Tips for sketching simple buildings

September 29, 2023 | 4 Comments

Last week I shared a step-by-step showing how I used some of the concepts from my Buildings course for sketching the complex Queen Victoria Building. In this article, I want to share how these concepts help when sketching simple buildings as well.

On this occasion, I used a photo of a cottage from Carcoar (a place I visited on my recent road trip) and used the following concepts:

  • Looking for the main volumes before I started
  • Thinking about perspective but then drawing the first lines without worrying about vanishing points (what I call pointless perspective)
  • Carefully observing the lengths, angles and relationships of each line
  • Indicating the window positions (Note: because I was holding my iPhone at the same time of drawing it was a little hard at times to concentrate on accuracy at all times… but as you will see it doesn’t matter too much!)
  • Switching to drawing in pen at the soonest possible moment ie. when the volumes and the major divisions were drawn
  • Drawing with ink – the main volumes and elements first
  • Adding thicknesses and depths at every step particularly when it came to the windows.

When it came to colour …

  • mapping light and dark first with markers
  • adding texture with watercolour pencils


Can you see all these steps in the photos below?

At this point, I got caught up in the sketch and stopped recording.


But I ended up layering more marker and watercolour pencil and this was the end result.

The colours in the shadow areas are rather yummy – don’t you think?

BTW if you want to see a marker and watercolour pencil demo I would be happy to do that in one of the bonus livestreams for the Live Version of Buildings. Can you believe we are starting next week (Wed 4 Oct). I’m so excited to be going through this course again

Finally… I also created a video of this sketch which you can see on Instagram here. Please note: there are more steps shown in this article 🙂


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