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Watercolor sketch of a three story building by Liz Steel.

How to Sketch Buildings

Essential Techniques for Sketching Buildings without Perspective

Online Workshop with Liz Steel Friday, February 10, from 3pm–5:15pm Pacific

Note: this workshop will take place Friday, February 10, from 3pm–5:15pm Pacific time (10am–12:15pm on Saturday, February 11, Sydney time).

Architecture plays an essential role in many urban scenes. Learn to see buildings in a new way that will make drawing them easier with artist and trained architect Liz Steel.

Liz will share some fun essential techniques for sketching buildings without setting up perspective. These will include tips for drawing straight lines, seeing the underlying structure of buildings, and building awareness of light and shadow.

Finally, Liz will show how a combination of colored pencils and watercolor can add lively color to your drawings.

Friday, February 10, from 3pm–5:15pm Pacific

You may register by selecting "Add to cart" below, and checking out.

To gift a workshop, go ahead and purchase with your own name and then email us the recipient details.


Liz’s Recommended Supplies

  • Pencil

    HB or B.
    • Pen

      Liz will be using a Sailor Fude de Mannen 55 degree with De Atramentis Document Ink, but any fineliner or fountain pen will do.
      • Watercolor

        Liz will be using Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow Medium, Schmincke French Ultramarine PB29, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue PB28, Daniel Smith Monte Amiata Natural Sienna PBr7, Daniel Smith Transparent Red Oxide, and Daniel Smith Van Dyck Brown. You can find a full list of Liz’s palette here.

        • Brush

          Rosemary & Co - Series 772 Dagger brush (3/8 or 1.2 inch)

          • Colored pencils

            Optional. Liz will be using Faber Castell Polychromos 102 Cream, 132 Beige Red, 188 Sanguine, 157 Dark Indigo, 154 light Cobalt Turquoise, 172 Earth Green, 177 Walnut Brown,and 271 Warm Grey III.

            • Paper

              Watercolor paper, size A5-A4. Liz will be using an Alpha sketchbook by Stillman and Birn (A4 size).

              • Other supplies

                Water and a paper towel (to blot brush).

                What to expect

                Art Toolkit workshops are live events that take place on Zoom. During the workshop, you will have a chance to ask the instructor questions. After the workshop, we’ll provide you with a link to a recording to review on your own time (viewable for at least six months).

                We’ll be in touch a week before the workshop with instructions for connecting and additional information. Please remember to adjust for your time zone. Tickets are non-refundable, but we may be able to transfer your ticket to another student if there is a waitlist.

                We present our workshops with automated captions. If you wish to request additional accommodations, please let us know in advance.

                Curious about tickets, technical details, gifting workshops, or anything else? Please see our frequently asked questions page for more details, and please don’t hesitate to contact us for help.

                Watercolor artist Liz Steel sketches from a boat in a city waterway.

                About Liz

                Liz Steel was an architect for 18 years before becoming a full-time urban sketcher and artist. Today, she is a teacher and blogger, focusing on quick sketching with ink, pencil, and watercolor.

                She teaches on-location urban sketching workshops worldwide and offers courses through her online school,

                Liz is an active member of the global Urban Sketchers (USK) community, founder of USK Australia, and a regular instructor at the Urban Sketchers International Symposiums. She will sketch anything anywhere anytime, but especially loves doing lively and colorful sketches of complex buildings—the more complicated, the better!

                You can see more of Liz’s work on her website, and on Instagram.