In the first issue of GRAPHITE magazine, Eleanor Doughty takes us on a sketching tour of sites in New York City. In this exclusive extra piece, she draws one of her favorite spots in Brooklyn.
Establishing the first landmark: the rest of the scene will be in relation to it.
I fill in more buildings on the street, using the church as a reference for size and placement.
On the day that I drew this, it was beautifully lit but extremely windy, so I had to be fast: no time for sketching. The gusts were so strong I didn’t have complete control of my pencil, so it became a pretty loose drawing! Things like this can convey the experience of being in a place, so sometimes a loss of control can be interesting. I wanted to take advantage of my vantage point: you see everything from the cars on the street below to the skyscrapers in the distance. I love these opportunities to convey depth in location drawing using atmospheric perspective: the idea that levels of contrast express distance.
I lightly sketch in the far background, keeping detail to a minimum and focusing on the overall silhouette.
I darken the contours of the closer buildings, and add shadows and more detail to the foreground to pull it visually forward.