Drawing buildings


Not so long ago, I thought I wasn't any good at drawing buildings. I liked drawing objects, in which I could draw all kinds of details. I liked drawing people. But somehow, I avoided the surroundings - buildings, street views. I sort of wasn't interested, and told myself it wasn't 'my kind of thing'.
I remember telling my friend Yvonne this on one of our very first sketch dates. She draws buildings in such a confident way. With big eyes I watched her drawing the lines into her sketchbook with black pen and I gasped: 'you don't even sketch your lines in first with pencil?' She said: 'No, even if a line isn't quite accurate, that's just how the drawing is going to be'.
Wow.
That day, I carefully drew the detail of a building, using her brush pen (which also was new for me). After drawing the lines with pencil first that is...
I said to Yvonne: 'I'm just not good at drawing buildings'. Her reply was: 'Of course you are!'
She was so right. In the back of my mind I knew that I could do it. In the online drawing course and workshop I teach, I always tell people: 'you can learn to draw anything, as long as you practise a lot'. Because I know it's true. I experienced it and I am still learning.
It took me months before I started getting more comfortable drawing buildings. I got very interested in urban sketching and I've always loved drawing outside. So I practised. I found out drawing buildings is not much different than drawing anything else. It's all about looking at negative spaces, keeping the right proportions and angles. The great thing is - you can take as much time as you need,they don't move like people do. The only thing that changes is the light. I still sometimes sketch the basic lines and proportions in with a pencil, to erase those later, but I actually like diving in with pen directly now. The thing I dreaded most at first.
Learning and developing skills is so much fun!


I did this drawing after dropping off a batch of greeting cards and stationary in a wonderful shop in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. They are a 'creative warehouse' and my stuff is for sale there now. It's a 1 1/2 hour drive from Amsterdam, so before heading back, I treated myself to a cup of coffee and a drawing.

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