I have spent many many hours over the years painting on street corners for the love of urban sketching and all it involves. As such, in my pursuit of finding what works for me and in improving my skills I have tested many paints, brushes and sketchbooks; taken many courses and read many books.
This is where I have collected the things I love and would heartily recommend to anyone who is starting, or already well into their urban sketching journey.
I may recommend something below that I have not tried but I know for a fact so many urban sketchers love and recommend it. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or money (yet) to try every product or course on the market, however, I listen to, watch and read a lot about urban sketching as well as interviews with urban sketchers so I tend to know what is a highly regarded product or resource amongst the urban sketching community.
A Word on Affiliate Links
Some links may be affiliate links. This means that if you click on it, or take a trial of a service or buy something I may get a tiny commission. This does not affect how much you pay for something in the slightest. This also does not affect my decision to recommend something. It just makes common sense that if there is something I recommend and a few cents are on offer for referring you, then that is an opportunity worth taking.
I link to Amazon for the sake of convenience but I want to support art supply stores where possible. Obviously, I cannot link to stores in every country. Where possible I link to stores in the UK and US that I know of and trust (such as Jackson’s Art and Blick Art Materials).
I urge you to support your local art store wherever possible – keep small independent businesses alive!
St Petersburg White Nights Watercolour Sets [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Winsor & Newton Professsional Watercolour Sets [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Daniel Smith Watercolour Sets [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Jacksons Art Watercolour Sets [Jacksons Art]
Hahnemuhle Watercolour Sketchbook [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Hahnemuhle Toned Watercolour Sketchbook [Amazon]
Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Pink Pig – Very affordable sketchbooks handmade in the UK [Pink Pig // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Escoda Reserva Travel Brushes [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Rosemary & Co Dagger Travel Brush [Rosemary & Co]
Rosemary & Co Series 772 Sable Blend Dagger Brush [Rosemary & Co] (I use the 1/2″ with a short handle)
Pigma Micron Fineliners [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Pigma Micron Brush Pen [Amazon]
Uni Pin fineliners [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
TWSBI Eco fountain pen [Amazon]
Ink (to fill fountain pens)
Platinum Carbon Ink [Amazon]
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens (Brush nib) [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Tombow Markers [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Markers [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Derwent Inktense Pencils [Blick Art // Amazon // Jacksons Art]
Here are some of my favourite books on urban sketching, I can’t list them all as I would be here all day!
Archisketcher – Simone Ridyard
Sketching People: An Urban Sketchers Guide… – Lynne Chapman
5 Minute Sketching – Architecture – Liz Steel
The Art of Urban Sketching – Gabriel Campanario
All My Photographs Are Made With Pens – Tommy Kane
For a far more in-depth discussion on my favourite urban sketching books, check out this post.
I love Craftsy, you will find many prominent urban sketchers offering courses there as well as a plethora of other art classes. For more in-depth information on my favourite urban sketching classes, check out this post.
My other favourite place is Skillshare, you can get a free trial using this link.
My favourite urban sketching classes over there are by James Richards. Teoh Yi Chie also has a few courses which are super fun to watch too.
Another fantastic place to find high-quality art courses is Domestika.
These are some of my favourite classes currently:
Watercolor Travel Journal – Alicia Aradilla
Pictorial Sketchbook with Gouache – Maru Godas
Watercolor Portrait Sketchbook – Carlos Rodriguez Casado
Artistic Watercolour Sketching: Dare to Sketch
Urban Sketching: Express Your World in a New Perspective – Lapin
Daler Rowney Artsphere Table Easel [Amazon]
Phone Mount + Ring Light [Amazon]
Power Bank (with 2 USB inputs, one to charge the phone and the other to power the ring light) [Amazon]