The Urban Sketching Handbook: Working with Color

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Working with Color : Techniques for Using Watercolor and Color Media on the Go

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Learn to express yourself through color while painting on location with the in-depth tips and techniques of Working with Color, the fifth volume in the Urban Sketching Handbook series.

Expert watercolorist, illustrator, instructor, and co-founder of Urban Sketchers Montreal Shari Blaukopf shares her essential color tips about color-water ratio, achieving bold color, avoiding muddy washes, painting in layers, and using wet-in-wet techniques.

This essential handbook covers:

supplies and materials
sample color palettes
color mixing
using limited palettes
monochrome sketches
the power of complementary colors
using evocative, expressive color

With a focus on using watercolor with greater confidence and knowledge, the book also delves into pencil and ink and watersoluble pencils.

The instructional text is enhanced with stunning watercolor illustrations by the author and other expert urban sketchers from beautiful locations around the globe. The illustrations include examples of color swatches showing value; mixing; illustrations of complementary, analogous, and neutral color schemes; and sample galleries.

Working with Color is an indispensable guide for on-location artists looking to expand and strengthen their expressive use of color.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 12.7mm | 249.48g
  • United States
  • English
  • 120 color illustrations
  • 1631596802
  • 9781631596803
  • 6,413

Table of contents

Urban Sketching Handbook: Working with Color
Author: Shari Blaukopf

Key I - Basics
Brushes, pens, pencils, ink, palette, paper, paints
Vocabulary of color: value, hue, saturation, complementary, analogous, triad
Illustration: color wheel

Key II - Pigments and Color mixing
An urban sketchers palette
Choosing colors
Color mixing
Understanding your pigments: Transparency and opacity

Key III - Color and Value
The importance of white
The power of darks
High key sketches
Low key sketches
Atmospheric Perspective

Key IV - Limited Color Palettes
Monochrome (Practice using only one color)
Triads (Limit yourself to the primaries)
Black plus one color (Choose a dark pigment and add an accent color)
Pure color

Key V - Color Schemes
Split Complementary
Unity through color

Key VI - Neutral Color
Mixing greys
Mixing browns


Gallery I - Mood and atmosphere
Gallery II - Expressive color
Gallery III - Light and shadow
Gallery IV - Using a variety of media
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Review quote

Catch the color of a locale ... Offers practical color advice and essential techniques for on-site sketchers. * Artists Magazine *
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About Shari Blaukopf

Shari Blaukopf is a sketcher, watercolor painter, college teacher, and art blogger. A signature member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, she has works in corporate, government, and private collections around the world. Co-founder of Urban Sketchers Montreal, Shari gives workshops throughout Europe and North America, and has taught at Urban Sketchers Symposia as well as through the Urban Sketchers Workshop Program. Shari grew up and still lives in Montreal, where she continues to discover new neighborhoods in her quest to find the most evocative streets and back alleys to sketch. Her online courses can be found at, and you can follow her sketches at,, and on Instagram @sharisketcher.
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Rating details

66 ratings
4.31 out of 5 stars
5 47% (31)
4 42% (28)
3 8% (5)
2 2% (1)
1 2% (1)
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