Architectural Design Drawing                                               


Richard H. Shiga



To record what we see, we draw. Whether we draw quickly or slowly, drawing from observation is the classic method for developing eye-mind-hand coordination. The more we draw, the sharper our senses become and the better we are at communicating visually.

In this course, emphasis is placed on drawing from observation. Methods and strategies for translating three-dimensional forms onto a two-dimensional surface will be the focus of each visual problem presented. Subjects will include the human form, natural and organic shapes, furniture, sculpture, and architectural space and buildings. While the course focuses on real subjects, the intent is to prepare students of architecture and design for the kind of drawing needed to alternate seamlessly between drawings of real objects and proposals for visionary design projects.

The course is organized into (4) sections: contour line, mass, space, and textural gradient and form. During each section, several topics will be introduced and explored in a variety of media and subject matter. Basic compositional techniques will be studied as well.

The course is as much about experimentation and discovery as it is about learning established drawing techniques. Students will be encouraged to develop their own personal style that best suits their individual modes of working. While the course is not about drawing media, several are practiced, and it is expected that students will gain skill and confidence in these media and be able to apply them to future work in design studios.

All projects will culminate with a class critique. Students are expected to complete one [1] take home project each week in addition to in-class drawing exercises, out-of-class sketches, and required readings. Specific assignments and deadlines will be handed out at the beginning of the quarter.

This is a studio-based class and students are expected to spend a significant amount of time outside of class working on their projects. There will be field trips to locations around Portland during class as well as take home projects requiring students to draw subject matter beyond PSU.


Grading Policies

Students will be required to choose their top 30 drawings at the end of the quarter for grading. These drawings can be from in-class exercises or take home projects, but each should be a complete and thorough drawing – no half-done drawings or incomplete sketches will be accepted. 90% of the student’s grade will be based on these drawings. The drawings should represent a varied cross-section of the projects completed and the grade will be determined by how well the chosen drawings reflect an application and understanding of the concepts, theories and techniques presented during the class.

                        take home assignments & in-class exercises – top 30 drawings    90%

                        participation in class critiques, attendance, readings, quizzes                    10%

Demonstrations, drawing exercises and discussions will take place in class and attendance with all equipment is required. Any absence will negatively affect your grade and absence from more than two [2] classes is grounds for removal from the class. Late arrival of more than 10 minutes equals one/half missed class.

Work must be handed in on time. Late work will lose one grade point for every class it is late. On days where work is expected to be ‘pinned-up,’ work must be pinned-up by the beginning of class or it will be considered late.


Textbook - required

Drawing and Perceiving.      By: Douglas Cooper. [Available at the PSU bookstore]


Materials - required

Illustration board:                18”x24” Bristol Board, smooth, 100#, 20sheet pad (U#35496)

Newsprint:                         18”x24” Newsprint, 100 sheet pad (U#19515)

Bond paper:                       18”x24” Canson Sketch, 50#, 30 sheet pad (U#39333)

Portfolio:                            Wallet portfolio 20”x26” [heavy red/brown paper w/handle] (U#33720)

Pencils:                             [2] General’s Charcoal white #558 (U#38118 - DO NOT BUY )

                                         [2] Prisma pencils, white (U#43602)

                                         [1] Draughting pencil, Sanford 02237 (U#34870)

                                         [1] Sanford Design Ebony, Jet Black Extra Smooth, 14420 (U#38831)

                                         [4] charcoal pencils, 2B, 4B, 6B & 8B (U#38112, 38113, 38114)

                                         [4] charcoal pencils, 2B, 4B, 6B & 8B

Felt tip pens:                      [3] Pentel sign pens, black (U# N/A)

Charcoal:                           Alpha Color Char-Kole square drawing sticks, [2] sticks (U#55703)

                                         Compressed charcoal, very soft, 2359-4B, [2] sticks (U#32445)

                                         Vine charcoal, [2] sticks (U#52019)

Conte crayon:                    Conte a Paris, Bistre, package of 2 (U#33968)

India ink:                            Higgins India Ink, Black (U#36884)

1/4” brush:                         very inexpensive paint brush for ink, stiff, flat (U#33969)

Pencil sharpener:               Hand-held pencil sharpener (U# N/A)

Metal rule:                         24” aluminum, non-skid (U#33733)

Fixative:                             Workable fixative, 11 oz. (U#14112)

Knife & blades:                   Olfa knife w/ snap-off blades, small (U#41588)

Chipboard:                         18”x24” medium weight Chipboard, [2] sheets (U#19520)

Push pins:                         clear or steel-headed [no colors or thumbtacks], box of 100 (U#34521)

Clipboard:                          Toteclip Board, 23”x26” (U#44171)

All materials are required and are available as a package from: Utrecht Art Supply, 1122 NW Everett [b/t 11th & 12th], 503.417.8024.

They are available through will call under PSU, ARCH 120, Christie. The cost of the package is $79.99 [this includes a student discount.]

Students are required to purchase all supplies by Thursday, September 30. If you choose not to purchase the package, the exact materials as specified in the list are still required. Students are advised to store all materials in the studio so as to always have the needed materials ready to use. Not having materials ready for use will not be tolerated.

Additional recommended materials include a swing arm lamp, a materials supply box, and a pencil case.