When it comes to sketching buildings, is knowing where to start one of your biggest challenges ?
How do you simplify complex architecture so that it is fun to sketch? So that you don’t get lost and overwhelmed?
How can you speed up your architecture sketches and become looser without sacrificing accuracy altogether?
Well, I think the answer is in the way you look at buildings, and the way that you understand them. It’s not just a matter of drawing what you see, because what you see IS complex. The secret is in seeing the underlying volumes that will help you simplify what you see and help you prioritise the edges.
I always start an architecture sketch by thinking about volumes.
I might start with a shape, or I might start with line, but I always think volumes first. Every building is a unique case and my mood changes (will it be pen or paint first? or pencil?) but the approach I have developed over the years helps me every time. It’s directional but also flexible so it suits any situation.
Starting with volumes is just the first step. I then look for added and subtracted elements, thicknesses and depths, leading edges, and (normally) work in a structured way.
I’m super excited to be able to share this with you in detail in my upcoming online course SketchingNow Buildings. I am especially looking forward to seeing how people apply my approach to a huge range of buildings all over the world. I know that reviewing their sketches and putting together my weekly feedback post is going to be so much fun and full of practical tips.
Here are a few step-by-step photos that I took at the time. I like to drink my coffee hot so these photos record how quickly I was working.
I explain this approach in detail and much more in my SketchingNow Buildings course. Find out more here.
What are your major challenges when sketching buildings?