Monday, April 15, 2013

SKETCHBOOK ASSIGNMENT: Buildings, Houses, & Churches -- 10 Exercises to Try

Get your sketchbooks, pens & pencils, charcoal, and even some watercolor paints and a brush, and head outside for some drawing of buildings -- both rural and urban.  We'll be drawing houses, barns, old ruins, city blocks, churches, and other public buildings.  We'll even be drawing boxes and building blocks -- any kind of structure will do.  On days that you can't get outside, just look at photos for your reference.

Besides examples from my own sketchbooks, I have also included ten of my finished paintings of buildings -- some of which came directly from my sketches.

So, try a few, or all, of these exercises, and maybe get inspired to do your own paintings of buildings. 


1 - Draw a house, or a part of a house, in pencil.  Draw your own home, or someone else's, from life, adding shading with your pencil.  Date it, and write a sentence about where you are . . . 


"Fourth of July", watercolor by Pat Howard

2 - Using a black, ballpoint pen, draw a public building, or part of a building -- from life, if possible.  Use cross-hatching to build up the values. . . 


"The Old Post Office", watercolor by Pat Howard

3 - With pencil, draw a building from the front, and include some of the surrounding environment.  This could be a church, a lighthouse, a public building -- and try to draw from life, but if this is not possible, use a photo as reference.  Be sure to write a note on your page, just indicating where it is . . .


"The Light of Loretto", watercolor by Pat Howard

4 - Do a monochromatic value study of an adobe or stucco building, part of a building, or church.    First, do a pencil drawing, and then paint the values (the lights and darks), with one color, like burnt sienna.  Use watercolor, or colored pencils, and try to simplify it into 4 values -- 1) lightest value is the white of the paper, 2) light value, 3) medium value, and 4) darkest value.


"Sunday in Sedona", watercolor by Pat Howard

5 - With a felt pen, draw an old rural building, like a barn, shed, or cabin.  Or, draw a block of old buildings in a little town.  Try to draw from life, if possible -- and write a sentence at the bottom of your page, indicating something about where you were, the date, and what the weather was like. . .


"The Blue Barn", watercolor by Pat Howard

6 - Pile up a bunch of boxes, and do a contour drawing of them, with a felt pen.  If you have kids around, you could use their building blocks.  This is a little like drawing city buildings.


"Phantom of Times Square", watercolor by Pat Howard

7 -- In pencil, draw a city block of buildings, from above.  Add shading with pencil . . .


"New York City Lights", watercolor by Pat Howard

8 -- Now, try some perspective exercises, with charcoal pencil or graphite pencil.  For these, just look at my sketches. . .

(V.P. stands for Vanishing Point)


"The Gable House B&B", watercolor by Pat Howard

9 - Paint a close-up color study of a stone wall.  First, do a wet-in-wet underpainting, using Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Rose, and Cerulean Blue.  When it is still pretty damp (shiny), sprinkle salt all over.  When it is dry, brush off the salt, and draw the cracks in pencil.  Then paint the cracks (the shapes between the rocks), using Burnt Sienna and Cerulean Blue. . .


"Aztec Ruins Triptych", watercolor by Pat Howard

10 - Using charcoal (pencil or stick), draw a close-up of a building, a deck, or a porch.  Smudge the lines for shading.  This will be an abstract drawing, so concentrate on geometric shapes and lines, rather than any details. . .


"New Hampshire Village", watercolor by Pat Howard


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