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Build drawing skills: Urban Sketching

Short Course
Mon 7 Sep 2020

This urban sketching course will build your freehand drawing skills through first-hand observation of the London built environment.

Over four sessions with a small group you will visit sites of architectural significance and urban landscapes, parks and gardens in the area local to the Building Centre, drawing on location in the city. The classes will adhere to the latest guidelines on social distancing. 

The course is designed to help improve hand-eye co-ordination and observational skills, which in turn will build experience and confidence when visualising spaces from plans and measurements. 

You will draw the details and atmosphere of the city using a variety of materials that will be explored as expressive tools, developing your style. 


Course content:

– The course will cover drawing at different speeds and durations, one and two-point perspective, measuring and proportion.

– Texture, surface, light, materials and shading will also be covered.

– Working through simple exercises to help simplify and render perspective and consistent scale in your drawings. 

– Looking at examples of historical and contemporary work to see how others have interpreted city and landscapes. 

– Sessions typically will start with demonstrations of how to use different materials or techniques. 


All materials will be provided including cartridge paper, pencils and pens. A personal sketchbook will be given to students in which they can build up their body of work. This course is suitable for everyone, from complete beginners to seasoned sketchers wishing to refresh and reinvigorate their skills.


Course dates:

- Mon 7 September, 6 - 8.30pm

- Mon 14 September, 6 - 8.30pm

- Mon 21 September, 6 - 8.30pm

- Mon 28 September, 6 - 8.30pm



I really do feel I learnt a lot over the 4 weeks, and there was definite growth from the first week to the final week.

The course was accessible and fun. Ilga was jolly and encouraging and I learned some techniques which will be useful for all sorts of drawing.

Ilga is a great tutor, both patient and insightful, and great at encouraging the group to try new methods of drawing and not to give up!

It was a really enjoyable course. Ilga gives really clear and straight forward advice and encouragement and I feel that the results have been better than I could have expected.



Ilga Leimanis is a London-based visual artist. Ilga has developed effective manual drawing skills and creative process courses, teaching at leading architecture and engineering practices in London and internationally. Ilga is a published writer currently working on a book about freehand perspective, a researcher, and founder of a monthly location drawing group.


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