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Sketching Perspective with Ilga Leimanis

  • Written byMariana Jaureguilorda Beltran
  • Published date 06 October 2021

London-based visual artist, educator and UAL drawing and creativity tutor, Ilga Leimanis has recently launched her latest published work Sketching Perspective. The book explains how to tackle perspective with hand sketching - how to turn a 3-dimensional scene into a 2-dimensional drawing successfully. Written for a wide range of professionals from architects to set designers, engineers to interior designers, it explains the principles of perspective clearly and how to communicate a vision successfully.

Ilga Leimanis has been teaching drawing and creativity short courses at UAL for almost 15 years. Her most popular courses include Introduction to Drawing Skills Online Short Course and Art and Design for 16- to 18-Year-Olds Online Short Course. We caught up with her to talk about her work and the process of working on your own creative project.

Sketch of London skyline.

Ilga has extensive experience in consulting and teaching drawing and creativity workshops for a broad range of students and professionals, including architects, urban planners, design students and school children amongst others. She has facilitated workshops in sketching and idea generation developing a functional method for creative practice.

Most of her students want to develop quick sketching, get away from the digital landscape, learn to touch paper, build hand-eye coordination, grow their confidence and communication skills. "My teaching and artistic practices overlapped, and I became a specialist in teaching others to draw."

Ilga was approached by The Crowood Press to author a book about drawing. They were looking for educators who had experience teaching many people and who possess the language to communicate “How to”.

“I had the book inside me, and the first draft was easy to write – I already knew what to say.”

Her sketchbooks are full of London drawings, so these become the backbone of the book. “I sorted through a decade of drawings using the best ones for the book. Not everyone learns in the same way and there needs to be different tactics in order to approach the same information from various points of view,” she said. Since this is Ilga's first book, her commissioning editor's help proved very useful. "We started with an outline, chapter by chapter, and then a draft of each chapter."

Cover of Sketching Perspective book

Her teaching experience allowed for a smoother process, “I already had the content in my head because I had spoken these words so many times in teaching.” The best part of the process was seeing the book coming together, the layout, the text, images and captions. "It was so beautiful, it was a steep learning curve but very rewarding."And even more props to Ilga, for juggling her full teaching schedule, a child to care and many other responsibilities alongside the book!

For those starting their own creative project, Ilga recommends breaking it down.

“My best advice is to just start doing something bit by bit, as I did with the book. It can feel overwhelming, especially with a large project, (the deeper I got into my book project, the more work it revealed) but take a deep breath and just go for it!”

US embassy sketch.

Make sure to check out Ilga’s book Sketching perspective. If you are feeling inspired, take your first steps into drawing, whatever your skill level, from students and professionals to those looking to take their very first creative steps.

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