Architectural Drawings | Learn How to Draw a Cityscape

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Architectural drawings are absolutely a different ball game, as compared to normal sketches. It takes a brave attempt at capturing another person's conception of space. However, having decided to draw a building, there are a few salient points that need to be borne in mind.

o Subject. One should have a very clear idea of the subject one sets out on while drawing a building. Architectural drawings encapsulate the whole gamut of spaces from Greco Roman buildings to Avant Garde structures. Each has its own character. Even an architectural drawing of a thatched house follows a rigor that a casual sketch cannot capture.

o Space View. Having decided on the object, the artist must, as far as possible, try to "see" the three dimensional views of the space. As an artist, you must find out the bare minimum character of the building. Is it curvy? Is it angular? Is it slim and tall? Is it squat and broad? What was the basic flow of lines on which the designer has built the building? You should have answers to these and more such questions before you start. Even if they are not clear, you should have a general idea.

o Reality Check. Architectural drawings require some degree of reality. It is not an option but a necessity. You should therefore start drawing architecture initially on a graph sheet to "free" your hand.

o Vanishing Point & Perspective Lines. First, locate your drawings' "vanishing Point." Vanishing point is the point where the "perspective lines" of buildings tend to meet on the horizon. Having done that, place it somewhere in the three fourth corner of your rectangular chart paper. From the top of the paper, draw at least ten pairs of "perspective lines," all ending at the "vanishing Point."

o Building Majors. Place the building within the framework of the perspective lines to resemble rough cuboids. Use a ruler, held at arm's length, to get the basic proportions of your architectural drawing, correct. Draw the "major lines" of the building. Major lines are the lines that visually divide the building laterally and horizontally.

o Ignore the surroundings. Highlight major light and shade areas in the architecture/building you are trying to draw. They will define the area and the volume of the structure.

o Support Framework. Fill in the small details of your architectural drawing such as windows and pillars, working towards finer details as you proceed. Do not try to be too caught up in trying to draw each fold of the window curtain. It is futile and you rather concentrate on the solid lines, which curve around the architecture.

o Surroundings. When you are satisfied with your capture of a particular building, start with the surroundings. It is a thumb rule to paint the surroundings of your architectural drawing, more in a broad stroke style than details, for they will take the attention away from the main building. However, avoid putting additional imaginary items into the surroundings. They will not add anything but a degree of cheap make up that can quite clearly be made out.

o Perseverance. Last but not the least; do not expect yourself to become the next Rembrandt in the first architectural sketch itself. There are only three rules to architectural drawings, patience, patience, and more patience.

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Is is also a venue for artists to display and sell their art . Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited. Please visit the website at

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