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Sketches are a fabulous way to collect images and explore ideas, and, for some designers and architects (like today’s featured artist Ian Stuart Campbell), they are also an integral part of the design process.

Stuart studied architecture and design at the Mackintosh School of Architecture; Glasgow School of Art and University of Glasgow. His interests are in urban design, conceptual planning, design communication, and journalism, but he is also an enthusiastic artist who considers drawing, painting and photography to be essential tools for his career.


Most designers who sketch don’t share their sketches publicly because what they draw is not meant to be a final product, but simply a means to an end. In his case, however, Stuart celebrates the in-between process through his lovely ink cityscapes.


Each of his drawings, and especially the ones featured today, are a testimony to the pure beauty of black and white, as well as the skill of the artist holding the pen.

With a careful eye for detail, Stuart captures the tactile surfaces of roofs, walls, and trees. Look closely at all the exquisite hatching techniques shown in these drawings—each cross-hatch pattern is carefully considered and applied for maximum contrast and texture, creating not only an interesting scene but also a dynamic one.


In addition to his excellent hatching and line work, Stuart also has a knack for composition. Using the strong forms of a city’s skyline is one way that he keeps your eye moving, yet he always includes places for your eye to land, like the boat in the image above.

Whether you’re a designer, an artist, or someone that just enjoys beautiful sketches, I encourage you to visit Stuart’s website to explore more of his detailed cityscapes, buildings, and skylines.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Pen and ink illustrator and historical author Mark Hilsden was in between jobs when he had a thought: why not draw houses for a living? While it may not be the most obvious change in occupation from his former bus driver position, thinking outside the box has served Mark extremely well. It took a year of practicing, perfecting, and building up his. . . read more

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