A few tips for a quality architectural drawing

A few tips for a quality architectural drawing

Every professional architect has years and years of laborious practice and study behind his or her back. Every single architect has gained this title with frustrations with technical concepts. struggles and mathematics, and even a few doses of self-doubt. If you already are an architect or if you are studying to become one, the following tips are for you. This article aims to provide you with recommendations and tips that will surely help you as a beginner and as you grow in this field.

No matter if it is produced digitally or by hand, an architectural drawing is a technical drawing that visually communicates how a house, building and its elements function once built. Designers and architects create these drawings when developing an architectural project into a proposal. They have several purposes that include; presentation, information, communication, instruction and record, and all of the aforementioned are required at set stages over the building procurement.

Outstanding drawings tell us stories. We can also question how and why we read them as built spaces. When producing a great drawing, whether a plan, blueprint, projection or sketch, there are a number of moves to keep into consideration that will help communicate your story. Your drawing will be the testing ground. The below tips intend to help you generate a compelling architectural drawing. Drawings are tied to practices of making. Therefore, as you make, it is key to keep in mind how elements perspective or colour can shape the way in which we see a drawing.

Take all the time you need and take care of details

Producing an outstanding architectural drawing does take time. Accept this as soon as possible and be willing and open to tweak and modify your work as many times as it takes until you deem it perfect. Paying attention to details takes time, and very often it is these details of the drawing that can show how well you understand light, scale and texture. Details can actually mean anything, from the literal details of a house, to the way it is executed at different scales. Paying closer attention to details and ultimately producing an outstanding drawing will also result in a higher quality of your architectural drawings prints when it comes the time to print your work.

Drawing journal

A drawing journal can help you record design ideas as you encounter them. You can also keep this journal online with any of the free tools available. It might be helpful to challenge yourself in drawing technical aspects that you don’t master yet. Do this on a drawing journal and it will help you to assess your work and eventually improve it. Keeping a drawing journal is also a practice carried out by many professionals.

Thumbnail sketches

Before going ahead and drawing a complicated structure, make sure you start by practicing drawing simpler, smaller elements in the form of thumbnails. You will enhance your skills in drawing detailed objects, and this will also minimise risks of getting frustrated over the early stages of drawing. Thumbnails are very useful when it comes to experimenting with colouring and shading techniques for several architectural materials, like wood, plastic or glass. If you have design ideas in your head, you can easily test them by simply drawing them as thumbnails.


Using objects like vegetation, cars or furniture can add context as well as scale to your drawings.

A few tips for a quality architectural drawing

Make sure you also use hatches: hatches can add depth and detail, and can be utilised to identify materials and elements, for instance to show floor finishes, or also light and shadow.

Draw geometric shapes utilising different projections

Mastering how to draw geometric shapes with precision can help you in defining certain proportions in an architectural drawing. This is the reason why architectural training courses usually include tasks on drawing geometric shapes utilising different projections. Such shapes include types of polygons and “primitive” shapes, such as cones, cylinders and boxes.

Use the available new technologies

The digital turn has shaped the way in which we design and produce architectural drawings. The digital turn when it comes to architecture has gone through a number of phases: folding, nonlinearity, versioning, scripting, hypersurfaces, information modelling, etc. Nowadays we can use programs and software to create extremely complex drawings that produce new ways for us to tell a visual story.

Last updated:8/16/2020 4:26:14 AM
Natalie Baxter

Natalie Baxter

Natalie is a full-time traveller who is enthusiastic about the online universe and she is also a London-based marketer. She enjoys a good cup of coffee and meditation.


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