Workshop C: Architectural Sketching: Composition and Perspective

Instructor: Frank Ching (USA)

Location: Waterloo Street


Workshop description

One of the challenges in urban sketching is overcoming the flatness of the pages we draw on and capturing the three-dimensional qualities of spatial environments. This workshop therefore focuses on the following three aspects of sketching architecture on location.

1. Framing the subject

2. Placing the composition on the page

3. Developing the perspective structure


The goal of the workshop is to develop an approach that will not only improve the spatial qualities of the work of advanced sketchers but also provide a sound foundation for beginners upon which they can grow their abilities. An advantage of this approach is that it enables one to work more quickly, the idea being that drawing multiple views can be more instructive than spending a lot of time on a single drawing.


Learning Goals

1. Understand that learning to draw is learning how to see, and learning to see is taking the time to notice not just the particular qualities of individual things but also the relationships between and among things.
2. Selecting a proper viewpoint to capture the unique nature of a place can be more important than learning a specific drawing technique.
3. Drawing is a process of building up layers of information on the page.

Workshop Schedule

Prior to Singapore, a handout will be emailed to workshop participants illustrating the process outlined in the workshop description with examples.

Each workshop period will begin with a 20-minute demonstration to illustrate the above principles and process, followed by three sketching sessions. The first 30-minute session will focus on framing, composition, and the first five lines of a sketch. The following two 60-minute sessions will each focus on a different scene, build on the first experience, and provide more time to complete a sketch. Each session will end with a period for sharing and brief critiques. During each sketching session, I will work one-on-one with each participant to discuss and demonstrate how each individual’s process, style, and technique of drawing might be improved.

Assisting me in the workshop will be Nan-Ching Tai, a professor at NTUT in Taiwan. During the demonstration and one-on-one instruction, we will experiment with using an iPad and the Brushes app as teaching aids for framing and composing views and for demonstrating perspective principles.


Nothing fancy. Just a sturdy sketchbook and a free-flowing pen or very soft pencil.