This blog is devoted to my architectural sketching adventures and musings about the integration of architecture and sketching.
I hope not only to share my own on-location architectural sketches but provide tips and methodologies for sketching and understanding architecture.
Also, most importantly, I wish to explore ways in which, in a digital age, we can not only defend but
promote freehand sketching within the architectural profession.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Loose Lines

Here are close ups of some of those sketches of Palladio’s Tempietto Barbaro that I did last week.

In recent weeks I have been experimenting with ways that I can sketch complicated buildings in a looser way (so that I am not stressing about perspective so much) Of course, being an architect, I do have the principles of perspective programmed into my brain, so that although I am often too lazy to set it up accurately, and although sometimes my lines have a mind of their own, I instinctively know where the lines "should" go.

I choose this building as it has an interesting 3D form, nice colours (how very descriptive!!!) and not too complex so I would get bored sketching it over and over again. (I did all those sketches in my previous post in a hour or so one afternoon)

Also refer to a previous post here where I first starting exploring different line styles...

1. Re-instated multiple lines. This is the style that I sketch in when I design. Starting with the main shapes, I draw quick rapid lines  correcting if needed as I go. My lines continue pass the edge of the object, creating 'architect's crossed corners. This inaccuracy allows me to draw my lines quicker and more confidently. (Aside: People often say that they can't draw a straight line... but I personally think that defining corners is more important.)
I am not sure that the above sketch is the best example of this... I want to try again with a finer pen, no cross hatching and really layer my lines to define the building.

2. The second example is Continuous line... this is a great example of how to loosen up before start a 'proper' sketch. I let my lines wonder around the building back and forth without worrying to much about distortion... FUN!
3. The third example... which I am not 100% sure about, is the open ended line. This is the opposite of my desire to define my corners. When I TRY to sketch this way (crossing corners is a reflex action!) I find that I need to work out which are the most important edges of the building to draw.

And here is the three styles in B&W and coloured next to each other.

Coming soon....

I have been doing lots of ‘architecture sketching’ lately but sadly haven't quite gotten around to posting on this blog... however, I intend that later in the week I will start doing more detailed posts explaining all these different sketches that I did last week....
so stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Checking my perspective

St Barts perspective I thought I would do a perspective check on my recent quick sketch of St Barts (when I did the sketch I didn’t think about any of the rules of perspective, just drew the lines as I saw them...but of course the basic principles of perspective have been ingrained in me for years) An interesting exercise... I already knew that the left side of the building was out of whack but hoped that the lines relating to the focus of my sketch would be ok. This has proved that they were more or less ok – lines A and C. D, on the other hand is a JOKE! But as the eye is directed towards the dome, I am not overly concerned about this.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What is the focus of the sketch?

100807SA_03 St Barts St Bartholomew NYC I never uploaded every single page from my 11 week trip of 2010... And this was a quick scribble sketch I did in between destinations when I was in NYC. What I love about traveling sketching is the experience of walking down the street and suddenly seeing something that compels me to get my sketchbook out – a lot of the time when I am traveling on my own I have the option to give in to this impulse. This sketch is a record of what I saw... sketching and painting as I looked at it but without too much thought of what I was doing 120517 St Barts revisited I have been thinking lately that I often include too much detail in my architectural sketches(as per above) and that I really should spend more time thinking what is the most important aspect of the building – what should be the focus of my sketch. This is a quick sketch I did last night from a photo of St Barts. As the sun (between the surrounding skyscrapers) was hitting the building on the dome area - I decided this should be the focus. Using my rapid reinstated line technique (my design working sketch style) I added more detail at this area and was looser in the other parts of the building. I am finding that if I focus on one part of the building, there is less pressure to get the perspective perfect on the remaining parts. Looking forward to the next time I can get out and do some sketching and test out some of my recent experimental sketching I have been doing from photos... Hasn’t been many opportunities recently. 120511 NYC researching While thinking of NYC... If you missed this elsewhere... I am booked to go back to NYC in July and am doing a bit of research. These are quick sketches (inkless!!!) I did while reading last week.... what I wrote elsewhere at the time Friday night and reading a very good book on Contemporary Architecture in NYC. Yes, I have booked to have a week in NYC in July and am determined to be a little more prepared than I was in 2010 (my first visit as part of my mega 11 week long service leave trip) Although I intended to spend this evening reading, I ended up sketching as well! I don't draw very much contemporary architecture, I know... older stuff IS definitely more fun to draw! However I did enjoy doing these although I did want to do more looser versions. (I hope my beloved Lamy pen doesn't dry up with this recent neglect!)I also tried out some of those grey mixes I was playing with the other day.) I hope to explore and share some strategies for drawing skyscrapers in the coming weeks. I really like the Copper Union building and was shocked to realise that I forgot all about trying to visit it in 2010. Has anyone been inside???? I am very interested in any non-obvious suggestions of things to do and place to visit. I have been a little overwhelmed by the number of good sounding tearooms I have been finding lately. Last time I went to Pearl Art last time - any other art stores I should visit.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Loose linework

120413 Having fun with linework A few weeks ago I was experimenting with different types of linework when sketching architectural subjects (or anything for that matter) 120512 Loose Lines 1 & 2 120512 Loose Lines 3 & 4 Well this evening I was practicing these on a photo of a building that I am very keen to sketch in real life... Sometimes it is hard to have the opportunity or the energy to get out to different parts of Sydney. Traditionally I use #1 or #4 when I have a complicated building in front of me and I am either too tired, ratty, my bag is too heavy, or running out of time (or all of the above) All four are great ways to loosen up as well.