Freehand Drawing 4
Technical Drawing 5
Constructed Shadows Axonometrics
We need to first understand the volume that we are drawing – we got a large base with a couple of ramps, a couple of inverted ziggurats, vertical prisms and a couple of ‘smurf houses’ at the end.
The isometric axo drawing starts off with the construction lines of the whole volume, starting from the large base on which the whole volumetric composition fits, then going into detailing the multiple ramps, vertical prisms and tiny houses.
Axonometric Part 1 – Construction Lines
I recommend you start with drawing the details which are closest to you – the ramps, the inverted ziggurat, the vertical prisms, finishing everything off with the tiny houses.
You will also draw the general large prism on top of which all the other volumes sit. Construct all the volumes in full,
do not attempt to skip the lines ‘that you don’t see’ – this will cause you endless heartache when we shift to constructing cast shadows.
Also, having all construction lines gives a very strong, ‘dense’ type of drawing style which always looks very good in architectural drawing.
This shows that the author of the drawing is smart enough to see and understand all the volumes – priceless when considering that most people practising architectural drawing skip this step.
Not constructing volumes is why most drawing out there is mediocre – it starts off with mistakes like this and builds up by adding more and more mistakes.
Axonometric Part 2 – Contour Lines
After we finish the construction lines, we need to thicken the lines that wee see. Ideally, this will be done after you finish the whole drawing at construction line level.
On a realistic note, halfway through the lesson, you will probably stop understanding what you are drawing and see it as a complete mess of lines.
If that happens, feel free to thicken the lines that you are completely sure you see, as you need to first understand the axo’s volume in 3d for you to be able to draw it properly.
To make things more simple and save some time, thicken the parallel lines altogether. So thicken the vertical lines all in one go in your whole drawing, then all the lines parallel with Ox all in one go and so on.
Technical Drawing Lesson – Axonometric Shadows And Hatching
To understand shadows 100%, you first need to understand first which faces of the objects are in shadow and how to correctly ‘filter’ your whole drawing with this principle. A box has six faces, the light source directly hits three faces and does not hit the other three faces. One of the faces it does not hit is the bottom of the box, so this means you end up with two adjacent shadowed faces and three vertical edges that leave a cast shadow.
Axonometric Part 3 – Cast Shadows
If you understand that the light source comes from the top right corner, then the two faces on the right are shadowed faces, so we need to hatch them.
Ideally, these are a 3-5 grey and with the edge that is closer to axonometric being darker. The inclined surfaces, especially for the smurf houses are going to have a very light grey as well.
Use both types of hatching to get very clear shadow surfaces – with an ongoing gradient and very clear edges.
Axonometric Part 4 – Constructing Cast Shadows
By now you obviously hatched all the shadowed faces, so that will help you identify where all the cast shadows will be- all shadowed faces have cast shadows on them.
Now we will be constructing the cast shadows for the finished axonometric line drawing. The approach is to filter out the whole drawing by constructing cast shadows for each volume.
This is a much simpler than you would think as you just need to understand the shadowed faces and then construct the shadows of the three vertical edges there. However, not all volumes are the same so there will be a few variants of the cast shadows, most of which fall into a couple of predictable patterns:
- Ramps leave out triangular shadows, which you construct by drawing the shadow of the vertical edge of the ramp and connect it to the bottom of the ramp.
- Shadows can go up on inclined or vertical surfaces – in this axonometric you have an example of a shadow going up a ramp.
- Identical objects have identical cast shadows.
- The way to draw the shadow for objects that are inclined (smurf houses for example) is to construct the shadow of each vertical line, then connect them. You will get a line which is not parallel to the original line.
- You will have cast shadows that fall on multiple levels – the way to draw this is to construct the cast shadow on each of the levels and then connect them via the cast shadow which falls on the vertical dividing wall.
As with all beginner drawings, we will use all techniques possible to push our graphics further… and I suggest you keep this as a habit for the next 50 to 100 drawings or so.
We will use four graphics techniques here, which you need to apply all the way through so you get the right final effect.
- A background for the ‘smurf houses’ so their outline stands out via contrast.
- A reflection on all horizontal surfaces, so the image looks more interesting and has more dynamism.
- Texture for the horizontal surface inside our main volume… a 0.5 cm checkerboard seems enough.
- A border around our page, ideally with the hatching from the background reaching it and at a 2 cm distance max from the edge of your page.
Take notes from the intermediary crit, this will help you avoid predictable mistakes in your work.
Common mistakes include: bad hatching, forgetting to add graphics tricks to the drawing, messing up the cast shadows.
You need to correct all these mistakes before you move further with your drawing – make sure to have all the cast shadows correctly constructed… if there is a shadow you are not sure about, feel free to watch the video again until it makes 100% sense.
Technical Drawing Graphics
This speed up video will give you an idea of the complete workflow of part one of the exercise (line drawing) and part two of the exercise (shadows and final graphics).
Use it as a way to visually recap the workflow whilst also seeing possible faults and correcting them.
Video Time: 2:08:46
Video Time: 2:08:46
- You need to get a clear line drawing for technical – add tape to the bottom of your triangles and put an A4 under your hatching hand
- Construction lines should come just from the pencil’s own weight – do not press on construction lines or your whole drawing will be darker
- Fully construct all volumes – you will need all those back lines and construction lines for part two of the lesson, when we will be hatching
Common Mistakes To Avoid
- The natural tendancy for beginners is to draw the axonometric like copying a flat image. Understand that you need to visually break down the image into the separate volumes and draw it in a systematized manner – that is the mental process that needs to be on default when drawing complicated axonometrics
- Minimize your erasing – I know smudging looks bad but erasing midway through your drawing will only add extra smudging on top – and your final drawing will look messy beind being salvageable