The Urban Sketching Handbook Understanding Light

Portraying Light Effects in On-Location Drawing and Painting

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Pub Date 28 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 8 Feb 2022

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The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Light is an informative guide to heightening the impact of your artwork by capturing the look and subtleties of light in any scene.

In settings ranging from fields and mountains at daybreak to neon cityscapes at midnight, learn how to express light effects through color and value to improve and refine your drawings and paintings.

Artist and urban sketcher Katie Woodward offers strategies for:   Selectively translating values for maximum effectUsing your sketchbook to experiment with the effects of natural as well as artificial lightConsidering many options for visual solutions through work contributed by experienced urban sketchers  Master the art of rendering light with The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Light as your guide.

The Urban Sketching Handbook series offers location artists expert instruction on creative techniques, on-location tips and advice, and an abundance of visual inspiration. These handy references come in a compact, easy-to-carry format—perfect to toss in your backpack or artist’s tote.
The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Light is an informative guide to heightening the impact of your artwork by capturing the look and subtleties of light in any scene.

In settings ranging...

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ISBN 9780760372036
PRICE US$19.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

This excellent series just keeps growing and growing with the most marvellous additions! I loved Understanding Light and plan to go through it in detail, examining each of the wonderful examples on how to bring focus and visual impact to any painting. Surely an essential help for any urban sketcher or art journaler who wants to improve on that!

The author was a scenic artist for many years in theatres and have given sketching workshops too. They really know how to include the best contributors to this great great series.

A resounding 5 stars from me. One of my most favourite so far.

Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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The Urban Sketching Handbook Understanding Light is a volume in the Urban Sketching Handbook series, this one about light treatments and techniques by Katie Woodward. Released 28th Dec 2021 by Quarto on their Walter Foster imprint, it's 112 pages and is available in flexibound paperback and ebook formats.

This is a well written, accessible, and useful book for intermediate to advanced artists who are looking for guidance to improve their technique, especially with regard to painting light and reflection. The book begins with a very short introduction. Specific tools and very basic techniques are not covered, but can certainly be found easily elsewhere. The author instead concentrates on six key concepts in depth: value, color, skies & atmosphere, reflections, foliage, and night scenes. Each chapter contains multiple examples by several different artists to illustrate key points. There are checklists to prompt students to better observations and technique development.

The author's entire process is well documented with photo and drawn illustrations. The book also contains a useful tutorial and tips collection in highlighted text boxes as well as a resource list and artists' links for artists whose work is featured in the book. There is a short list of challenge/learning prompts also: sketch a body of water, sketch a shiny object, sketch backlit translucent bottles, and others which will provide students with many hours of enrichment practice.
Five stars. Definitely a worthwhile addition to the artist's reference library. This would also be a superlative selection for public and school library acquisition, classroom instruction, and group studio use.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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The Urban Sketching Handbook Understanding Light is an informative guide book aiming to help you capture light and its subtleties in any scene or picture Lots of subjects are covered from natural landscapes to night time cityscapes. You will learn how to tackle light through colour and value and to improve and provide more interest in your pictures. Overall a good informative book aimed at the more advanced beginner or intermediate artist.

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The Urban Sketching Handbook – Understanding Light by Katie Woodward

Amazing, information, thought provoking, and intriguing. I now have a desire to…sketch…but…with a new eye to doing so. I kept going “hmm” as my mind was opened to “seeing” what I have seen so many times before but wanting to go back to see it…through eyes that have just been educated. There is so much information in this book that builds chapter by chapter. I will never see the world around me quite as I did before.

* Tools are more than pencils and paper or ways to color…don’t forget your sunscreen, hat, water, a chair and easel…plan before packing to go out to sketch
* Key Terms with definitions…definitely worth reading and thinking about
* Think and LOOK and decide what you want to say…BEFORE you begin.
* There is a lot more to creating a sketch than putting down what you see…or putting it down exactly.
* Checklists and tips were inspired…and inspiring
* Value: find the light before you begin (and there is a LOT to know about light!)
* Color: so much to know about this…I built on what I know from previous study thinking about the use of color in shadow and reflections and in other ways
* Reflected Light: This was fascinating….need to look into this some more
* Skies & Atmopheres: another intriguing topic that dealt with ways to create cold, hot, and various weather situations as well as time of day and how that can vary
* Reflections: in water, floors & ceilings (new thought for me), windows, reflective objects, transparent objects (brought up memories of trying to get flowers in a glass vase “right”)
* Foliage: who knew there was so much to think about…dappled, under, through, around, etc…interesting topic, too.
* Night Scenes: This one blew me away…how to do neon signs or how a baseball field might look at night or ANY place at night, actually
* Challenges at the back of the book that I would love to attempt in the future
* I think I need to take some art classes!

Did I like this book? Oh, my yes!
Would I like to have it to refer to again? Definitely!

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group-Quarry – This is my honest review.

5 Stars

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I am not a very good artist, although I love to paint. This book, "The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Light" is an invaluable resource to learning how to understand light and how it affects a scene.

There is the assumption that the reader already knows what they're doing,so a lot of the basic theories are omitted here. Instead, the book covers light, shade, reflections, angles of lighting, depth, colour, transparency, and so much more, so as to evoke the sensations of the different lightings.

The illustrations included range from loose watercolours to pen and ink to bold colours, and all hightlight the different concepts presented in each chapter.

I'll be coming back to this book again and again - and hopefully my own art will improve as a result!

~Many thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review~

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Wow! I absolutely loved this book and the way in which the author explains in simple terms how to depict light and shade in paintings. It is a comprehensive guide for both amateur and more experienced artists alike. Beautifully illustrated and with several suggested exercises to help improve the artist’s final results. Highly recommended.

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I received a copy of the ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book. I think this is one of the best in the series. It covers a lot of great aspects, like atmospheric perspective, the different ways of understanding and painting light. I think the tips and techniques in the book are great not only for those doing urban sketching but any artist in general.

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"Understanding Light" is an excellent guide on what to observe and consider to better create a realistic sense of light in your paintings or drawings. This is for any medium, but the illustrations were mainly watercolor, pencil, and pen. While the author provided tips on using value and such to create a sense of light, much of the focus was on making sure that you see what's actually there rather than using the colors you expect to see. She also gave useful tips for what to consider or change if you realize what you're doing isn't working. I've heard some of this advice before, but it never really clicked until I read it so clearly explained here. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to artists who are getting the hang of the basic skills of their medium and now want to improve their portrayal of light in a scene (urban or not).

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This was an excellent overview of the many ways light can affect the appearance and mood of a painting, especially a landscape painting. The text was informative and detailed, and the many examples really brought the lessons home. I feel like I learned SO MUCH that I now am itching to put into practice. Natural light at various times of day and night are covered, as well as artificial lights and lighting combinations. Also the many and varied types of shadow, reflections, textures, and light viewed through translucent objects.

I would recommend this to anyone with some painting experience who wishes to take their work to the next level by considering lighting. It's an excellent resource.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Quarry Books for providing an e-arc for review.

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Understanding Light is Important in Drawing
Katie Woodward, urban sketcher and watercolor painter, is presenting "The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Light. Portraying Light Effects in On-Location Drawing and Painting," one of the books in the "The Urban Sketching Handbook" Series published by Quarto Publishing Group – Quarry. Woodward is convinced that it is important to learn about light and to master it. But she knows that capturing light is a challenge. In the introduction she states: "There is light on everything we see. The color and quality of that light and how it interacts with our surroundings deeply affects our relationship with the world around us, and thus how we choose to portray it in our sketches. Learning how to accurately replicate different lighting circumstances can give sketches a better sense of realism. Mastering lighting can also help with decisions outside of reality, to help you sketch what you wish you saw, or manipulate the mood of a scene. Capturing the light can be a challenge; it often changes faster than we can sketch! Painting the sunlight dappled through a tree is hard enough without an inopportune cloud getting in the way" (p. 5).
After the introduction the book contains six keys to accomplish the task of understanding light: 1) Value, 2) Color, 3) Skies and Atmosphere, 4) Reflections, 5) Foliage, and 6) Night scenes, as well as a list with challenges. Woodward presents examples of paintings from herself and various artists to underline her teaching, listed with the materials that were used for the particular painting. She also included tips and observation lists throughout the book and a list of the contributors. I recommend the book for beginners as well as for advanced artists who want to enlarge their knowledge and skills.
The complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley free of charge. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
#TheUrbanSketchingHandbookUnderstandingLight #NetGalley

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A great book that shows how light affects everything around us, with lots of advice on how to use light in your paintings/artwork. It's not for beginners, but if you have some experience it is an invaluable source of information. Clearly laid out, with lots of example paintings and drawings, it is perfect for anyone who wants to improve their basic techniques.

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Love these urban sketching handbooks - i think i have read or bought each and every one available.
I love the descriptions and all the sketches. This book is full of handy tips too
it is something i would pick up and come back to time and time again for many reasons

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