Technical Drawing Ultimate

Let’s talk about technical drawing.
Look, straight to the point – I know you need to get this out of the way in order to get to the next level with drawing and design. And to the next level after that. This is how important this is.
Let’s get started!

The correct mindset towards Technical Drawing.

Technical drawing might not be as flashy as freehand drawing, but it does count for 50% of all drawing out there.
If you do not want to be pragmatic about it, the think of learning drawing as something you do for your heart- you need to sort out technical once and for all.
And although you cannot get there just by reading an article or watching the video presentation, at least I am sure that you have all the information you need to make things click in place.
One thing I would really like you to understand is that technical drawing doesn’t exist in real life – everything you see in real life is in perspective. Hence, technical drawing is a 100% abstract drawing style – so I would like you to let that sink in.
It probably means it has an abstract intellectual feel to it that will be offputting when you first start but will become more creatively juicy as we move forward with the skill.

Left brain and right brain.

If you are familiar with the theory, the human brain is split in two – left and right. It is a massive generalisation for how complex the human brain is, but it will do for now!

Right brain thinking is creative and spontaneous, hence artistic and volatile.

Left brain thinking is logical and linear, and this is where you will spend the most time with technical drawing


Artistic, intuitive, emotional people will struggle with this as linear logic isn’t their area of expertise.


Focus on learning technical regardless; it will push your forward with the artistic part as well. You will see massive improvements in the way you go all-out artistic after you learn the technical.
This is the time I recommend you grab a piece of paper or any notes app (I personally use Evernote) and start noting down the ideas that you find extra interesting.
Maybe some are personal insights, perhaps some are actionable steps you will take – regardless, you need to not just settle with consuming the content, but focus on taking action.
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Technical drawing graphics.

Architectural technical drawing has that specific type of line drawing to it, and that is what gives it abstracted flavour.
There are three types of lines we will use to get there – I recommend you spend time thinking about this and reprogramme your approach towards technical to fit only these types of lines, nothing else.
– Construction line – You fill the page with this, from the pencil’s own weight and meant to construct the volumes
– Contour line – You thicken the contour lines that you see, the end result drawing which ‘regular’ people that do not know how to draw like an architect expect to see from you
– Thick line – Use this one for thickening the outline of a cast shadow or a section, in order to make them stand out!
* Bonus* dashed line – This is optional as you only need it if you really want to go for the technical drawing graphics. Do the back lines of all volumes in dashed lines; this will add extra graphics to everything. Make sure to make the small lines larger than the gaps, ok?

Technical Drawing Warning!

1. You will smudge because that is how graphics work at the beginning, so your technical drawing will not look at its best, but rather like it isn’t good enough and can’t get better.
2. You will get brain-fried – do not worry about that, it will hurt your head as you will start developing spatial vision. The best for getting brain fried is taking a short nap to allow yourself to recover.
3. You will overanalyse – stop doing that, get used to thinking with lines on paper and stop spinning things around in your head. You get a technical drawing concept; you apply it – end of the story.

Geometrical Construction

This is the standard approach in technical – you do not know how to draw something? No worries, you can construct it geometrically, and then you can see it in 3d, the process will get you the response.
Geometric construction always wins with architecture – it will help you later with 3ds max, AutoCAD and any BIM software you come by.
You need to build the mental habit of always constructing all the volumes you are drawing – this will help you understand them, as well as prepare things for the constructed shadows that will come up.
Geometrical construction is drawn only with construction lines – it is essential for you to keep these lines from the pencil’s own weight – if you press too much on construction lines, then the construction liens become contour lines, and the contour lines need to become thicker lines etc. This completely ruins the feel of the drawing, the elegance of it if you will.
By the way, the information presented in the article is also covered in the video lecture below in a similar format. Again, make sure you take notes on the ideas you find relevant, and that seem actionable steps for you!

Descriptive Geometry

1. 95% of descriptive geometry is always the same, and is mostly about you drawing the thing.
The other 5% is the scary-smart part where you need to focus, and that will require you to understand the specific subject that the assignment asks of you.
2.Never say that you know descriptive geometry as it will always pull something out of the hat and surprise you. You can say that you can do it AFTER you finished the specific exercise and been marked an A+ on the effort.
3. Try to separate the 95% and 5% as fast as you can with your drawing approach. The 95% will be mostly on autopilot, the 5% is going to be the thing that will haunt you – will you be able to generate the solution? In many cases, on the spot, based just on problem-solving and past experience?
It always resets, you always need to rise up to the challenge!


Spatial, 3d vision

This is where it will be weird because you actually need to start seeing these volumes in 3d before you can actually draw them. I got a couple of exercises specifically for spatial vision, but suffices to say you will unlock your 3d vision as you move on.
And this happens automatically by drawing the various elements of technical drawing whilst applying the theory talked about earlier (so you really understand them and will not spin around in circles).

Categories of Technical Drawing

There are several categories of technical drawing that you are going to go through time and time again – and let’s face it, having a list of these things ahead of time with a couple of images just like the ‘most wanted posters in the old cowboy movies… I mean, why not?
1. Simple volumes/weird volumes
Just about drawing the things – graphics exercises, thinking with lines exercises,
ideally, you get used to drawing these assignments in triple projection and axonometric together with consistency, keeping the same dimensions from both types of drawings.


2. Geometrical spaces 
Mostly structured around tangencies – spheres, cones, cylinders, half spheres
it involves find the exact space where a certain volume is in tangency to two other volumes or in perfect balance
mostly involved intersecting arches or intersecting edges that generate a point which is the centre for something – generally a sphere tangent to something.


3. Volume intersections
I like the symmetry intersections as they have multiple axes of symmetry – you sort out one or two of these patterns then the whole intersection is basically sorted
there are a couple of patterns of this type of intersection
you got other funky intersections as well.
4. Constructed shadows
Basic shadows have 2-3 patterns, and that’s it.
You can go for advanced shadows where you got cantilevers or projections on an inclined plane. This is what generates
this type of exercise will help you build spatial vision and problem-solving abilities like nothing else!
Two-dimensional shadows are going to be very useful for facades graphics. Even if you do not hatch the facades and just leave the constructed cast shadows there, this will add that dynamic feel and spatial depth to your work which is essential for good and smart architectural graphics.


5. Advanced roofing
This is a very interesting exercise as I have seen it done numerous times wrong.
We are basically going to construct different roofing types from standard to the ones with an inner courtyard, to the different angled ones and the ones with other buildings around them.
There are again a couple of patterns of roofs that come up, which you need to start feeling. This type of intuitive understanding is achieved from practising normal, inner courtyard, irregular angle and blank wall roofing typologies.


6. Planar changes
These are the most interesting spatial vision exercises as they involve shifting a volume’s ox axis, so you literally see it from another angle
the interesting part is drawing the volume in axonometric with cast shadows as it involves you thinking outside the box.
7. Building floor plans and sections
These have a scale attached to them, so they are proportionately smaller than the real life dimensions: 1:200, 1:100, 1:50, 1:20 etc
You will use this in the functionalist part of architecture in all your design work (I would encourage you to leave this last as you would mostly benefit from knowing the other, more abstract types of drawing in the repertoire.

If you want to apply what you are reading here to your work, then here’s a free 5-day course I created for you. You can access it here 100% free of charge and you will take your drawing skills to the next level! See you on the other side.

Exercise One - Prism

Exercise Two - Barrel Vault

Let’s go for two exercises

You’ve got two exercises in the video essay which I want you to go through – these will get you an understanding of technical drawing. They are realistically 0.2% of everything you need in order to know technical drawing and what I cover in my course. You will draw a cube on a spatial diagonal in triple projection and then go for the axonometric drawing.

Sounds good? Let’s get to it!

How to get good at technical drawing.

Use a piece of paper to measure dimensions, do not focus on literally measuring the dimensions as this will complicate things and eventually shift the focus off drawing
learn to think in lines and in geometrical construction. This means you do not think like normal people that just measure things or whatever. You already got used to figuring things out by drawing them.
Go for quantity – around 100 technical drawing exercises done in both triple projection and axonometric will get you the results you want with your skillset.

Triple Projection & Isometric Projection

What to do if you are an extra artistic type.


1. Technical will be a permanent struggle if you are like that, and it will be an additional continuous struggle if you also are an emotional artistic type. But that is fine, you will get it and it will improve your whole skill set at the end.


2. Study up on technical as it will improve your freehand drawing as well. A solid understanding in technical will balance out your artistic tendencies and make you more fluent and grounded in your ideas.


3. Do your best to stop your imagination and just focus on what the exercises are demanding of you. The most common problem I see with creatives is that they try to interpret technical drawing – this is 100% missing the point. Technical drawing isn’t an open-ended thing that has various interpretations, but rather a solid thing that you need to wrap your head around and solve correctly.
I recommend that you start building that mental discipline right now and go back and take notes on the most important 2-3 ideas you got so far on technical. I mean it – if you are artistic, then chances are you haven’t sketched or taken notes yet. This is how the brain works – so go back and let’s do this.

What to do if you are an extra logical type.

1. Remember, you still got the other 50% of architectural drawing to sort out and freehand will always be more complicated than technical. You need to have both in order to be functional with architectural drawing.


2. Never get overconfident with descriptive geometry; it will always throw in something unexpected. Even if you solver 20 technical drawing exercises, it doesn’t matter you can do the 21st as well – especially true when you go for descriptive geometry which is the bad of the baddest of all technical.


3. Remember, what we are talking about here is architectural technical drawing, so whatever you do you cannot take it out of context or make it be like the stuff you would study as an engineer. So you need to still accept that technical drawing needs to be creative in its own strange way.


4. The better you are at technical, the better off you will be at the functionalist part of architecture, and the better you will create realistic designs. You thus tick half of the design off the list – the conceptual stuff is next!

How to mix technical with freehand.


You can obviously mix freehand and technical, because a design sheet needs to have both elements on it – so you cannot just leave the technical looking like a simple line drawing, it needs a bit of graphics.
I want you just to remember one thing: the more you add extra freehand graphics to a technical drawing, the more that will shift the focus off descriptive geometry or problem-solving or anything like that and more towards things being blurry like it is more of a presentation drawing then real technical.


Add graphics to axonometrics – you can go crazy here: mixing the colour combinations from the design layout, from the perspective, black and white
Do not forget – a building facade is a frontal view of a building – you can go crazy with the hatching AFTER you construct the cast shadows
I recommend by this point you already have a couple of thumbnail sketches of technical drawing done – get used to sketching ideas as this will get the creative juices flowing.

Full Lecture ‘Technical Drawing Ultimate’

I also added the complete lecture for Technical Drawing Ultimate – in there you will find all the concepts in the article as well as live demonstrations for the two exercises. Be sure to take notes, pause and sketch along!

Join the free 5-day intensive if you want to get started with technical from absolute beginner ( half of the lessons there are on freehand, half on technical).

If you want to master technical drawing now and for the rest of your career, you can get my course on technical – details below.

Cool, now back to the lecture.

Draw a Prism:

Master Technical Drawing

Once and for all. You can be an artistic type with zero experience, this course will get you win after win with technical drawing!

How could you apply these tips to get better results with your technical drawing?

To get started asap with technical drawing and get consistent results I recommend you go for my premium course on tehnical drawing. Here you will get customised feedback for all your work and you can just grow and improve all your abilities in arch drawing.Talk to you in a bit,


Hi, I’m Michael Neatu, I am an RIBA Architect and for the last 5 years I have taught over 500 live students as well as 7000-9000 online students via my video trainings.

With my guidance, you eliminate the guesswork and self-doubt around architectural drawing and will you step by step start unleashing your full architecture potential.

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