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, April 24, 2014

Sketching architecture with Watercolour pencils

In the last week (or two..since my last post here) I have been continuing to experiment. And out of the blue I got out my watercolour pencils..the very night of my previous post in fact! I had not seen that coming at all.

Well it wasn't quite that random- I was prompted by Koojse's coloured pencil exercise of Week 2 of Sketchbook Skool to get out my (watercolour)pencils (WCPs). I don't have any serious set of normal coloured pencils. Although I use WCPs regularly in association with watercolour paint I rarely use them on their own mainly because I just LOVE paint and water so much. So decided it was time to really get to know them better on their own!

Of course the first sketch I did was a tea cup but them the second subject was a baroque facade

… and then I did a step by step of a bigger sketch. I am working in a very similiar way with the pencils as I do with ink and wash. Draw all the edges first and then lay in the colour- leaving plenty of white for the sunlit area. And then adding the areas of shadow. I am very bold with my use of pencils and then easy with the water! After I had applied the water I needed to go back and add some more details.

BTW I will be holding some workshops in Tasmania next month - using both watercolour and WCPs...more details here


  1. You'll find different types of pencils give up their pigment to a wash and lose their lines faster than others.

    It all depends on what you like best - and trying a few different brands.

    I'm not sure how many you have access to. The brand which always seems to get top ratings is Faber Castels Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils

    1. yes - of all the ones(5 or 6 types) i have tried the Faber Castell are my favourite by far!

  2. Your loose way of using WCPs appeals to me more than the careful realistic rendering of an object. Thanks for posting this and explaining your process. As always, I'm inspired. I'd love to study with you in person but flying from Oregon to Sydney is a bit far.