How to draw and paint architecture

Artist Jake Murray's simple lesson explains how to successfully sketch buildings and structures.

Drawing or painting architecture can definitely seem daunting, especially if you're tackling some of the world's most famous buildings.

Since the process tends to be heavily reliant on proper perspective drawing, my first suggestion would be to practise as much of that as possible – not just drawing to vanishing points, but also learning to measure and divide spaces in perspective.

Another thing I always try to keep in mind is how to show the size ratio between a building and the people who inhabit it. The easiest option is just to draw some people around your architecture; but you can also show this by being consistent with the size of the details on your building (such as windows and doors), or placing objects like trees or vehicles nearby.

Measure the halfway point of any rectangle in perspective by drawing diagonals from each of its corners and marking where they intersect

Even with a really simple building, it's the details and how they relate to human size that helps to sell the image. You can easily measure the halfway point of any rectangle in perspective by drawing diagonals from each of its corners and marking where they intersect.

Words: Jake Murray

Jake Murray works in the publishing world as a jobbing freelancer, creating art for sci-fi and fantasy book covers, table- top games and advertising. This article originally appeared in Imagine FX magazine issue 102.

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