Workshop 11: How to Sketch Like an Architect

Instructor:  Joel Berman


In this workshop, participants will learn how to rapidly document the buildings in their own graphic vocabulary, with emphasis placed on loose, freehand drawing techniques in lieu of technical drawing.  With practical instruction and coaching from the course leader, participants will learn the following different techniques, one by one, each at a different location.

  • thumbnail sketches
  • contour lines
  • contrast/value
  • perspective
  • speed sketching

At the end of the workshop, each participant will pull together in a final sketch, what he/she has learned.  This workshop is appropriate for beginners with no experience.

The sketching will focus on several nearby historic Chicago buildings – outdoor and/or indoor locations, depending on the weather.

Learning Goals:

  • learn or improve upon the freehand sketching skills and techniques
  • improve your ability to document and remember the existing built environment
  • improve your ability to use freehand sketching as an architectural design tool
  • learn to draw faster and with more confidence


  • 8½ x 11 sketch pad
  • 4B, 2B, HB, 2H, and 4H pencils
  • optional:  pens

Joel’s sketches:




3 thoughts on “Workshop 11: How to Sketch Like an Architect

  1. Pingback: Sponsor Announcement: General Pencil Co. | USk Chicago Sketch Seminar 2016

  2. Pingback: Meet Our Instructors: Joel Berman | USk Chicago Sketch Seminar 2016

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