Sketching Contemporary Architecture Intensive11
The Classical Orders Of Architecture
Now we need to add a depth and architectural theory to our drawing style, as well as take our line drawing and detailing to the next level. You do not want to be too repetitive and rigid in your drawing style as this will have negative repercussions on your architectural thinking, graphics and will create overall stiff and repetitive mindset and graphics still.
When discussing capitals keep in mind that they are meant to be decorations made initially out of wood that would mark the point where a column and a truss intersect.
They were originally designed by the Greeks as to be made out of wood… because the whole temples were made out of wood. This lately evolved into temples made out of stone.
You might see these capitals nowadays and admire their elegance, as they have a perfect volume that is made out of stone… but these columns and capitals were actually painted… but we will focus only on drawing them as volumes, without the extra decoration.
Doric Capital Sketch
Doric Capital Detailing
Doric Capital Hatching
The Doric Capital
These classical orders are three in number – Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.
These decorations, although seemingly randomly designed always make emphasis on the general volume of the capital. Multiple levels of detailing show roundness or put emphasis on the curvature of the column and so on.
A good way of showing this is the making the column fluted which emphasise the curvature of the column.
Also, add the egg-and-dart motif which will add a good level fo detailing that looks good in drawing.
First, practice constructing one of these details and then applying them to the column by drawing less and less wide as they follow the curvature of the volume.
For hatching you need to apply what we have learned in the previous lessons regarding cylinder shadowed faces – you got one-third that is directly hit by light, the gradients going al the way to the sides, with a darker gradient towards the parts which is in volume shadow.
Always leave that 2-3 mm white edge around the cylinder’s side – this will add more of the curvature effect to the volume.
Ionic capitals are slightly more complicated to draw, as they also have more detailing to them.
You will again draw a vertical cylinder which is the column, then add two horizontal cylinders which will be detailed to become volutes.
Keep in mind that the volutes are spiral-shaped so they will be drawn as vertical ellipses that progressively get smaller and smaller.
There will always be trouble here because these spirals have a thickness to them and they also have a depth that casts a shadow.
This will create a bit of confusion, as well as the way these volutes go in perspective – you will need to be extra careful with the vertical ellipses and all other elements.
The volutes part sit on top of a circular dish, and there is egg-and-dart detailing on the sides as well.
There is a middle decoration between the volutes, and that is another spiralling shape that looks interesting.
Obviously, the column is going to be fluted], and this detailing will show enough of the roundness of the column – do not forget the part with a third being hit directly by light and how the gradients work.
This capital is by far the most intimidating as it is full of details! And most students of drawing will just skip them altogether because of the sheer amount of detailing that you need to go through.
And we need to remember that the Corinthian capital features the most intimidating of details possible – the acanthus leaf!
The column is again a cylinder and is fluted all the way to the top.
All good, next up we got a horizontal square for the top, but this square has these inside curvatures and chamfered corners.
This is really easy to understand and draw – you need to merely to construct the interior half-ellipses and the chamfer the corners and you are set.
The next part is the difficult part, drawing the acanthus leaves. These are set on three different levels of leaves – so instantly the problem of drawing a messed up and complicated details is a lot simpler and linear.
How To Draw An Acanthus Leaf
To draw an acanthus leaf, you need to first draw the line structure on which it would fit.
You have a central axis of symmetry then you build up the three smaller leaves on each side.
To make the smaller leaves look right, they need to have a curvature where the triangles touch base, this way the whole shape looks organic in the end.
Three levels of acanthus leaves will be needed to make the capital look corinthian.
Level one is the leaves which are at the bottom and are detailed enough to take the foreground.
After that we got to level two which are between the leaves of the bottom level, these are slightly less detailed.
Level three is where two of the leaves intersect in the middle to create an extra decorative effect, and then you got leaves at 45 degrees that connect the corners of the capital.
Hatching might again seem very complicated for a volume of this but again, we will adapt what we already learned in this context, and everything will just logically click together.
First things first we need to apply the same principle we did for a complicated volume – the third that is in volume shadow.
After we decided the third that we want to be shadowed, we can just hatch away at it, guesstimating the overall shape.
Carefullykeep the strokes evenly spaced and around 4 cm wide – this will create enough order for your drawing to look good.
We will just guesstimate the third, thicken its irregular outline and then start hatching.
All the rules of graphics you have learned until now still apply – constant gradient, mixed hatching and contrast.
Difficulty: Newbie to Intermediate
Video Time: 2:00:29
- Add as much detail in line drawing as possible, this will make sure you drawing has enough to hatch. You don’t want to just have minimum detailing and to be forced to hide that by hatching
- Press on that pencil when you are drawing – you need to have construction, contour and thick lines to get your drawings looking architectural and confident
Common Mistakes To Avoid
- You will draw small capitals unwillingly – this is a side effect of the fact that this assignment is challenging for you. Draw each capital at least at an A4 size
- You will unwillingly mess up how the the capital fits the column, how the horizontal ellipse fits in a square. Also careful at the horizon line and how far apart all of this is to the horizon line – if your ellipse and square are closer to the horizon lien then they are flatter – if they are further away then they’re more open
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