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.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sub_urban Sketching: More on Roofs

Here is a sketch that I did (once again from my car) on Monday morning while waiting for an appointment.


I took a photo of my starting point and have made some notes of the things that I look for.
 A few comments
- I always look at the ridge (the flat top to the roof) and see what angle it is and whether it changes level.
- I also look at the bottom of the roof and make sure I follow it around. Often this is at the same level... but it also can jump around as well.
- I never draw every brick but when the mood takes me will indicate brick coursing (the horizontal banding) in a fine ink line or as I did here a watercolour pencil
- My watercolour is doing strange separating things on the roof... Love these accidents
- I did a bit of finger painting on the trees (so beads of water/paint were not drying in time so I smudged!
-... I love how I can see the hint of a teapot and cosy sketch on the previous page - not sure if you can see it but I can!

I intend to do some diagrams of basic roofs in the next little while.

And here is another quick sketch I did yesterday (filling in time again before another appointment - have a few of those this week!) There are a few curious things about this house which is why I drew it....I wasn't particularly following any system (except I started from the top again) What is curious is how they have split this house into two and a very weird entrance to the left side close to the bay window. I am rather pleased with the lovely watercolour effects that is happening in some of the washes on this page . and particular the glow in the shadow under the gable. More on this later!

A note on sketching locations:
Sketching in the car has its limitations. It IS very hard to be able to find a spot to stop outside a good view so often I have to compromise on the house/ view that I want to sketch. Then the steering wheel does get in the way and there is not quite as much space or comfort as you think there is. I am starting to get a system for it.
Far better is to get out of the car! Like I did yesterday and walk a few houses and sit on the gutter (between two cars) and sketch. But of course when it is raining and freezing cold the car is better than no sketch.

Once again please let me know if you have any questions that I will add to my list and get around to answering sometime....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Boring Buildings... Fun Colours

After my recent time in Barcelona and London (2 cities containing many examples of architecture that I adore) I find it is easy to become uninspired by the average stock of buildings in everyday life… but colour and especially watercolour can make anything fun! So I am determined to make interesting sketches from boring buildings!

Today three constraints (apart from the boringness of the buildings)
1.  the pen I was using is new (a sailor pen that enables variable lines ) and I don't have a feel for it yet and isn't flowing properly
2. sitting in a waiting room without any idea of time… so I just start and like the page evolve - ready at any stage to stop
3. I only had 3 watercolour pencils in my bag of very limited relevance to the subject matter (but at least a light, mid and dark tone)

I then added some splashes of wet watercolour on top when I got back to the car… without much consideration of what 3 colours… but I wanted to keep with a limited palette.

One of the things I like about sketching architecture is that you do anything with the colour! (I suppose you can do this with any subject... but as the buildings natural colour is normally fairly dull it is more a radical artistic license!)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sub_urban Sketching: Draw the roof first

I have been trying all year to post to this blog more regularly… but I am determined to do so from now on….(yah! really! I hear you say!)  I have also found than now I live and work in the heart of Sydney suburbia that I have been somewhat uninspired architecturally. I thrive on being in city centres- being surrounded by big / important buildings and the pulse of the city streets. I have had great plans of posts that I want to do here on important aspects of sketching architecture… but 'planned posts' rarely seem to happen! I am a 'respond to the moment' kinda girl. So lets make some sketching architecture moments!

So anyway… a new idea this week… I am going start drawing the buildings of the exciting north western Sydney suburbs that I live in and at the same time share tips as I come across various issues. They will be fairly random and conversational… but I hope that if I do it regularly it will develop into a real series and motivate me to become a little more systematic. I am very keen to have you ask questions that I can answer the next time I am out sketching. Lets start a dialogue about what you kind hard….

Todays tip: I like to draw the roofscape first!

Getting roof angles right can be tricky so I like to draw them first and look at them as shapes as much as possible. I might apply some basic perspective (more of this on the next post!)  but just try to draw what I see. I then project the walls down from that…

(and yes, I was sketching in my car - in a parked position of course!)

Now I am sure I have not explained that fully… so fire away with questions and I will expand on it with my next post!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sketching Architecture workshop

Just to let you know that I will be running a workshop in Melbourne in September  ...more details here 
Please email me for  registration