Mindful Sketching: How to Develop a Drawing Practice and Embrace the Art of Imperfection by Peggy Dean

drawing May 06, 2022
urban sketching book

I’m so excited to take you through what I have found to be a rather profound adventure in discovery, that at first glance appears simply visual, but runs so much deeper. It is powerful to create something and add your own unique spin on it, through your style, selections, energy, or all of the above. 


 Alhambra, Granada Spain, May 2019, Peggy Dean


If you've watched my urban sketching classes on Skillshare or taken an in-person, on-location workshop, you know that there is something magical about capturing the energy of our surroundings in our sketchbook.


New Orleans by James Richards


I first felt the impact of this style of sketching when I came across a vibrant piece by James Richards. I not only saw this artwork, butfelt it. From the vibrancy of his color choices to his expressive lines to his intentional subject matter—a bustling crowd, greenery, and old architecture captured in a way only he can—I saw the unique beauty of it.
Each style of sketching that you come across will have a different feel. A group of people can draw the same subject and each interpretation would be specific to the person who created it, whether on purpose or not. We can’t hide from our own unique creative interpretations on paper: It’s a beautiful thing.

After a a handful of years, I've listened to all of you and am pleased to not only have an urban sketching book now available, but a book that is focused around the mindful nature of sketching and the benefits it has on our mental health.

Mindful Sketching walks you through the basics of staying present while you draw—and teaches you how to enjoy your work without self-criticism. 

  • You'll go through the basics of why and how to begin, with instruction on materials, techniques, and working with different subject matter and locations
  • You'll get step-by-step exercises to guide you through the learning process, and fun sketching prompts.
  • You'll also learn how to stay in the moment while you're working, draw what you see around you, and embrace the results.

Enjoy the mental state of calmness, flow, and non-judgmental self-expression that is mindfulness.

"This is an encouraging and gently written book which will hopefully help readers develop confidence and support a drawing habit. The emphasis is very much on embracing imperfection and serendipity in the process and concentrating on the journey and not necessarily only the product." - Annie via Goodreads

"Dean touches the topic of mental health and is honest about her own background. She provides step-by-step exercises and clear instructions. Furthermore, she presents artwork by various artists which I highly appreciate and uses photos as a basis for her sketches. The book comes in a great design and includes resources for sketching and mental health as well as an index. I recommend this book for beginners who want to combine mindfulness and sketching."  - Mechtild via Goodreads

"This book gave me a burst of childlike excitement. This is a nice book for so many people. The fidgety, nervous, stressed type of person like me. The art lover who wants to learn. This is a much better, healthier and more relaxing alternative to spending your free time scrolling on their phone. Pick up a pen and paper instead." - Mary via Goodreads

"I love to seeing sketches and painting, but I am always think it need talent to do it. This book show me different way, drawing and sketching is for everyone. It is gentle way to embrace imperfection through lines and shapes." - Alexa Ayana via Goodreads


Get Mindful Sketching from Amazon | Book Depository (free worldwide shipping) | Your fav bookstore


I encourage you to make this experience your own. As you connect to your creative side, know that you do not need to know how to draw. Sketching our surroundings is even better when your efforts have an organic energy without perfect lines, proportions, or symmetry. Being free in this way will allow you to cultivate a deeper connection with all that surrounds you.

xo Peggy