Foundations

 

Do you want to develop your own style and have confidence to sketch on location?

This in-depth 12 week course has been designed to:

  • build a solid foundation with all the essential skills you need to start sketching
  • develop the most effective techniques for sketching out on location regardless of the subject matter
  • help improve your ability to sketch faster and more spontaneously

Enroll Foundations Course $199USD

 

Buy Foundations with Watercolour and Sketchbook Design – Sketch Your Life Bundle – and save $120USD

 


Why learn Foundations?

The secret to becoming a confident urban sketcher is having an ongoing working knowledge of

the three ways of visual thinking:

feeling edges, abstracting shapes and constructing volumes

The in-depth instruction in Foundations will give you a system to follow and will

help you to see the world differently, in a way that will make it much easier to sketch.

So whether you are starting out or simply want to improve and sketch faster,

there is plenty in this course for you.


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Who is the course for?

This course has been designed for people of all levels of drawing experience.

  • If you are a beginner, it will give you the essential skills to start recording the world around you on the page.
  • If you are a seasoned sketcher, revisiting the basics is always healthy for your development as an artist. I will be giving you special challenges and encouragement to test new ideas.
  • This course will also help those that want to ‘speed up’ their sketching – a more structured way of visual thinking certainly helps the ability to work faster.

This is not a watercolour technique class, nor is it specifically designed as a sketching architecture course. However with my architectural background and predominant use of ink and wash, you’ll pick up a lot of tips along the way.

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How will the course work?

  • The course will be run through a private specially designed classroom site for all lessons, sharing of homework and discussions
  • This is a self-directed course with all lessons available on registration
  • Lifetime access to course and all future updates

Work at your own pace or with a group

  • This course contains 12 in-depth lessons that you can work through at your own pace.
  • All lessons are available at registration meaning that you can review them all initially before beginning the assignments.
  • Optional email reminders are available to help you keep at it!

You’ll be part of an inspiring community of sketchers from around the world who will share their unique styles. You’ll never lack inspiration!

 


 

“As someone who is entirely self-taught, what I valued most of all In Foundations was

the way in which you made us stop and think about what we were doing,

and why – and to question and consider with each core concept.

 

This helped me understand why some things are not working for me and

enabled me to develop and to

change my technique without fear of ‘doing it wrong’.

 

The whole class, content, teaching, flow, pace,

homework prompts have been excellent, and so enjoyable.”

– Jules


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How you’ll learn

  • over 20 hours of step-by-step video lessons, each lesson building on the previous, so you can make steady progress in a systematic way
  • theory sections that clearly explain the essential concepts so that you can apply them to your own style and way of working
  • downloadable PDF handout so you can quickly review the key elements of each lesson when you need it
  • specific assignments designed so that you really understand and know how to use the concepts from the lesson – these can be done from the comfort of home, from photos, or out on location
  • multiple examples from Liz’s sketchbooks explaining how to use the concepts
  • bonus material showing how to apply the concepts in more intermediate ways so that you can continue to improve your sketch every time you go through the course.

 


Our classroom environment

  • specially designed private classroom with dedicated assignment galleries and forum so that you can connect with and be inspired with other sketchers from around the world who are working alongside you
  • ability to ask Liz questions about the lessons you are working through so you can get help when you need it
  • live Q&A sessions during Group Run-throughs – which will include reviews of student’s work, mini demos, bonus material and a chance to have your questions answered in real-time
  • full transcripts for all video lessons so you can easily follow along
  • lifetime access to all course content and any future Group Run-throughs and bonus material so you can continue to learn as your skills grow

 


Livestreams

A very special part of SketchingNow courses is the interactive livestreams that are hosted during Group Run-throughs. These live Q&A sessions include a review of work posted in the classroom, additional demos and a chance to get all your sketching questions answered in real-time!

Group Run-throughs only occur once every 12-24 months however replays of previous livestreams are available inside the classroom.


 

Enroll Foundations Course $199USD

Buy Foundations with Watercolour and Sketchbook Design – Sketch Your Life Bundle – and save $120USD

 

 


Course Outline

 

Part 1: Keeping a sketchbook and building a kit (2 weeks)

  • Why keep a sketchbook
  • How to get to know (and love) your materials and build a kit that suits the way you want to sketch

 

Part 2: Learning to see the world differently (3 weeks)

Three ways of seeing and thinking visually:

  • Feeling Edges – how to see edges and convert them to lines on the page. Ways of improving eye and hand coordination, and how to prioritise the edges you see.
  • Abstracting Shapes – how to simplify what we see into an abstract shape of colour, how shapes add form and tone to sketches.
  • Constructing Volumes – how to ‘see-through’ objects to understand visually the underlying volumes and 3D forms, how to construct these using edges and shapes.

 

Part 3: How to start a sketch – whether to use pencil first and how to sight measure (3 weeks)

  • Ways of starting and developing your sketch depending on time and subject matter.
  • To set up (using pencil) or not?
  • How much setup to do and different tools that can be used.
  • My minimal setup rule.

 

Part 4: Playing with Line and Colour (1 week)

  • How to decide what to draw in ink and what details to do with paint

 

Part 5: Urban Sketching Essentials (sketching on location (3 weeks)

  • Basic approaches to composition – how to fit your drawing on the page, ways of using a viewfinder and different approaches to using the rule of thirds in a spontaneous way out on location.
  • How to simplify a complex scene, create a strong focus and tell a story about where you are.
  • How to work in a spontaneous way from a focus and let the sketch develop itself.

Part 6: Reviewing your own work (1 week)

  • How to become your own teacher and learn from Liz’s review of other students’ work.

Want a more detailed look inside the course?

Click Here

 


I always thought that sketching was only about getting desired lines with pen on paper.

Now I have learnt that a huge percentage of sketching is about seeing properly!

To see things properly, I need to have all these tricks of seeing up my sleeve.

 

Although I’m only at lesson 3, I am already very thankful for this

shift in my understanding,

Thank you Liz for the great lessons!

– Adrian

 


Materials

The lesson demonstrations use a range of materials – mostly ink and watercolour with some watercolour pencils – but it is more important to use what you are familiar with. There will be no need to go and spend a lot of money up front getting any of my art tools!

More detailed material list can be found here.

 


Frequently Asked Questions


Is the course live or pre-recorded?


The course contains over 20 hours of videos which can be watched at any time.
During a Group Run-through (only happens every 12-24 months) there are some bonus livestreams. Replays of previous Group Run-through livestreams are available in the classoom.


Do I need to have any special social media accounts?

Everything you need to access the lessons, post homework and interact with others is contained within the SketchingNow classroom.  The only exception are the Livestreams (during Group Run-through events) which will occur on Youtube. A YouTube account is needed to interact with the live chat but without it you can still watch the livestream and send your questions via email. Replays will be available.

 

Will Foundations help me develop my own style?

It’s really important to have confidence in your own personal expression and acceptance of your own mark making. But it’s hard to develop these if all you do is follow demo-based art classes.

Foundations is a concept based course designed to help you really understand the essential skills and at the same time develop your own style and preferences. Once you become more comfortable with your own preferences and style the whole creative journey will become so much more fun!

 

I’ve been sketching for a while… will Foundations be too basic for me?

Even though it’s a course designed for beginners there is a lot of content for more seasoned sketchers. Many of the things we struggle with when sketching complex scenes can be solved by sharpening our foundational observational skills.

I’ve added over 5 hours of bonus material to the course showing how to use the core Foundations concepts in more advanced sketches.

 

 

Foundations-The-Baron-cafee-combo

 

Enroll Foundations Course $199USD

Buy Foundations with Watercolour and Sketchbook Design – Sketch Your Life Bundle – and save $120USD

 


“During the latter weeks of Foundations, I realized I’d made significant progress

internalizing concepts that I’d been introduced to during Watercolor on Location and Buildings.

 

It’s thrilling to see the progress I’ve been making and sketching has become

much more fun, with healthy evaluation instead of harsh self-judgment.”

– Susanna

 


Free Intro Lessons

 

If you would like to know more about the course and pick up some useful tips for sketching objects at home and sketching out on location, I now have the full Introduction section of SketchingNow Foundations available for free. Over 3 days you will receive three lessons via email.

Signup for free Foundations Intro Lessons

 

 

Note: If you have enrolled in the Foundations course at any time, you already have access to these lessons. Just go to the classroom and check out the Intro Lessons section.