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In architecture ideas need to be communicated visually and the fastest method and probably the best one too for idea expression is sketching. Yet many new architectural students who are just starting lack the natural ability to create such a sketch. They will need to rely on mentors to explain the basics of sketching which will take time if such mentors are found at all. It is easy to get disheartened when you produce a couple of rubbish sketches, that are out of proportion and look a bit weird. Don’t worry, you must keep at it, and know that it does take a bit of time to find your groove, but when you do it is great to have that confidence in your ability for your course and career. The following drawing tips will help any beginner to overcome many challenges in architectural sketching:

1. Don’t move your pencil by bending your wrist or elbow

According to Bob Borson, the most important thing once you start sketching is that you don’t move your pen/pencil by bending your wrist or elbow. Borson mentioned that “Lock your wrist and elbow into a comfortable angle and only move your entire arm when sketching. As you get more skilled, this tip can be relaxed and you can first bend your elbow and ultimately your wrist. In the beginning, by limiting your movement to the entire arm, you’ll end up with straighter lines.”

2. Take control

Position your hand at the end of the pencil to gain more control and precision. This also produces darker markings. On the other hand, positioning your hand further up the pencil makes you less in control, producing lighter markings.

3. Diversify your lines

To make an interesting lively sketch, try to use a variety of lines by shifting from thick to thin lines and from light to dark shades. This can be challenging at the beginning, but you can master it by practising using different pencil grades  (from 3H to 6B) and with holding the pencil at different angles. keep in mind that you have to use line weight to help convey depth to your sketch. If you want to produce dynamic and unique drawings, go for irregular lines. They can turn dull, flat and smooth sketches into interesting ones

4. Add some texture
When using watercolors, you can add a grainy touch to your drawings. So do not add water over the whole sketch so you can have a lively look.
5. Avoid being too symmetrical

Drawing a balanced artwork is essential, but perfecting a precise symmetrical sketch might look boring. So add some simple changes, but keep the general lines symmetrical to give your drawing an interesting look.

6. Stay clear of smudging

Do not let smudges ruin your designs. Put an extra sheet of paper under your hand when you are shading to avoid un-required smudges. Also, begin shading from left to right, if you are right-handed, and shade from right to left if you are left-handed. On the other hand, if you want to add intentional smudges to smooth out shading, you can use a piece of tissue paper.


7. Drawing a sky
Draw a flawless sky with the following clever technique. Shade a big swatch using a soft graphite or charcoal pencil on an extra piece of paper and use a large blending  stick to pick up the soft dust. Then, darken some areas of the sky to mark the top of the clouds.
8. Silhouettes
To make sure your characters are remarkable, draw their silhouettes by tracing around your character using a tracing paper then fill in with a solid color. Show it to your friends and ask them what they see. Drawing silhouettes is a magical technique to check if your characters are unique enough to be noticed only from their shadows.

9. Look at your drawings from a reverse angle
Draw your sketches on a tracing paper so you can flip it over to see it from a reverse angle. This technique can show you any errors in proportion so you will be able to improve your sketch.
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