Cover Image: Observational Sketching

Observational Sketching

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Member Reviews

I loved the cover of this book the moment I saw it on NetGalley. I have a thing for drawing or doodling objects and this felt like my thing, of course I requested it right away. What this book had to offer was not what I thought it would be, my biggest surprise came at the end of it tho, but lets go back to the beginning.

The book has four chapters. First one is called “The Appeal of Observational Sketching” and it shows 5 examples of sketches by different artists. Chapter two, “Fundamentals of Sketching You Can Use Right Away” has a lot of useful drawing instruction from how your body position can help you create straight lines, all the way to render shapes and materials. It gives just what you need to get started. Chapter 3, “How to Observe” uses different objects as case examples to understand plastic, glass, wood and fabric. Chapter 4, “Let’s Do Some Observational Sketching!” takes you step by step of the process and then shows you tons of different sketches to provide you with inspiration and ideas you can apply to your own drawings.

So this wasn’t a “how to draw” book per se, even if it does have a lot of useful instructions, specially about perspective and materials. This is all about observing the objects around you, those everyday gizmos we don’t even notice anymore, and look at them with curiosity and renewed appreciation. That’s the forte of this book. It inspires you and entices you to observe and truly get to know the object you have in front of you.

I had no idea that “Observational sketching” was a thing!. While searching the tag in english didn’t bring me with many results, searching in japanese: #観察スケッチ showed me a lot of wonderful drawings. People sharing part of their everyday life, their everyday objects, from a new perspective. It’s somehow like Urban Sketching, but instead of a scene, you focus on a single object.

Mariko Higaki is a product designer, so it makes sense that this book appears to be more like something meant for an industrial design student rather than the art hobbyist. This couldn’t be more wrong. I believe the objective of this book is not to create precise or beautiful sketches, but to teach us a different, more mindful way to see the world around us.

  "If we pretend to be Sherlock Holmes and observe these objects diligently, we start to understand the thoughts and intentions that went into them, and we can imagine the various steps involved in their creation. We start to notice special things about them for the first time. I hope this book will help you communicate the joys you find in your everyday surroundings"
    – Mariko Higaki, Observational Sketching

I really loved the inspirational examples given in the first chapter, however, I would have liked to see different styles, some loose sketching perhaps. Showing different approaches, techniques and styles could make it more appealing and less daunting to beginners. In the conclusion section of this book, Mariko Higaki confirms that this is just one way to approach observational sketching and invites us to find our own style and share our sketches with others.

What a wonderful idea this is. Would be happy to see this trend grow and reach people all over the world!. Now, even more than ever, we need this kind of mindset. Sharing bits of our world and becoming mindful about the ecological impact objects have as well as showing appreciation for those who created them, seems very fitting during these times of quarantine.
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'Observational Sketching: How to Draw Almost Any Object' by Mariko Higaki is a book about an art technique that draws everyday objects.

Industrial design drawing is something I've always liked, but never considered doing it for fun.  Methods and techniques are discussed as well as focusing on how things are made and the materials they are made out of.

There are examples, but basically the same ones over and over.  I would have liked a bit more technique and a little less of a showcase of the author's art.  The author is quite good at observational sketching.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Quarto Publishing Group - Rockport Publishing, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
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This wasn't quite what I was expecting. I am a detailed sketcher because I have a hard time not focusing on every detail, so this book felt familiar. However, I think most people think of "sketching" as a looser way of drawing, which is what I was anticipating. A way to quickly get draw an every day object. This book focuses a lot on the structure of an item and getting your sketches to technically reflect the item you are drawing, It feels like it was written by an architect, which isn't a bad thing! Just not what I was expecting.
I should have expected the content to reflect the cover, but I didn't anticipate to have it be so much of the content. Generally, what I observe is the whole area and this seemed to concentrate on singular objects.
A good book for people looking for help on structural sketching and learning perspective.
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I received a review copy of #ObservationalSketching from #NetGalley

This is a great book for people of all drawing levels, whether you generally stick to technical drawing for work or whether you draw/sketch as a hobby. An unintended "bonus" is that this book is also PERFECT for anyone who wants to learn how to effectively give instructions on this skill, or even use the book as an example to get a basic idea of effective explanation to then use for teaching any other skill. 

The first chapter is Q&A with some technical professionals who use observational sketching, which was a really helpful introduction to engage readers and demonstrate some of the ways this skill can be used in real life, aside from hobbyist drawing. The second chapter covers some basics of drawing like posture, lines, 2D and 3D shapes, proportion/perspective, organic shapes, shading/shadow, etc. and repeatedly emphasizes that for this type of sketching, practice is the most important thing and it's not solely dependent on anything like inherent talent. The third chapter goes over how to observe surroundings to notice details for sketching and walks readers through applying the skills to a few specific objects. The fourth chapter goes through putting all of this knowledge together to sketch a fairly large (for a tutorial book) number of items, with steps and descriptions and examples for each step.
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The book was an interesting useful volume yet I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. The informations presented would suit better somebody who has already gained basic education regarding drawing. I also think the book would suit better designers and engineers rather than fine art artist. 
I loved the design and sketches included in a book and I would recommend it as a gift for a friend interested in art. 

Thank you NetGalley for the copy.
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I've never heard of observational sketching before and so found this book very interesting. As an art journaler, it's made me more aware of just how much I actually observe when I'm sketching.

This is not a step-by-step instructional book by any means. But it was quite fun to see how the author develop each of his drawings.

Thank you Netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Rockport Publishing for the ARC. This is my honest review.
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Great handy guide for new artists or those with some experience wanting to brush up on techniques or tackle new subjects.. I used it with some kids I work with who are perfectionists and they appreciated the tips in this book.
We used it with pencil and paper drawing but I think you could adapt the techniques for tablet and digital art too.
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When I requested an advanced reading copy of this book, I honestly thought that Observational Sketching was as simple as ‘see an item that interests you, then draw the item’.  After reading this book I now realize how in depth and intricate Observational Sketching truly is. 

I enjoyed the different perspectives provided by various artists at the beginning of the book.  It was interesting to hear how they approach projects, the mediums they prefer to use when sketching, and how long they have been sketching.

The breadth and depth of knowledge the author provides about the materials used to create products, the processes used to create the materials, the multitude of angles you should use to view each project, the different angles, and tools used during sketching, the thought processes used before and during a sketch is inspiring.  I took my time reading this book and completed all the basic skill exercises provided, I believe with time and a lot of practice I would eventually be capable of drawing an ellipse (currently I cannot). 

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to learn about or begin Observational Sketching, I don’t think you will find a more comprehensive book out there.

#ObservationalSketching #NetGalley #IndigoEmployee
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This book is a handy guide for the people who want to learn how to sketch. I've usually not been drawn to books about sketching but rather watching videos as ro really see the technique but this book is really nice to flip through and read about how the work is done.
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This is good book to learn the basics of sketching everyday objects. It teaches you how to observe the light and shadows and shapes of the items around you and how to translate that into a realistic drawing, breaking it down step by step, using everyday items such as backpacks and coffee cups, to more detailed projects like sketching a remote control or an alarm clock. This is a fairly short book with a lot of detail, sure to make you want to try your hand at sketching the items around you or at least taking notice of the complexity of what your eye is seeing.
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Observational Sketching may be more for the intermediate or advanced as I did not find it particularly engaging for beginners eager to get started. It is a beautifully designed work, but I found the vast amounts of detail in the background reference material less so. While I see the importance of learning about material composite, the bridge between concept to the sketching process was less clear. For example, referencing the heat resistance of glass is interesting but it does not explain how to draw said glass, but pointing out the tapering and thickness does contribute to actual sketching. Nonetheless, the basic shapes and shading was very informative and may be worth the price for some readers. Still, a bit too tedious for my tastes.
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Delightful short volume by the Japanese industrial designer Mariko Higaki. Don't be fooled by the brevity though, because - as the saying goes - a picture is worth a thousand words. And the beautiful explanatory drawings dig below the surface of everyday objects. Layer by layer, you're invited to not only think about these objects in a new way, you're also given the skills to do your own observational practice.

In other words, a short book that can open up for a long look at the things around us. And in doing that, Mariko Higaki shares her tried-and-tested tools and techniques for observational sketching. If you like drawing, I expect you'll like this book.
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I found this book quite difficult to engage with. The photos and images weren't very inspiring and it felt like it could be great for engineers but offered little to engage with for those of us who went to utilise observational sketching as part of an everyday leisure activity.
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This is book was sent to me by Netgalley for my honest opinion.
I didn't like this book as much as I hoped to. I realize it's a how-to book, but it lacked a flow or a feeling? It's got a lot of good tips, but it seemed to be missing something for me. I'm not sure how to describe it. It's not a book that I would refer back to. Some art books, you want to look at again and again because it is just a wonderful book, pretty and informational. I just didn't get that from this book.  #ObservationalSketching #NetGalley
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Observational Sketching by Mariko Higaki

Words that came to mind as I read this book: 
* Observation
* Uniqueness 
* Story
* Technical
* Technique
* Meditative
* Immersive
* Mindfulness
* Illustrative
* Sharing

Each of the words above were thought of as I looked at the sketches included in the book that were used as illustrations of what observational sketching and drawing are. It seems that there is a hashtag for this type of drawing and that it is more than plunking yourself down to sketch an object. In fact, it is a study of the object that includes everything about the object: materials made from, story of the object from creation to it becoming trash, all aspects of the object – even the minutiae, how it can and does change and more. 

The book includes information about basic sketching but my takeaway was that this is a book that makes drawing and sketching a type of storytelling...when you look at an observational sketch you see its essence and perhaps the soul of the person doing the sketching, too. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Rockport Publishing for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

5 Stars
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Not exactly what I expected, but interesting regardless. This book is more suited for people who do technical sketches - interior design, architecture etc., rather than for hobbyist. Though, I can see hobbyists finding this book helpful too.

The book goes into extremely detailed descriptions on how to sketch for example a watch. It discusses how to capture different materials, dimensions, how to authentically draw labels. I feel like the book itself radiates the essential thing needed for successful observational sketching - precision.

Even though for me, it was too technical, I can say that the book is very well put together and the right person will find it immensely helpful.
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Observational Sketching by Mariko Higaki is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-December.

Kind of like what technical writing is to writing, this is a drawing style of Japanese origin that has you zoom in on small details, specific shapes, perspective, and how to best depict the material that the object is made out of. And, whoa, its layout is all over the place like an eclectic manual with Q&As, tips, social media blippets, and sketches that look like they’re pulled from a product marketing meeting. It also emphasizes the need to stand while you draw and understanding the construction and function of an item before you sketch it (i.e. particularly glommed onto the example drawing of the Apple remote).
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Observational Sketching is an extremely detailed book on drawing.  The author provides a very useful explanation of perspective with lots of examples.  Then the book continues to elaborate sketches of everyday objects that are way beyond my level.

I think this book is perfect for the advanced artist.  Step by step instructions is provided.  However, I do not possess the skills to be able to follow them and have good results.  After the explanation of perspective, I don’t think this book is a good fit for beginners.

I received this galley from NetGalley.
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A very detailed guide to sketching everyday objects as the intro describes. This book would probably make an excellent manual for budding or aspiring designers and similar professionals but I also think it should make it clear that it is not likely to make someone, who has no or little skills in drawing any good at sketching. It's certainly not a book for beginners.
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This book was not what I expected. However, it was very interesting to look at. I’m not sure I really learned much about actually drawing that was helpful but it does have a great deal of information concerning how to be more observant in looking closely at the details of an object. I believe it could be helpful in the aspect of seeing or having detailed observations on a given object that may prove useful for artist that already has well developed drawing skills. I’m not sure this would be helpful to someone trying to learn to draw. I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
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