first, and color what you want your viewer to focus on. Or a symmetrical subject, like a building or a car, could be colored only on one side, since the opposite side is the same. His step-by-step instructions are fully illustrated with his precise yet whimsical diagrams. Throughout, the text is beautifully accompanied by many full-color examples from this prolific artist’s sketchbooks.
Targeted toward beginning and busy sketchers who want to learn how to make the best use of their limited time, Sketch NOW Think Later also has practical ideas for more experienced sketchers. We can all use tips on how to streamline our sketch kits and optimize time so we can do more of what we love most – sketch NOW!
The examples from Mr. Daikubara's journals are excellent in not just a how to way, but in a why to way. With so much cultural and "religion of high art" baggage about "what is acceptable and what isn't" I find the emphasis on process over product amazingly refreshing! Stop jabbering and fretting and just go sketch something.
I have sketched more or less regularly my whole life but this book helped me kick it up to at least one or more sketches every day, and I mean every day, over the last couple of months and I'm at the point now where I won't even consider going to bed at night until I've sketched.
In the end, at least for me, it's not about what I sketch, it's about me sketching and this book has been a huge inspiration for me.
Most recent customer reviews
Keep It Sketching, Silly!