Drawing Shortcuts


Architect, urban planner, professional illustrator, educator and author,

Jim Leggitt, FAIA has been practicing for over thirty-five years in Denver, Colorado.  Partner at studioINSITE, LLC, a planning and landscape architectural firm, Jim specializes in conceptual design, community planning, team collaboration and visualization. Jim combines his quick hand drawing skills with architectural and planning experience on projects ranging from urban corridors to large scale master planning projects

An expert with community planning and visualization, Jim has participated in numerous public projects leading the design process and generating colored sketches that reflect place-making and excitement that comes with new development. Leggitt authored DRAWING SHORTCUTS: Developing Quick Drawing Skills Using Today’s Technology published in 2002 by John Wiley and Sons, New York.  The book features drawings from many of Jim’s community planning projects and has been adopted by over 50 universities and translated in three foreign languages. Jim’s updated DRAWING SHORTCUTS Second Edition was published in 2010 and features his hybrid methods of design visualization that integrate traditional hand drawing techniques with digital imaging.  Jim’s popular Blog articles about design visualization have been viewed by more than 750,000 individuals.

Leggitt is a Fellow with the American Institute of Architects and an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning. He teaches drawing courses throughout the country and Canada to design professionals and students.

YouTube Tutorial by Jim Leggitt!


Want More Information or To Take a Workshop?

Contact Jim Leggitt FAIA 

2212 Ash Street Denver, Colorado 80207 USA  

Mobile: 720.252.2819  /  Studio: 303.433.7100



“Baby boomer beware - you will be hooked on Jim Leggitt’s Drawing Shortcuts book from his first two sentences: ‘I took my first drawing lessons when I was five years old, courtesy of TV. There was a television program in the 1950’s called Learn to Draw, hosted by Jon Gnagy.’ Remember that? It was so much fun! ... Everyone should find a thing or two to like in this book, and a thing or two (or three) to learn.”  - Stephanie Stubbs, Managing Editor AIArchitect

Watch Jim’s lecture “Tradigital Imaging” (YouTube) presented June 13, 2008 at the Google SketchUp Base Camp in California.

To see a current book review of Drawing Shortcuts Second Edition - click here

Want to Buy Colored Pencils? Click above to download the list of Jim’s 36 best colors of Prismacolor Pencils.

Want to Buy Markers? Click above to download the list of Jim’s 36 best colors of Chartpak AD Markers.

Programs / Workshops


Ball State University

Design Visualization Lecture / March 29

AIA National Convention Denver

Full Day Drawing Workshop / June 19

Design Visualization Seminar / June 21


ProGreen EXPO Denver

Design Visualization Seminar / February 14

Google SketchUp Basecamp Steamboat

Half Day Drawing Workshop / April 15

Drawing Shortcuts Workshop Denver

Two-day Drawing Workshop / June 13-14

AIA National Convention Chicago

Full Day Drawing Workshop / June 25

Design Visualization Seminar / June 26

DCI Annual Conference Fort Collins

Planning Visualization Seminar / Sept 11

ASLA National Convention Denver

Design Visualization Seminar / Sept 22

Design Visualization Demonstration / Sept 24

Jacobs Engineering Denver

Visualization Lunch Program / December 2


GKK Architects Denver

Visualization Lunch Program / January 22

studioINSITE TAP Program Omaha

Repurposing Alleys Lecture / September 17

Colorado State University Ft Collins

Design Visualization Seminar / September 24

APA Regional Conference Steamboat

Design Visualization Seminar / September 30

DCI Annual Conference Durango

Visualization Lunch Program / October 7


BVH Architects Omaha

Visualization Lunch Program / April 6

Holland Basham Architects Omaha

Visualization Lunch Program / April 7

ASLA National Convention New Orleans

Design Visualization Seminar / October 21