Sketching is really the best way to understand architecture

September 23, 2011 | Leave your thoughts


I was recently looking through my travel sketchbooks from last year’s trip I just feel compelled to share with you all (again) some sketching that I did where I was totally in the groove.. eye saw, hand drew and the brain understood how the building was put together as the other two were doing their thing together.

These sketches are also found in the Trip 2010 articles.

The first two are at Seaton Delavel by Sir John Vanbrugh (yeah- more Baroque! This time English baroque… love his amazing use of volumes and rather outlandish heavy detailing!)

When I sketched these I wasn’t really caring about perspective but just recording in as quick and as loose a manner as possible what I was looking at.



These three are details from Blenheim Palace (Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor)

One of the amazing things about posting your sketches online via iphone on the day…is there just might be someone that sees it and reads your silly notes. Someone knew exactly what John Summerson quote I was wanting and typed it up for me so that evening I could read it! Which was:

There is a double beat, then [the Doric Order] wheels round. Another double beat: it turns, enters the towers – it disappears. Then out it marches from the near side of each tower, marches forward till it is returned as a formal entry with steps inside and a flourish of arms above. (summerson, The classical Language of Architecture, 1991, pag. 71)

How cool is that.


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