Why observation is more important than perspective

September 27, 2023 | 2 Comments

Here are two simple sketches of a terrace house in Balmain that I drew for a Foundations Livestream a few months ago.


On these pages, you can see how I relied on seeing shapes and measuring a few edges. I didn’t use any perspective at all but simply used ‘feeling edges’ and ‘abstracting shapes’ – two important concepts from Foundations.

Of course, perspective is extremely useful and something I recommend every sketcher understand but it’s more important to be well-grounded in these core observational skills. The perspective will not help you if you don’t know how to see edges in terms of the lengths, angles and relationships. And the ability to be able to abstract shapes helps with foreshortening and making your sketches look less flat.

Although these sketches were done for Foundations they are totally relevant to my Buildings course, particularly in Lesson 1 where I show how Foundations concepts apply specifically to buildings. There is also a Perspective lesson in the middle of the course where you’ll learn a fun and practical way to use perspective for lively on location sketches. 

If you have somehow missed it – I’m hosting a Live Version of my Buildings course starting on Wednesday 4 October – next week!

I’m super excited to be going through this course with a group again and this time I’m hosting 10 bonus livestreams! It will be such a great way to finish strong for my sketching for this year.

There is already a wonderful group forming inside the classroom as people start going through the Intro Lesson in preparation for the start of Lesson 1 and a kickoff livestream mid-next week.

If you want to improve your sketching of buildings (which is a very important part of being an urban sketcher) I hope that you will join us!

Find out more about Buildings


Note: If you have purchased the Buildings course at any time in the past – you can join this Live Version for free. Simply go to the Buildings classroom via My Account – My Courses at SketchingNow.com and follow the instructions on the course homepage.


Leave a Reply