drawing of master plan colored in marker

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course provides an introduction to urban design sketching by teaching how to draw urban design sketches and master plans using a mix of colored and black ink. These drawing techniques can be used to create plans that are detailed and expressive enough to use both in academic and professional presentations.

  • English
  • 70 Mins
  • Published
What You Will Learn
  • Understand site context in terms of hand drawing.
  • Choose the correct drawing scale according to the format that will most effectively communicate the urban design concept.
  • Select drawing materials, comparing the strengths and weaknesses of top brands. 
  • Utilize the best practices for working with charcoal, graphite, and ink in an urban design sketch.
  • Put the finishing touches on drawings by making use of color, texture, detail, and shading through an in-depth drawing tutorial. 
  • Communicate the benefits of hand drawn master plans to clients and reap the benefits of a hand drawn urban design sketch.

Hand drawing, while still a popular way to present urban design sketches, is just not as convenient (or accurate) as an Illustrator or CAD rendered design. However, an illustrated, hand drawn master plan often has more expression and symbolism in delivering a concept than a computerized rendered version. This course focuses on hand drawing as a way to communicate about details in the natural environment through drawing with organic lines and shape, giving life to more authentic and expressive presentations of urban design concepts.

"Hand Drawing Master Plans" aims to introduce urban design sketching by focusing on how to hand draw master plans with a mix of colored markers and black ink. Hand drawing creates plans detailed and expressive enough to use both in academic and professional presentations. Course instructor and urban designer Daniel Garcia uses his years of experience hand drawing master plans to provide a step-by-step drawing tutorial, talking students through the basic and advanced considerations involved in hand drawing for urban design. Hand drawing accentuates the imperfection of natural elements and highlights unique characteristics of the very materials displayed in the urban design sketch.


This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.


This course is approved for 1 SACPLAN CPD point.