How to sketch texture is a question that comes up often when I ask people what they struggle with sketching architecture. And so it is not surprising that I received a question about it this week in my online class Buildings. Because it is a little off topic in the course (this week), and because I have shared these pages before publicly on my blog, I thought I would write a few comments about some fun ways to achieve texture with watercolour.
I rarely include much texture in ink when I am sketching buildings, mainly because it is normally less important to me than the design of the building. Yes, sure it might be a brick building, but I am often more interested in the shape of its volumes or a specific architectural detail. Also drawing texture in ink can become tedious and often have to commit to drawing many more lines than I would like. There are ways at hinting at texture with ink (by picking up the dominant pattern of the texture) but it is much quicker and easier to express the sense of a texture in paint.
The important questions to ask yourself are how dominant is the texture when you squint, how important is it to the story you want to tell in your sketch. If it isn’t that important, don’t get distracted by it!
In the last two lessons of the Buildings course (registration closes tomorrow!) we will be looking at working structurally and mapping light and dark. In both of these lessons, texture will be considered as the very last step. It’s not that I don’t think its important, it’s just that we have a natural tendency to over emphasis it, so by leaving it to last we can be more in control of what we want to say about it, in a way that won’t take away from the rest of the sketch.
Anyway, these are a few ideas on texture to get you going.
What are your struggles when it comes to adding texture to your architecture sketches?
It’s not too late to join SketchingNow Buildings but I will be closing the doors on Wednesday 21 September and will not be offering this content again for at least six months.