Sketch like an Architect (Techniques + Tips from a Real Project)

Sketch like an Architect (Techniques + Tips from a Real Project)

Hey, Eric here with 30 by 40 Design Workshop,
we’re in my kitchen here in the Longhouse we’re gonna head into the studio in a minute
and we’re going to be talking about some quick tips to help you improve your architectural
sketching technique so whether you’re a student or a pro or you’re just curious as to how
architects sketch I think you’ll find this video useful. But first I have a favor to ask of you. So I just started a new project and that project
is going to involve you, if you want to be a part of this project I need you to click
the link up in the card here or down below in the description so you can learn more about
how you can help, how you can join and be a part of this whole thing. It’ll help me to make sure that what I’m making
is tailored just to you. It won’t take more than three minutes of your
time – so super quick – and I’d be most appreciative for your help. Alright, so let’s get out into the studio. I find I’m just most happy with my sketches
when I’ve simplified everything and that includes the tools that I use my tool set. So limit yourself to just a few things when
you’re just getting started and that’ll allow you to focus on what’s really important. I think even when you’ve discovered what you’re
sketching style is it’s okay to switch it up from time to time but more on that in just
a minute. Sketching – at least for me – isn’t about
producing a finished rendering. It’s nice to think about it that way because
it takes the pressure off of having to make something truly amazing. For me it’s more about hunting for ideas it’s
visual thinking not a final presentation. By starting small it forces you to distill
your ideas to strong singular gestures and helps you discover what’s most important. And staying small also allows you to move
more quickly so you don’t kind of waste time trying to work out every last detail that’s
not what’s important here. And there is this pressure to produce something
that’s gonna fit in your highlight reel and I think social media forces us to think this
way that everything we put in our sketchbooks everything that comes out of our pen has to
be this amazing work of art and we’re used to seeing everyone else’s highlight reel. I would encourage you to sort of abandon that
idea and think about your sketchbook or your sketches that you’re iterating as just being
for your eyes only. You don’t have to share them with the whole
world and in fact you know it may allow you the freedom to better work overall. Your own personal sketching style will evolve
over time but architectural sketching is primarily about line work so your style is comprised
of the kinds of lines that you draw. So a couple of tips here when lines intersect
they should always overlap so overlapping corners yeah it’s imprecise but it helps you
to actually move more quickly and it actually looks more finished than carefully trying
to line up every corner perfectly. So just how much they overlap it’s kind of
up to you and it also depends on how large you’re drawing so experiment with it see
what looks right to you. Now when you’re drawing lines try to use single
continuous confident strokes. I think a lot of people start by drawing short
series of dashes to try and get from one point to another but it’s one single line and it’s
okay if it wavers just you want to go with it, that’s kind of part of the architectural
style too is to have a little bit of waver to it, it actually helps you draw a straighter
line in the end. Learning to use directional hashmarks that’s
another important skill they can be used to suggest surfaces you can use them to build
textures you’ll use them for shading and to just overall create depth in your drawing. Now one of the other hallmarks of the style
is the use of construction or layout lines and you can do these either in like a light
blue or like I do in pencil and you just kind of feather it really lightly on the page they’re
meant to guide your drawing and set proportions. So you can use these – if you’re looking at
sketching a building – use these to set the basic proportions and I’ll draw often draw
a rectangle or square and then put an “X” through it or a slash through it to kind of
set this proportional language and then once you start layering all these things on top
of each other you’re going to start drawing on top of your construction or layout lines
and that layering helps create this kind of loose sketchy aesthetic that I think typifies
architectural sketches. Now also be sure and use the full complement
of line types available to you. So solid lines obviously the different line
weights you want to use dashed lines to indicate surfaces that are above or below where you’re
drawing you want to use center lines so a center line would be like a line with a dot
in the middle of it and then another line section and another dot, dotted lines a whole
host so lots of options there. Again this layering of line types and line
weights helps to build this loose sketchy aesthetic. So adding text and arrows and things like
elevation marks these are all devices that help describe things that you may not be able
to capture visually. So you can’t fit everything into your sketch
they could possibly want to but they also start to become part of your visual style. You know one thing, if you’re having trouble
with your architectural lettering, one trick I’ve found is to just write smaller so go
smaller and smaller make it more and more precious. And also slow it down write very slowly it
has this kind of tidying effect to it and if you need to again use layout and construction
lines to set some line heights and then when I’m writing small I’ll make those guidelines
even smaller than what I’m writing and I’ll write the letter form a little larger and
that kind of helps tidy it as well give that a try. So I have this personal hang-up where if I
am sketching something and I don’t like how it’s coming out on the page it just breaks
any momentum that I’ve been building and maybe you’ve encountered this too. I think it’s much easier to reach a flow state
if I like what I’m producing and I can see that coming out on the page. So when I find myself in that situation where
what I’m drawing I’m just not happy with I like to change up the media that I’m using
or sometimes even the implements that I’m sketching with so if I’m using pen and ink
I’ll switch to colored pencils or graphite if I’m using a white paper I’ll change to
a Kraft paper or a dark grey paper something like that; toned paper. So when I switch it what happens is quite
often I’ll just find something starts to look fresh and nice on the page and it’s kind of
like this switch has been flicked. So I would say experiment with the tools and
media that you’re using if you’re stuck you may find certain ones just they just start
to unlock new ideas and this doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a whole new kit
of art supplies and you know you may just switch it up with a co-worker or a studio
mate or if you have kids like I do just you know raid their art supply stash. So practicing even if it’s just for 15 to
30 minutes a day it doesn’t have to be that long it’s the one thing that’s guaranteed
to improve your technique. And one way you can do this is to just build
a habit loop around it so for example if your first impulse is to check social media when
you have a free minute like many of us do – myself included – you might replace that
urge with a sketching habit. So pick something in your immediate surroundings
and do say a 30-second sketch of it. It’s a good reason to always keep a sketchbook
nearby. And one last reminder to check the link in
the cards and the description to get directly involved in my new project and for more sketching
tutorials check out the playlist linked up here too. Until next time, cheers my friends.

Dereck Turner

99 thoughts on “Sketch like an Architect (Techniques + Tips from a Real Project)

  1. mobspeak says:

    I think you are overdoing your sketches.

  2. Leni Skyer says:

    Your videos are so beautiful!

  3. MaxNemo says:

    strange not understanding font… why not simple symbols?

  4. SM Architectural Construction says:

    Thank you.

  5. Liv says:

    What kind of drawing utensils do you use and can you tell me where to purchase them pls

  6. my choice an Architecture says:

    Hello sir my name is Emanuel hembrom I am from India and I am extremely grateful thank you because you are giving so Nasesary video it's very helpful my life thank you sir.. Jesus Christ with you Amen..

  7. my choice an Architecture says:

    I'll try again again again lot become an a architecture

  8. sivvart ttocs says:

    Are you gay? You sound like gay stop it

  9. Shazrwan Atta says:

    What types of pen you use?

  10. Kamal hariz says:

    I just curious.

  11. TheRealMorganFreeman says:

    Can you list the types of pens and pencils used?

  12. H K says:

    This is Super Duper Sir i love the way you explain the detailing work's wow thanks you so much for sharing such a work

  13. 露帝 says:

    Is that a mechanical pencil?
    can you tell me what brand and model it is?

  14. Gf says:

    I became a drafter so that i didn't have to draw by hand.

  15. Oskar Pettersson says:

    I want to become a Architect but am so bad at math..

  16. Adroitness For You says:

    Great educational take on this. (y)

  17. BlueWolf _GAMEZ says:

    why does this video remind me of Minecraft?

  18. m Mack says:

    You either have it or not, you can't teach talent

  19. MR. X says:


  20. qwerty uiop says:

    "we're in the kitchen in the long house"


  21. Коля Коваленко says:

    Just one word :"wow"🙄😮

  22. Daniel says:

    Too late to get involved I presume :p … ah well, I enjoyed the video — pleasantly encouraging.. and I gotta say, I really like the main sketch's structure's design. It was inspiring to me! Really neat staggered walls and nice muted earthy colors. Never have used brush pens, but I can tell you have!

    Thanks for sharing… I have some of those tendencies, including some of the not-so-good ones! Will try not to pressure myself so much…and yes! hunting for ideas!!… (subbed)

  23. idiotic syndrome says:

    Feel sleepy cause of music and he’s voice tone like a hypnosis.

  24. Mangalytical says:

    For anyone looking to draw: watch anime

  25. keVin D.C says:

    Can someone give like. Ill be taking the architectural board exam this year… 1 more step and ill be soon a fully pledge architect 😁

  26. Ivan Sherbinin says:


    Overlapping corners are a must, if you want to build your perspective right.

  27. 2 OFFICIAL Sour THOT says:

    i like the way how your lines are straight to the point but are curvy and cartoony at the same time. not that i think its unprofessional but, well damn, you make me look like a mistake.

  28. blyatiful pikachu says:

    How tf did I end up here

  29. #루쏘TV #LUSSO TV says:

    That's a great feat. I’m impressed. I'm drawing, too, but I think I should look at your work and work harder.

    If you have a chance someday, come and see my picture. I'll wait after practicing a lot. Russo TV

  30. giovanni JG9 says:

    Song of the soundtrack?

  31. Alfonday says:

    A lot of what was said in this video was very transferable into most if not all creative mediums…this even gave me some tips for music production. Thank you

  32. KAISER ART says:

    I like your works ❗️

  33. Aaron G says:

    Raid your children's art supply stash!

  34. J C says:


  35. Tork Yvan says:

    Lol stupid🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮👙

  36. King beef says:

    I liked because of his voice and music.

  37. Zynthesis says:

    How to draw if you can't draw…

  38. Grayhacker10 says:

    Woah your using A uni kuru toga

  39. Sheri Patson says:

    I enjoy detail" I'm not a good look at things sketch person " but rather look at another reference picture and try to draw it" is this ok to do? I have done simpler things like power lines real life"

  40. Richie Hops says:

    Algorithms.. Thanks youtube.

  41. Stan Kolodin says:

    Flow state is 135 MB per second?

  42. Ugly Drawings says:

    i take pencil after watched this and end up sketching a box for nothing

  43. JoAnne Corns says:

    I am an Architectural technology student and I find your video helpful in projects I am researching about.

  44. -/- says:

    .raiding kids’ copic markers

  45. ItsRayM says:

    Hello, 30X40 thank you so much for this video. I was making a sketch of Saint Peter's Basilica because I was making it in my Minecraft world and this video really helped me!

  46. Promit Chatterjee says:

    New to this channel, loving it so far. Almost F.D.K. Ching had an amazing YouTube Channel. 🙂

  47. Rydell Garcia says:

    when he forcely makes his lines wiggly. ITS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Bd Art & Natural Studio says:

    wow supper you have supper skill, that's really very gooood video & technic,, I hope it will helpfull for us.

  49. Angel Enrique Galvan says:

    did you reference the house that Jack built?

  50. Sega Genesis says:

    God i love youtube

  51. Peter Silie says:

    the wobbly lines are an interesting style

  52. Tommy Veee says:

    Can anyone tell me what pencil is being used at 1:23 ? Thank you so much!

  53. Carol Smith says:

    Great work. Are you on Behance?

  54. Lucia Lau says:


  55. Alberto Iberbuden says:

    I loved this video. Thank you for your time.

  56. Guilherme Dias says:

    I just use AutoCAD 2020 and to transform it on a 3D version I just transfer the 2D from AutoCAD to Sketchup, then I transport the final result to Unity and make a real time 3D model that I can walk inside with VR goggles or even on my smartphone. Is much more efficient.

  57. D- call says:

    your videos is great i love it

  58. Charles J Gartner says:

    why do I get the feeling that you do these really "rough" and kinda sloppy sketches on purpose for the artsy aesthetic feel? Is it pretentious, or are you actually drawing crooked lines out of haste to get it done? I would assume the messy drawings are done on purpose. Nice one. Very artsy and casual.

  59. Manka says:

    Thank you God! for I don't have my style yet so I can learn from you like a virgin. ; ) : *

  60. Ida Campbell says:

    Great information! I am a new architecture student and the oldest on e in my class at the University of District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. I am so glad my professor, female and a licensed architect has connected us with you! What a treat, especially for me. I am viewing you almost everyday!

  61. Alex Guerrero says:

    Do you have a link of where I can get a pen and sketchbook like that?

  62. J F says:

    I am an engineer, and I like to draw a lot of my ideas out by hand sketch first. Younger coworkers laugh at this, but I find that hand sketching gives me more of a "feel" for what I am designing. This is difficult to explain, but I am sure (based on your video) that you understand what I am talking about. Great video!

  63. Killua Zoldyck says:

    I Wish I Can Sketch Like You 🙁

  64. Space Colossus says:

    I dont konw why, but to me this video is very sad

  65. Rastaneda says:

    Great video.

  66. Mohanachuth Varma says:

    i can do it perfectly… i have this art as born talent …. but dont know what to do with this skill …..i am an electrical engineer

  67. ZERO_MATTER says:

    really good video, it was very inspiring

  68. Hmm ey bruh. says:


  69. Chie Emy Epi says:

    thank you for this

  70. Ladislaff says:

    I'm structural engineer…its fascinating and motivating look at how simple sketch can be nice and it gives me the desire to draw

  71. Rick Excuse says:

    what happend in last few secends?

  72. Alexandra Felix says:

    I have a question , can a project design be protected? Like I have a vission / design in mind combining both personal home and business , I haven't seen anything close to what I have in my head , would it be possible to protect the designed / blueprint ?
    I am in no way shape or form an beginner architect neither a student just a regular person with a vision and design in mind.

  73. Jamie Sydney says:

    good tips

  74. Aspern Park says:

    What kind of pens do you use for coloring? Thanks in advance. Nice video btw 🙂

  75. The Judge says:

    How did you flip your drawing? Only explanation I can think of is See-through paper.

  76. ben pruitt says:

    can you provide a list of what the liners and pens are?

  77. Wayne Kim says:

    Does anyone know what ruler he uses at 5:37? It allows him to make equidistant lines because of the measuring wheel on the bottom right of the ruler. I'd love a similar tool.

  78. talib hassan says:

    Iwant to draw a sketch like that

  79. RoblixSkii says:

    This might sound weird. But im not uh sure… the project thing… Does it cost ?

  80. KAA902 says:

    As an architect and owner of a mid-sized firm for over 30 years, I can honestly say that the "young gals and guys" that interview with me for positions lack the ability to freehand sketch. They are stiff and way too precise.

    Great video and should be viewed by everyone in the profession.

  81. Valerie Pierre says:

    Nice video. What pen would you suggest for rough sketches?

  82. Hector Mostajo says:

    betten than my architecture professors

  83. Faraj says:

    Your tools are beautiful I just want to see more & more of ur sketches 👍🏻

  84. Brooks Pittman says:

    good stuff, great skill that young architects are loosing with the focus on BIM, Thomas Wang's "Pencil Sketching" is the bible of this style. This video takes that style and adds more

  85. Eriko. Oy says:

    As an engineering student and an art hobbyist: I can say that visual expression is super valuable when designing something and most of the understanding of design comes from art.

  86. Richard Webb says:

    It is well known that all architects worldwide sketch in exactly the same way – remarkable!

  87. Stone Esoj says:

    Ive watched this video so many times. Seriously love your page, been following on previous accounts and now my new one.

  88. Ye Olde Trappr says:

    Thank you for your videos, I'm starting another job as a construction superintendent. I have always loved sketching architecture/landscapes (occasionally) as a novice and learning from your videos is just like finding gold. Maybe eventually I can dive into the land of architecture even if it's just for fun. It's definitely a hidden passion. ; )

  89. Denise G. says:

    I can definitely relate to this! I was an Architecture student and studying again to take Bachelor of Design (I want to branch out) and I can really set importance on the points that you had enumerated on the video 'cause I still do it to this day especially when sketching new ideas and concepts always great doing it manually since you have total creative control. I write small as well! Ultimately, great video!

  90. carloCGN says:

    i am totally fascinated

  91. Marco Mena says:

    Came here for a few more tips on my drawing, left a changed man

  92. cj says:

    the only problem i have is getting the idea onto paper and coming up with something to sketch. my imagination is terrible

  93. eqlzr2 says:

    I admire people who can sketch. I would like to be able to. But, frankly, I have bigger frish to fy. 😉

  94. Decorpia Design says:

    The content is very good
    Many viewers … are fantastic.
    I started Youtube 15 days ago.
    Please look at my youtube …
    Thank you

  95. Tiến Anh Phạm says:

    thank for vietsub <3

  96. Sethukrishnan says:

    I should've seen this channel while I was studying architecture. Now that I am an architect, I find my skills inadequate. I wish I could do an internship at your firm. If it's possible I would then like to apply for and sent you my portfolio.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *