We review Freehand Drawing & Discovery by Jame Richards. Hand drawing vs. Digital Technology – James Richards says “is not either/ or but both/and “ When I received Freehand Drawing and Discovery I had no idea how it would change my perspective and understanding of the skills we acquire as designers and the way they can influence our development as professionals on a daily basis. This book is an astonishing guide to learning a new language of expression and relationship to the surrounding world of freehand drawing!
Freehand Drawing & DiscoveryWho is the book for? If you have anything to do with design, architecture or landscape architecture, and you don’t use sketching in your design routine this book is for you! I would say it is absolutely compulsory for students, but also for design professionals as we all need to consistently enhance our skills to remain on top. Why get it? Similar to learning a new language, sketching requires you to take the same steps. Starting with building a simple” vocabulary” continuously adding elements, you create your own style of expression and structure to create a composition. Freehand Drawing and Discovery guides you through the process in an incredibly supportive way. Starting with a series of elements most commonly found in urban environments, exploring perspective principles, and concluding with the transition to digital sketching, James Richards gradually takes you on a journey to build your sketching basics. He immediately inspires you to grab a piece of paper and pencil and begin experimenting, while discovering the chapters. Demonstrating his “killer strokes” techniques and breaking down elements into phases he gives a kick-start to your sketching vocabulary. He makes an important differentiation between a drawing and a sketch and the amount of details, precision, and time they require. Sketching allows for extremely fast materialization of your thoughts just as fast as they are flowing through your mind. “The goal of sketching isn’t a perfect finished illustration at the end of the creative process; it’s to serve as a catalyst for more and better ideas at the beginning.” Get it HERE! Having understood this, the fear of getting it wrong disappears and your hand starts drawing with an ease you never imagined. Of course, everyone develops a personal style and with time masters it to evolve their own distinctive character, charm, and personal vision. Each chapter features a designer, architect, landscape architect (Michael Vergason, Kevin Sloan, Robert Chipman, Bob Hopewell, Kim Perry, Liz Steel) and their works show how they apply sketching into their everyday design process, to provide a wide variety of urban sketching styles for you to gain inspiration. I would say the book isn’t exactly a manual of how to recreate what you’ve seen inside, but it’s more of a guide to show you how it can be done and let you explore your own style. WATCH: A really cool video describing the book
Get it HERE! It is simply explained in what I call the ‘learning through examples’ method. No theory is clear without an example and that is what I love about this book! It is greatly supported by numerous images of sketches laid out in the continuity in which they were drawn with a detailed description. After having explained the process of creating a sketch, Richards demonstrates several techniques for bringing it alive through a variety of coloring techniques. What’s more, you get access to online video tutorials with James Richards exclusively with the book purchase! Other book reviews you may be interested in:
- Landscape and Urban Design for Health and Well-Being
- Drawing for Landscape Architecture
- Visual Communications For Landscape Architecture
As we have lately devalued hand drawing for diverse reasons, Freehand Drawing and Discovery brings it back on center stage, taking its place along with digital technology, increasing both their potential and quality.
Inspired? Get Freehand Drawing & Discovery and start drawing today!
About the Author: (taken from the back of the book) JAMES RICHARDS, FASLA, is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington, and is co-founder and Principal of Townscape Inc., an urban design consultancy. He is a national award-winning designer, writer and illustrator whose work spans landscape architecture, town planning, and urban design. Mr. Richards is a blog correspondent for Urban Sketchers and international drawing movement. He has travels globally conducting drawing workshops for both students and professionals. Book review by Yuliya Georgieva Return to HomepagePublished in