Can I still do neat? Part 1

January 19, 2016 | Leave your thoughts


I had a few comments on a previous post where I shared some old my neat architectural drawings that have prompted some thoughts about neatness, accuracy and looseness. These themes are constantly going around in my head but there were a few ideas that emerged specifically related to my early architectural drawing. (Note: the spiral sketchbook dates from 2000)

The first thought I had was: Can I still do neat drawings? The more I sketch, the looser I become, so I was wondering whether I can still be neat or it is something that is in the distant past.

The answer is: Of course I can be neat –  but under what circumstances? This sketch of Chiswick House (from a photo obviously) was done over two sessions at night in the last few weeks.


I did enjoy it but there was a limit as to how much I could do in one sitting before getting bored. This was the first 30 minutes of the sketch. At this point I had had enough for the night – and finished it off the next day. I chose my finest nibs – the preppy 0.2 and 0.3 for this sketch and used a 2H for some rough setout lines.


The most interesting aspect of this sketch is that the greatest effort went into drawing and shading the modillions (the brackets under the roof eaves) which although an important architectural feature are certainly not the most important part of the building. Doing a neat and precise sketch though, made them the most significant part of the process as they were the hardest and the most tedious. This feels like a waste of time for me – when I sketch I want to focus on the important elements!

Stay tuned for the next version of this building where I will explore a different aspect of accuracy (Part 2).

And I also want to try to do a neat precise sketch out on location one day soon – Part 3!

So what you think:
Does this look like a Liz sketch?
Do you think I can ever get myself in a calm enough state (and comfortable enough position) to do a neat sketch in this style on location?

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