Saturday , 22 October 2016

7 Ways To Improve Your Sketching Skills

Draw! Practice gets you everywhere.

Just keep on drawing. Whenever you have a quiet, dull moment, draw. As they say, practice makes perfect, and they are right. The more you draw, the more you’ll improve, and the more useful your sketching skills will become throughout your course, and your career.

Start off by drawing simple shapes, try different angles, different sizes. Try shading these shapes, try different drawing tools – pens, pencils, varying thicknesses, markers and so on – get a feel for your style and how you interpret what you see.

Take your time!! You won’t get anywhere if you try and rush a drawing. At first that means you need to take your time to develop your skill. That may mean you keep on coming back to a sketch and working on it – but in the long run its worth it.

Get inspiration from others.

There are so many different sketching and drawing styles, and you can learn so much from seeking these out. Find different shading techniques, or different line styles, see what you like and develop your own style.

Pinterest is a great starting point for getting some inspiration – see the link below to our pinterest board dedicated to sketching.

Take your sketchbook everywhere.

Even if it is a small pocket sketchbook, make sure it is always on hand so you can scribble an idea or sketch a building. Maybe if you are waiting for a friend in a coffee shop, you may start a new trend of sketching instead of dragging out your phone!

It is a difficult habit to get into but by using spare moments to practice, you will start to feel natural, and gain confidence in your sketching ability.

Sometimes its good to challenge yourself to throw perfection out the window and do a quick sketch out and about. This challenges you to develop different sketching skills.

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Go to a drawing class.

Some people won’t feel this is necessary, but your university may hold drawing classes, in which case there is no excuse. You will also find some local art galleries or colleges hold drawing classes, which is a great opportunity to hone your skill, and meet new people other than students on your course!

Draw a drawing.

There is a lot to be learnt from how other people draw, particularly the likes of Da Vinci or Michaelangelo, so find some of their sketches and have a go at drawing them.

Try the grid method – where you measure out a grid over the picture you are copying and another grid on your paper as a guide. This breaks down the image into small areas, and stops you second guessing how the lines should be drawn and makes you study the image in more precise detail.

Draw from life.

Draw anything. Start out with simple objects, take note of light and shade, try different styles. Then build up to drawing more complex items. Sketch out details, find interesting parts of buildings and draw them. Think about perspective and scale.

Sketch out overall shapes first, lightly and gradually build up your sketch, add detail, and slowly create the overall feel of your drawing. If you start your drawing with the details it is easy to end up with odd perspectives, skewed views, whereas if you start with big blocks of shapes and slowly work them into detail you give yourself more of a chance of maintaining accuracy.

Keep at it.

It is easy to get disheartened when you produce a couple of rubbish sketches, that are out of proportion and look a bit weird. Don’t worry, you must keep at it, and know that it does take a bit of time to find your groove, but when you do it is great to have that confidence in your ability for your course and career.

Want to be inspired? Watch this.

Here are some great websites that are well worth checking out:


Sketching Architecture

This blog features beautiful sketches from New York, Italy and the UK and champions the hand sketch as an art that is slowly being lost. Take note of the style of the drawings and consider practicing this take on sketching. It is something more rarely seen in architecture studios and I’m sure would be welcomed by tutors.

Architecture Sketch

This blog has a really varied collection of architectural sketches and drawings which are a great inspiration to help you find your style.

Drawing Architecture

Another great collection of architectural drawings – really useful for style ideas and different colour and shading techniques.

Check out Life of An Architect for some great inspiration – particularly this post about the Architectural Delineation Competition.

Make sure you check out our Pinterest board – Architectural Sketches for a bit of inspiration.

Pinterest Architectural Sketches
Architectural drawing books you can’t live without.There are two books I couldn’t live without during my degree when it came to drawing. They are both not only a great reference but I used to find them a useful starting point at the beginning of a design.

Francis DK Ching Architectural Graphics

Buy Now

Francis DK Ching Architecture – Form, Space and Order

Buy Now

Subscribe to the website now to make sure you don’t miss out on any new tips or cool architecture stuff!

What have you done to improve your sketching? Write your answer in the comments below

Finally – why don’t you join us for our Sketch A Day Challenge! A 6 week challenge to help you improve your drawing skills – Find out more here.

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  1. Thanks! That was useful =) Good sites too!

  2. Thankyou so much. Thé sketchings are amazing.

  3. good job,thx.

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