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Look inside The Addictive Sketcher
VIDEO: The Addictive Sketcher introduction
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 01 January 2020
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782215820
  • Stock: Temporarily Out of Stock
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 400
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £14.99
More Information

The Addictive Sketcher


by Adebanji Alade (Author)

Book Description

Giving an insight into how this inspiring and talented artist works, The Addictive Sketcher passes on Adebanji Alade's infectious enthusiasm and will have the reader reaching for a pencil or pen to have a go. Adebanji has a skill and a passion for speaking and motivating his audience in a fun and engaging way, and this is reflected in his writing style.

Lively, stimulating and instructive, it is packed with numerous examples of the author’s sketches as well as examples of his vibrant finished paintings. Covering pencils, coloured pencils, charcoal and graphite, along with finished oil paintings, this book provides a fascinating insight into the author’s techniques.

Adebanji’s work covers a broad range of subjects, including landscapes, portraits, crowd scenes, urban scenes and seascapes. He’s particularly well known for his portraits and working outdoors capturing the life of London where he lives. This book includes examples from a range of subject areas.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Motivation & inspiration 12
What you need 16
Sketching techniques 20
Composition 34
Value & Colour 40
People indoors 44
Pub scene 54
People Outdoors 62
Busker 74
Places Outdoors 80
Statue 94
Places indoors 100
Gallery 108
Discover 114
Painting 122
Index 128

About the Author

About Adebanji Alade

Adebanji Alade, otherwise known as ‘The Addictive Sketcher’, features regularly on the BBC's The One Show, and can often be found sketching travellers on the London Underground.

He trained at Yaba College of Technology in Nigeria, later obtaining a diploma in portraiture from Heatherley’s School of Fine Art in Chelsea, where he now teaches. Adebanji is the President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI); a full member of The Guild of Fine Art in Nigeria; and in 2014 was elected to the council of the Chelsea Art Society. He also belongs to Urban Sketchers Worldwide and Plein Air Brotherhood.

His awards include Buxton Spa Sketchbook Award (2014); winner of Pinta Rapido Plein Air Event at Chelsea Town Hall in 2013; winner of Best Painting of a London Scene, Chelsea Art Society in 2010; the Alan Gourley Memorial Award at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Exhibition 2017, and numerous others.

Adebanji has a strong following in the US as well as the UK. He writes regularly for The Artist magazine and exhibits with the ROI. He teaches at the Art Academy, London, and also runs workshops and demonstrations for schools, colleges, universities and art societies.


Imagine FX

Adebanji Alade is caught up in the joys of a creative adventure, and he wants you to join him on his drawing escapades. A little dramatic perhaps, but as the title suggests, sketching for Adebanji is a way of life rather than just a way to while away an hour or two with paper and pencil.

Following an opening chapter in which the Nigerian-born artist talks about his upbringing and the time at college when his passion for sketching was born, Adebanji describes his mindset and goals to the reader. He writes about appreciating and embracing your work, the pitfalls, and challenges, how to maintain momentum, and more. Its advice that comes across as genuine and from experience, delivered in an enthusiastic tone. No surprise really seeing that Adebanji teaches at Londons Art Academy and runs workshops in schools and colleges.

Adebanji maintains his conversational tone as he covers the sketching basics, starting with the equipment he uses, before going on to mark-making techniques such as contours, angles, and ghosting. Its accompanied by unfussy photography, short walkthroughs, WIPs and finished art. The artist spends longer covering core art concepts including composition and perspective, and provides a range of finished examples, annotated art and a simplified explanation of technical terms.

The heart of the book is given over to specific sketching scenarios, including public transport, buskers, statues, and markets. All are within reach of the average artist and Adebanji provides practical tips on how to approach each topic. He maintains the personal touch, giving anecdotes on what and who he encountered on the day, and lessons learned from the session. Extended walkthroughs show art theory in practice, as the artist takes his rough line art to a degree of finish on a variety of scenes and styles.


This is a book about why to sketch as well as how to sketch. You'll discover the importance of finding the hidden diamonds - corners, figures, unconsidered trifles the rest of the world passes by.

Adebanji is an author of enormous warmth and it's impossible not to want to go out with him on a sketching trip.

Paint magazine

Adebanji Alade - who featured in the January '19 issue of Paint - is an enthusiast, even a bit of an evangelist, That could be a fatal combination - there's nothing worse than being hectored by a street-corner soap-boxer - but thanks to a large helping of love, it's really rather delightful. You'll like Adebanji before you've even finished the introduction.

He loves God (that's the first thing he tells us, but that's also all he tells us about it), and he also loves books and sketching. He discovered that by borrowing a copy of Alwyn Crawshaw's Learn to Sketch and devouring it until it practically fell apart. That's where the enthusiasm comes in - if he loved books more than sketching, he'd have preserved it in a handmade cover. 

I said you'll like Adebanji and I'll go further, you'll love him. His addiction isn't demanding (at least not of the reader) and his enthusiasm doesn't make him a preacher. He just wants you to get as much pleasure from sketching - anything and everything - as he does. He achieves this by showing countless examples and by offering a torrent of practical advice. I particularly like what he says about the etiquette of sketching, Not for him the head-down, get-on-with-it-regardless approach; rather it's a matter of respect: "Always be grateful to those who take the time to come over to where you are sketching and pass a comment about your work." Also: "if the person you are sketching frowns or asks you to stop, be polite and respect their wishes." See, I told you he's a nice guy.

But perhaps the best thing about Adebanji is that he understands his own working methods and this makes him one of the best teachers around. Books on sketching can easily be - erm - sketchy (boom, boom!) when it comes to instruction, but this is one of the best drawing manuals there is. Adebanji understands form, structure and perspective and his explanations of everything from faces to buildings, interiors, landscapes and figures, both individual and in groups, are second to none.

This is a joyous book that will teach you much more than you'll ever believe in the company of a warm and generous teacher.


The Artist

This is a book born of love. Adebanji Alade loves books and he loves drawing. If you're going to write one, it's a good place to start. In other hands, this could easily be a street-corner evangelistic rant, but Adebanji is too smart for that. He's also an excellent teacher, having learnt his craft from a copy of Alwyn Crawshaw's Learn to Sketch and understanding not just the processes of drawing, but how to acquire them.

It's impossible not to be carried along by his enthusiasm and the sheer dynamism of his work. Although this is carried out for the most part in the field, it's remarkably polished and a lot more than just quick notes. There's an element of improvisation - a jazz-like tone - and Adebanji certainly has a natural ability. If you share his love of drawing, this is a book to embrace as well as learn from.


Sketching is the artists secret weapon. Often less intrusive than a camera, it also allows a degree of interpretation and note-taking that isnt available to the photographer. Sometimes a quick image can be an end in itself, at others its the basis for a more considered work completed in the studio. The trick is to learn to see and to look, to be completely at home with your materials and to know exactly which details are important. All that comes with practice, so practise you must.

Adebanji Alade is, as the title suggests, a compulsive sketcher. In the introduction, he tells us how he learnt sketching from a battered copy of Alwyn Crawshaws Learn to Sketch, a slim volume that, while an excellent introduction, was hardly a full course in drawing. To learn this way requires not a little inherent skill, but Adebanji is too modest to say that. What he does tell us, though, is that, having discovered sketching, he fell in love with it. He also tells us that he loves God. This isnt an essential part of the narrative, and he doesnt pursue it, but what is important about it is that it tells us about him. He loves sketching and he loves God, so should we be surprised that he clearly loves his audience too? This isnt a book that preaches, but rather one that explains. What leaps from every page is the sense of joy Adebanji feels when he out with paper and pencils. Its infectious and I defy anyone not to want to get out there with him (probably in person, too).

This wouldnt be an instructional book without instruction and thats here in plenty, but it all comes from example. There are people, buildings, interiors and open spaces as well as seasons, light and weather. A huge variety of techniques are covered, but always in context and always leading to a worthwhile result never a series of marks made for their own sake. Theres also handy advice on the etiquette of sketching ask permission if necessary, thank people who comment on your work, be polite and, above all, stop if asked. If this is a book filled with love, its also one lacking in any kind of disrespect.

Adebanji immerses himself in sketching and this is a book thats itself immersive. Its also a joy, both tho read and to look at. Once you catch the vision, you will never remain the same; you will spread the gospel of addictive sketching wherever you go, for the rest of your creative journey. Couldnt have put it better myself.

Simply Cards and Papercraft

There's nothing like going back to basics with just a sketchbook, a pen or pencil and a great teacher to guide you through the basics to harness your own unique style.

Adebanji Alade is renowned for his passionate and engaging style, which is carried through to his writing in this lively and instructive book covering pencils, charcoal and graphite as well as oil painting techniques to use in land and seascapes, portraits and crowd scenes.

Also by this author:

Addictive  An Artist’s Sketchbook

Addictive An Artist’s Sketchbook

By Adebanji Alade


Painting People and Places

Painting People and Places

By Adebanji Alade


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