acrylic addictive sketcher Adebanji Alade Inspiration to sketch Sketching Tips the addictive sketcher Uncategorized urban street scene

I am happy to share with you my new book which was released in January this year! I know some of you have already bought it or ordered it. But if you haven’t, please Click HERE on this secure link to order a signed copy from me.

I have filled up the book with my heart beat for sketching, what inspires me to sketch, the techniques and materials I use in sketching and a few projects where I show how I start from beginning to the end. If you really want to get hooked on sketching, please order from me HERE and I’ll send you a signed copy!



Step 1- This is the most important step of any painting, the sketch, it’s not just an ordinary sketch but a tonal sketch. This is where I map out how the tones are distributed in the painting. If this sketch is successful, then there’s a ninety percent chance that the painting will be successful. I am working on an 8″ x 10″ gesso board, with Winsor & Newton Artist Acrylic and I’m using various brown and grey tones of the magical Winsor & Newton Brush Markers.
Step 2- Now that the sketch is complete, my first place of interest is the background tree, I focus on the dark and middle tones, using strokes that depict the movement and free flow of leaves and their volume.

Step 3- Now the drama comes in! Let there be light! The first few strokes of the dazzling dappled light hitting the leaves are introduced! Some of the light strokes are applied heavily as the light really illuminates some ares and in some areas they are just dotty strokes of the bounce or sprinkled effect of light. I also block in the square sign board shape on the top right corner and the first few shapes of the grey background around the trees.


Step 4- After the tree is taken care of, I carefully go into the background greys and silently whisper the varied grey tones tones within the tree trunks as it gradually spreads out into some colourful strokes of red, which happens to be a London tour bus and some other yellow sign boards on the left. I also start on the bit of pillars and columns of brief architecture on the left. There is a splash of light in the middle section which hits the top of a car on the right-all these areas start getting a few hints of my light toned brushstrokes.


Step 5- The bulk of there work here was to paint in the shadow shape on the left. I didn’t want it to look flat, neither did I want the colour to look plain, so I vary the grey mixes with a bit of viridian and magenta to keep it interesting and textured, with some movement. I also work on the small patch of shadows on the right, around the lower right area. Just before I start painting the figures I add some shadows to the base of the figures.


Step 6- Now is the time to focus on the light shapes on the right. There is almost an equal distribution of light and darks on the ground, but the shadows are just slightly more. I really pound on the impasto in the mid area of the painting, this is because the light is brightest at this point. I also treat the red post box and the figures. The figures are treated lightly, whenever you treat figures never overstate anything because they are transient and moving, so nothing should be heavy. One other thing to remember is to make sure they have small heads, the greatest sins of putting figures in an urbanscape is to give them big heads, the smaller the more elegant, the better.


Step 7- The stage is where I deal with what I call the “niggly details”. But one has to be really careful at this stage I only add a few marks on the sign boards. If one is not careful this is where details can become devilish. So I never over work this stage, just quick fire and then exit. This is where knowing where and when to stop becomes very handy.

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