Architects Sketchbooks

September 21, 2011 | 1 Comment

As I have mentioned earlier, for years I have tried off and on to keep a sketchbook dedicated to interesting buildings, details etc that cross my path so that I can absorb and maybe use (reinvent etc) later in a project of my own. I am also a bit of a magazine/book junkie which has now morphed into an architectural blog junkie (archdaily etc)… is there any one else out there like me? What do we do with all this visual stimulation… do we absorb any of it?

Today, I got my latest copy of Houses magazine so within 30 minutes I had flicked through it and drew a few sketches and (of course) splashed a little bit of watercolour over the top.

I haven’t done this for a long while and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover how quick and easily I was able to do this sketches… ie. all my on-location sketching (particularly when on a crazy holiday) is certainly helping my ability to sketch quickly in any situation!

Last year, I tried getting to the office early to sketch these ‘inspirational’ sketches – I started in my personal daily sketchbook..but I go through them so quickly that I would never have them to refer to at my desk in the office.

100225 More architectural thumbnails
Then I tried them in my daily work notebook which is a moleskine with the thin paper. I kept that up for a number of weeks but the paper isn’t really what I love using.

So I am trying my A4 size sketchbook dedicated to architectural sketches (which is what I used today) and I think that this would be a good lunchtime activity (if I am not going out to sketch people, hey?)

Just for the record, these are early attempts at keeping such a reference/inspirational sketchbook. These sketches were done 10-15 years ago – on A3 cartridge paper and coloured with WC pencils.

They were done as research for the second house that I designed. I spent the WHOLE day looking through magazines and books to produce this… so labour intensive! It is amazing to look back and see how my desire to add colour and make images (rather than just scribble notes) was there back then!

So to all my architect friends out there who sketch on location…

  • do you sketch reference/inspirational buildings/details?
  • what do you sketch them in/on?
  • do you have any to show me?
  • and what do you do with all your magazines?

1 Comment

  • Kate Powell says:

    I have some old sketches from my 20’s posted in a piece on taking a class from Frank Ching (oooh, 30-40 years ago.) I sketched in these great Chinese journals, red and brown paper covers, that I bought for pennies in Chinatown, or graph lined science journals with grey covers. The sketches I show on my post are some thoughts about Arco’s headquarters in Long Beach (working for ARCO), sketches from lectures, and a cool church in a desert town in California. And then there is my young signature in my Ching book, and his signing the book at class…

    I give mags away. I cut or tear really important articles out or sketch them…. I like to sketch from images in books or google or online, and while it may be frowned upon by the great painters (you must use live models or plein air) I think the whole thing is really stupid. You draw whatever you want, whenever you want, on whatever you want, no rules, that is the creative way. Sure, it would be wonderful to sit in Florence…. but not always possible.

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