Understanding Architectural Drawings

Learning from Drawing

In this section we see how Soane’s pupils and assistants learnt from drawing. We see a young architect measuring one of the great Roman temples and we see how, in England, the art of perspective developed in the sixteenth century and the kind of books from which one could learn about architectural design and perspective. Lastly we see one of Soane’s pupils drawing on site to record and learn about the process of construction.

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Drawing from Treatise on Perspective by Du Cerceau

Drawing from Treatise on Perspective by Du Cerceau

Soane Museum Library 

This is from a book on how to draw perspectives called Leçons de perspective   positive   by Androuet Du Cerceau (1510–84), first published in 1576. Perspective is the art of creating a picture of an object, often a building, which comes very close to the impression of reality, although it is on a flat surface.

Think of how railway lines, which are really parallel, appear to meet at a point in the far distance, called the vanishing point. This is because objects appear smaller as they get further away from you. When drawing in perspective it is important to establish where this vanishing point is.