How We Draw

Norman Hall at the University of Florida
Norman Hall

The assignment is to draw a collegiate gothic building with some trees. The video will show the process of making this landscape sketch. And the following part will provide some tips about how to apply perspecitve, depict different textures, and draw different textural vegetation.

First, depict the basic outline of the building and the vanishing point. To understand this building, we will apply two techniques; the first is layer. In the video, you can see the trees in front of the building and the tree behind the building. So the foreground is these two trees, the middle ground is the building itself, and the background is the big tree. The second is the perspective. For the building itself, we can apply the two point perspective technique to the drawing. First, get a base outline of the building. Since it has several layers, you may leave some space for trees. Pay attention to the entrance. Each entrance has unique proportions. In the important part of the building, you can apply some shade and shadow to emphasize the detail. The composition is a balance of structure and texture.


For Vegetation

When depicting the outline of vegetation, you can use short stroke lines to imply the texture of the vegetation. Some of the lines of the vegetation overlap the outline of the building; for our purposes, this is OK.

For Trees

When drawing trees, there are three points you may want to keep in mind. First, the outline; a tree is not a rigid object but a springy one with a soft texture. You may want to depict the texture of the leaves instead of drawing leaves one by one. We can use curving lines to imply them. Second, every tree has a structure, so draw some of the trunk. The main trunk is definitely thicker than the branches. Third, since trees always get shade and shadow, we can define some areas of shade and shadow to imply the leaves.

The organizations of the branches of different trees differ a lot, so try to depict these interesting characteristics of each plant. Sometimes you may feel the trees are a little bit messy; that's ok, because it's their nature. When drawing trees, always perceive the combination of leaves, shade and shadow, and branches.

For Building

When depicting the details of the building, try to draw as many details as you can. Always emphasize the center of the building, and use shade and shadow with these details to emphasize the space. After working on a building for long enough, you will see some details you never discovered before. They are decorations of the building but they also have some functional use.

For Window

When you draw windows, do not only draw the structure. Observing the windows, you can see the reflection of the trees and the sky on the glass. Don't draw everything, but use shade and shadow to imply the reflection. So some part of the glass should be really dark. In this way, the texture of the window differentiates this parts from other part of the building.

Dos and Don'ts