Workshop F: Capturing Singapore’s Lively Urban Spaces

Instructor: James Richards (USA)

Location: Bugis Junction

Arc de Triomf Barcelona

Workshop description

Singapore’s public spaces—its squares, streets, plazas, and parks—teem with the energy of the city’s rich public life. Capturing the scene in a way that conveys that energy is a challenge, but can result in exciting compositions that are “truer than literal truth.” The focus of this workshop is the public realm that acts as the connective tissue between buildings, where the life of great cities takes place. Here, architecture acts as the backdrop of a stage set, and the “players” in the space—people in motion, vehicles, street furnishings, trees, birds—act in concert to bring life and energy to the scene. We’ll explore a step-by-step approach to capturing this urban exuberance and Singapore’s unique “personality of place.”

This workshop will focus on creating energetic yet visually coherent sketches of lively urban spaces using a combination of strategies:

Learning goals

Workshop Schedule

Travel to workshop site

First hour:

Second hour:

Third hour:

La Bodeguita del Medio 2014

Supply list

No special materials are required beyond what most attendees carry with them:


“In my view urban sketching isn’t about art, per se. It’s more about authenticity—showing up, being in the moment, honestly recording what’s in front of you, and gaining a deeper awareness and appreciation for the magic of the everyday. Mostly, it’s about experiencing the joy of the creative dance of the mind, eye and hand.”