Craftsy Review: Sketching Interiors: Structure, Detail & Play by Steven Reddy

Sketching Interiors: Structure, Detail & Play by Steven Reddy is a Craftsy tutorial course, comprising of 6 lessons. The objective of these lessons is to teach you how to create whimsy and cartoon-like, playful scenes (rather than photo-realistic representations).

If you are thinking of learning to sketch on-location, this is the course for you! (As Steven will teach you how to quickly simplify complicated and busy scenes in pen while sketching on-location.) Steven starts off teaching the basic fundamentals of drawing on-location, and eventually progressing on to the stage of applying the finishing touches of ink washes/watercolour and hatching lines to your work.

Lesson 1

Steven begins by talking about how to select a location that's going to hold your interest throughout your sketching experience, and selecting a point of view that will result in an interesting and fun drawing. Some other points discussed includes;

i. what you could do in a constantly changing scene or if there's distractions when sketching (for eg: drawing in a cafe with patrons entering and leaving the scene);

ii. what you could do if you have made 'mistakes' in your drawings; and

iii. factors to consider when choosing a sketching location - like crowd density, shadows & lightings, and looking out for repetition/patterns of shapes in scenes.

Steven also shares with you some of his previous works (sketched on-location), while explaining the rationale behind his drawings.

You will learn how to simplify complex scenes by breaking them down into 3 components - foreground, middle ground and background, and understand the interplay between these 3 components.

Lesson 2

In this short lesson, Steven will teach you how to sketch the general outline of your scene by using the simple technique of initial pencil blocking (basically drawing geometric shapes to represent outlines of objects), and how to omit excessive details in a complex scene while paying attention to certain details (to be added).

In addition, you will learn how to discern where the light source is from, where 'cast shadows' is being cast, and show it on your drawing.

Steven also shares some useful tips on drawing style if you wish to include people-subjects in your drawing, and why he doesn't encourage 'blind contour drawing'.

Lesson 3

In this longest lesson, you will be taught how to delineate objects with contour lines (for eg: using lines to indicate solid areas of an object, in contrast to open spaces in between), how to accentuate or de-emphasize subjects (depending on what you want to focus on) and the technique of using contour lines to help create the illusion of depth in your drawing.

Steven will be using a uni-ball pen as his main drawing tool throughout his drawing demonstration in this lesson (whereby he draws a whole cafe scene while explaining to you step by step on the rationale behind his lines and drawing). Steven also provides some tips on why he thinks the uni-ball pen is a great choice for drawing, and how to get more 'character' out of the lines created by the uni-ball pen.

Steven also includes a bit of gesture sketching in his drawing demonstration here.

Lesson 4

In lesson 4, you will learn how to stage or manipulate the objects in your setting to improve composition, and how to simplify repeated shapes with a pattern, as well as using details to create interesting focal points.

Lesson 5

In lesson 5, you will learn how to apply and control your ink washes to help give the objects in your drawings more realistic form while balancing the interplay between realism of your total work and the more cartoony approach that is the hallmark of this course. This lesson is when he starts painting and toning over the sketches he drew in the previous lessons.

Steven will teach you how to differentiate between modelling the objects in your drawing and portraying their cast shadows, as well as how to use the various tones for different parts of the same object or at different angles.

Steven also provides some useful tips on the amount of water you should apply on paper while painting and how he maintains his brushes.

Lesson 6

In this final lesson, Steven will teach you how to add watercolour glazes to enhance the tone of your drawing/painting further, and through his use of 3 primary colours (from his watercolour palette kit), he demonstrates to you how to paint from a very limited palette (essentially he will mix from these 3 colours to obtain other colour derivatives).

Steven also shares with you the technique of 'Hatching' (which is his final step after painting). This is a particularly useful technique as hatch-lines help to unify and emphasise surface directions of objects within a drawing/painting, give your work a bit of extra detail (for eg: to accentuate contrast of colours and to show strands of hair or fibres on a coat), and to darken shadows.


Sketching Interiors: Structure, Detail & Play is an interesting and easy to learn tutorial course, great for beginners and those seeking to improve their drawing skills or adopt a different style of drawing. What i like about this course is how Steven doesn't focus on getting too detailed in his drawings (unlike those who engage in photo-realistic sketching), but is yet able to create sketches that can tell you quite a fair bit about what's going on in the scene.

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