Urban planning setting the scene outdoors

Setting a scene outdoors requires you to understand the urban landscape and all the trappings of a modern society. Take a stroll outside and take a good look around. What do you notice? In addition to trees, parks, grass, bushes, and so on, you may notice sidewalks, roads, power lines, billboards, signs, shopping malls, and all the other evidence of a commercialized, urban environment. This phenomenon has another name — urban sprawl.

Although this sprawl may inspire you to put on a pair of sandals and protest urbanization, drawing all this stuff can make for some interesting settings and backgrounds for your characters. Drawing outside details isn't difficult. Adding a bit of sky, clouds, street vendors, and vehicles gives the setting away and makes your background more interesting to look at, but don't stop there. Add elements that make your setting instantly identifiable.

Figure 14-11 shows an example of a rural outdoor setting. Notice big details like the truck and the trailer parked up on blocks, and smaller details like the broken blinds, wooden steps, and ugly front door — this ain't Park Avenue!

Figure 14-11:

You can almost hear the hound dogs barking in the background of this sketch.

Figure 14-11 shows an example of a rural outdoor setting. Notice big details like the truck and the trailer parked up on blocks, and smaller details like the broken blinds, wooden steps, and ugly front door — this ain't Park Avenue!

By contrast, Figure 14-12 shows a typical suburban street found in Anywhere, USA. Notice the details like the car parked on the street and the power lines off in the distant background. This is a generic, two-kids-one-dog family setting, perfect for the American Dream family.

Figure 14-12:

This may look like the street you live on, if you're out in the 'burbs.

Figure 14-12:

This may look like the street you live on, if you're out in the 'burbs.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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