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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simplifying forms of complicated buildings

 Last week I was in the Rocks - casing the joint for my upcoming classes on Sketching architecture and getting excited at all the options available there! One of my favourite buildings in the Rocks area is the Australasian Steam Navigation Company building. "An unusually picturesque and exuberant" polychromic brick building by William Wardell (quote from Jahn's Sydney Architecture guide book)... so after I had planned my classes I sat down to sketch it.

Here are my first two steps... which clearly show how I constructed my sketch. I didn't use any persepctive guidelines at all - instead I used a simplified outline of the main forms of the building as my setup - drawing the shapes as I saw them.

Next I mapped the light and dark areas and then had fun drawing with my ink pen and then splashing watercolour over the top.

This approach is one of the things that we will be looking at detail both in the 4 week course and the 1 day workshop coming up. I will also explain perspective... but I firmly believe that you don't need to use it. It is incredibly useful and a tool to help you - but you should never become a slave to the fear of it!

I still have places available for my 4 week course Thursday mornings 07-28 Nov or  the one day workshop  on Saturday 30 Nov. Please email me if you are interested

Both of these classes are suitable for beginners as I will be starting with fundamental skills (yes, how to draw a straight line if you want to - though once again, straight lines are not the most important thing!)

I would love you to join me and the other great group of sketchers that have already signed up.... I knw we will have a lot of fun.... yes! sketching architecture IS fun!

More details here


  1. Wish I could join your course... I need to know more of this.

    Great stage drawings and final sketch.

    1. thanks Sue- would love to have you with us!!!!

  2. Liz- what pencil do you use to rough in the shapes- is it water-soluble, and do you have any preferences as to colour?

    1. HI Angela- yes it is a watersoluble pencil- favourite colours at the moment are raw umber or brown ochre.

    2. Thanks! Will have to time my next trip home to Aus to coincide with one of your workshops,