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SKETCHBOOK: a creative tool and a way of life that celebrates design and drawing as vital ways to see and value culture, to discover ideas, and to envision a better world.


A Few Spots Left for Ely, UK

There are a couple of spots left for our "Sketching Lively Townscapes" workshop, July 17-20, in Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK.  Yes, this is the week before the International Sketching Symposium in Amsterdam, where I'll be teaching 3-hour workshops.  This one is a full 2.5 days, covering my approach and techniques towards a less rigid, more accessible style of on location sketching.  It's a great warm-up for the symposium, and/or an in-depth dive into my working methods.  Our workshop in neighboring Oxford last summer was great fun; we're looking forward to returning to the UK.  Join us!

Location:  Ely, Cambridgeshire, U.K.
Dates: July 17-20, 2019.

July 17: Evening meet and greet
July 18: Full day instruction and drawing sessions
July 19: Full day instruction and drawing sessions
July 20:  Morning Sketchwalk
Workshop Fee: $240 USD per participant (includes entrance fee for Cathedral)

Four 3-hour workshop sessions
Three demonstrations on location
Informal guidance throughout the sessions from Jim
Detailed handouts of key techniques and examples

Workshop reservations/information: Patti Richards
E:  patti@townscape.com

Join Us in Tuscany May 28 - June 7, 2020!

2020 is just around the corner!  Our "Sketching the Spirit of Tuscany" workshop combines 10 days of sketching instruction and on-location drawing with day trips to extraordinary Tuscan towns and landscapes, gourmet regional foods, wine tastings, optional cooking classes, and even a Puccini concert for a full cultural immersion experience!  The workshop is based in a beautiful 400-year-old villa with stunning panoramic views of the Serchio River valley, the historic city of Lucca's medieval towers and, on a clear day, the Tyrrhenian Sea beyond.  Jim will conduct group lessons and personal instruction to take your on-location sketching to the next level, while our sketching field trips offer unforgettable experiences in settings that one participant said, "feel like a dream."  

We're very excited to be returning to Casa Fiori and partnering with Follow Your Senses in Tuscany's Chef Karolina Lenart.  This is an experience not to be missed!  

See the details here:  Sketching the Spirit of Tuscany with James Richards

Portovenere, one of the beautiful towns visited during the Tuscany workshop.

Let Us Design a Workshop for You!

Jim has taught sketching continuously for over 30 years in corporate design firms, as a visiting and tenured university professor, as a certified instructor for the international non-profit Urban Sketchers, and as an invited instructor for engagements across the U.S. and abroad.  He has provided scores of invited sketching workshops for university design programs, sketching and arts organizations, international symposia, professional conferences and private firms.  

Workshop design can vary to participants' needs and available time frame. Workshops are typically 1, 2 or 3 days in duration, and are built from a set of segments that include:

  • a full or half-day session on rapid concept sketching for designers
  • a full or half-day session on urban sketching (watercolor optional)
  • a full or half-day sketch outing on location in your community or campus.
  • a 1-hour public lecture

We would be delighted to discuss your needs and to prepare a workshop proposal for you, including a workshop overview, preliminary agenda, participants' materials list, venue requirements, audio-visual equipment needs, fees and reimbursable expenses.

CONTACT US for availability and details.

Comments from workshop clients and participants:

  • "It was a great weekend and event--the best that we have had in largest measure due to your excellent instruction, nurturing guidance and sense of humor!"  -Michigan State University
  • "I loved this workshop, learned so much from James in such a short time. Well planned with clear expectations.  James was excellent at communicating and explaining everything.  I learned a lot more than I anticipated.  This was a great workshop."  -International Urban Sketching Symposium participant
  • "This was by far my favorite workshop, mostly due to Jim's expertly set-up class.  He explains one concept after the other in a clear and understandable way.  There is an easy to follow increase in complexity, which keeps the class challenging and interesting.  Jim was also very able in giving feedback and explaining what and how to improve."   -International Urban Sketching Symposium participant
  • "I would take another workshop with Jim and Patti anytime."   -International Urban Sketching Symposium participant
Invited workshop locations to date.


  1. What is coming up in May and June? Also, are you going to be on the East Coast and/or NYC anytime this year?

  2. Interested in workshops you may be planning for next year in Florida and/or Europe.

    Lee Kline leejay.kline2@gmail.com

    1. Hi Lee! We are returning to Tuscany for a 10-day workshop May 8-18. The first one was amazing; a wonderful experience. Would love to have you join us in May. See top of this page for the link to details.

  3. It's now 2018 - sign me up for any workshops in the USA from September on, if any are planned. Thanks for posting your lovely work and inspiring (and teaching) so many people with it.

  4. Hi Karen! I don't have any US public workshops scheduled for 2019. Please consider joining us in Tuscany May 8-18...I'd love to have you along. I'll post the link to the details at the top of this page!