10 Architectural Drawing Tips From a Professional Artist

Architectutal Illustration by Demi Lang

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Illustrator Demi Lang knows a thing or two about creating a stunning work of art. Her passion for architecture and her ability to render it using ink and colored pencils has garnered her quite a following. Luckily, she's also equally passionate about sharing her knowledge, and her online architectural drawing course is one of My Modern Met Academy's most popular classes.

Her ability to capture the intricate details of architecture makes her work a joy to view. From an ordinary fish and chips shop to an ornate palace on Venice's Grand Canal, each building is transformed into a work of fine art thanks to Lang's passion and precision.

We decided to ask Lang some of her top tips for anyone looking to get into architectural illustration. Her valuable advice comes from years of experience and is just some of what she also shares in her course, Architectural Illustration for Everyone. Check out what she has to say and then enroll to follow her in the creation of your own architectural illustration. And, if you are still looking for more, you can also pre-order her book on the topic, which will be released in early 2024.

Venice Palazzo Illustration by Demi Lang

Professional artist Demi Lang teaches our popular online course, Architectural Illustration for Everyone.

Here are her top 10 tips on how to create a stunning architectural drawing.

Architectutal Illustration by Demi Lang


Keep things tidy

“Clean and organize your workspace before you start on a new project. It’s also a good idea to regularly clean your equipment, like rulers and set squares. This will help protect your artwork and stop it from getting unnecessarily grubby.”


Keep your work clean

“Place a clean sheet of paper or tracing paper under your hand to prevent any oils or dirt from your skin transferring to your work. This will also prevent any smudging.”


Work with sharp pencils

“This will give you greater control over the pencil and allows you to create sharp, crisp lines with greater precision. This is especially important for detailed architectural drawings when accuracy is key.”


Colored Pencil Architectural Drawing by Demi Lang


Build the color saturation slowly

“Use multiple layers rather than trying to lay down one thick layer of color. Thick single layers can become greasy, unworkable, and harder to blend. Apply a firmer pressure to your pencil for the final layers. This will blend the colors together and create a smooth, rich appearance. For best results, start with the lightest colors first, working through to the darkest.”


Keep practicing

“Anyone can learn to draw with practice and dedication. It's just like learning a new language, it takes time. Be patient with yourself and accept your mistakes. Making mistakes is a very important part of the learning journey and is where growth happens.”


Architectutal Illustration by Demi Lang


Don't forget to take breaks

“When you are drawing, don’t push yourself too hard when you start to get tired or lose focus. If you continue when you feel like this, the quality of your work will suffer. It is better to take a break and give your eyes a rest or start again the next day.”


Stop comparing yourself to other artists (especially on social media)

“Comparison is the thief of all joy! We are all guilty of this at some point but try to remember that when you see an amazing piece of art, the artist has probably spent years of experimentation and practice to get to that stage.”


Architectutal Illustration by Demi Lang


Don't spend a lot of money

“You don’t need to have the most expensive art supplies to create beautiful artwork. (Unless you want to, of course). It is what you do with the tools you have that matters the most. The most important factor will always be patience and practice!”


Don’t work from poor-quality reference photographs

“If you are working from a photograph, it really helps to have a well-lit, clear, crisp image where you can see all the details of the architecture. Even better is to have a few good photos to use as a reference for one project.”


Don’t leave drinks near your artwork

“A small mistake and wobble of the hand could ruin everything in the blink of an eye!”


Architectutal Illustration by Demi Lang

Demi Lang: Website | Instagram | Facebook
My Modern Met Academy: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | TikTok

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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