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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.


New Workshops in Costa Rica and Oxford, U.K.!

We're delighted to announce two new workshops open to the public:  

April 26-28, 2018   San Jose, Costa Rica.  Save the date; details to follow in the coming days.

July 11-14, 2018     Oxford, U.K.  See details below.

Drawn to Oxford!  A Workshop with James Richards

Workshop location:  Oxford, U.K.  We will be working in the heart of historic Oxford; specific venues TBA.

Dates:  July 11 -14, 2018

Join Jim in historic Oxford as he shares lessons and techniques from decades of travel sketching across the globe.  You’ll learn the ideas and methods behind Jim’s less rigid, more accessible approach to on-location sketching that goes beyond technical accuracy to capturing the essential character and energy of a special place.  You will learn:
  •      Where to begin?
  •     Jim’s 5-step approach to creating lively eye-level perspectives of complex urban scenes.
  •     Six techniques for enhancing the illusion of realism and depth.
  •     Techniques for heightening the drama, energy and exuberance of your sketches.
  •     Developing confidence and speed.

This is a rare opportunity for immersion in in-depth but light-hearted instruction that will expose you to new ideas, attitudes and skills to take your sketching to the next level.  

Space is limited.  Contact Patti Richards to make a reservation and arrange payment.

Maximum number of participants: 20

Skill level:  Suitable for all ability levels.

Wednesday, July 11
6:00pm                        Meet and greet (location TBA)

Thursday, July 12
Morning session        
Essential attitudes
Getting started

Afternoon session         
Five-step sketch building
Sketching on location

Friday, July 13          
Morning session          
Using color strategically
Sketching on location

Afternoon session       
Additional techniques to enrich your sketches
Sketching on location

Saturday, July 14
Morning session          
A morning sketchwalk to practice the lessons learned
Bon voyage!

Cost:                           $230 USD

Four 3-hour workshop sessions
Two demonstrations on location
Informal guidance throughout the sessions from Jim

Detailed handout of key techniques and examples

Hope to see you in Oxford!

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