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Sketching Resources

Whether you‘re a young designer or an established professional, sketching is a skill that can always be improved. Production Designers tend to come from diverse backgrounds, and many don‘t have the classical design training of an MFA program or art school. For those of us who are hesitant about picking up a pencil/stylus and starting to draw, here are some great places and programs that can give us the support to make the first steps or to refresh our visual memories:

THE INSTITUTE FOR CLASSICAL ARCHITECTURE AND ART is an organization dedicated to the classical tradition in architecture, urbanism and their allied arts. The institute‘s headquarters are in New York, but there are regional chapters in many US states as well as a UK affiliate. The institute offers classes in classical sketching, rendering and watercolors, as well as lectures and travel programs:

THE SKETCHBOOK PROJECT is a crowd-sourced library that features 34,020 artists‘ books contributed by creative people from 135+ countries. The bulk of the library is displayed in the project's Brooklyn store, but they also maintain a large digital database and a Mobile Library, which transports thousands of Sketchbooks to cities across North America for pop-up events at museums and galleries. Anyone can join the Sketchbook Project! All you need to do is purchase one of the company's books, sketch in it and send it back! For more instructions and to see some great artwork, check out:

THE SKETCHING GALLERY AT THE GETTY CENTER IN LOS ANGELES is full of classical paintings and sculptures meant to be drawn by artists of all levels. Pick up free sketching paper, drawing pencils and charcoal from the friendly docent, choose a painting or sculpture to draw and find the best point of view to work from. You can work in a group at the shared drawing table or set up your easel on one of the specially designed artists‘ benches:

SUMMER COURSE BARCELONA ARCHITECTURAL SKETCHBOOK is a two-week on site drawing course offered by IED Barcelona. Combining sketches, theoretical lessons, guided visits and workshops, the course is focused on a wide variety of architecture and urbanism, establishing connections over time and through the different scales of the city.The course comprises two interlinked parts: drawing on-site and discussion lessons/presentations at IED. Each day sketch-visits will be led to selections of buildings and cityscapes across Barcelona. These visits will incorporate brief presentations of the architecture and urbanism:

THE DESIGNERS ASSISTANT is a great blog for drafting and pre-vis advice. Set designer Randall D. Wilkins writes in detail about drafting tools (both hand and digital), offers step-by-step tutorials and suggested reading:

ARCHITECTURE MEDIA EXCHANGE is an online hub of visual communication resources for the architectural design student. The Media Exchange is curated for students by students. Part lab, pinboard, and presentation space, this platform facilitates the virtual exchange of popular how-to tutorials, inspirational visual media examples, and student portfolio samples:

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