The SAI is committed to helping people interested in a career in architectural illustration to access training and technical courses in conjunction with local colleges and universities. SAI members also have access to our own seminars.

Opportunities to study Architectural Illustration, as a single subject, are relatively few given the number of courses in both architecture and illustration. Most BA Architecture and BArch courses offer units/modules in architectural graphics and drawing and these may be undertaken on a part-time basis. Enquiries should be addressed to the individual university or college concerned.

A variety of courses within art and design incorporate components that relate to architectural illustration. The following subjects are not exhaustive but listed as a guide to those interested: Architecture and Interior Design; 3D and Product Design; Model Making; Architectural Photography; General and Editorial Illustration.

There are numerous commercial and professional short courses offered through on-line tutorials and in-house training in 2D and 3D digital modelling and the Computer Generated Image (CGI). These can be accessed via your local college or university as well as software companies. The Society can offer guidance on this through its membership within the industry and connections to education.

Report on the Architectural Drawing and Rendering short course

Held at Southampton Solent University 3 – 7 August 2009.

Designed for those who wanted to draw using traditional means, this course was aimed at people wishing to expand their knowledge and skills in drawing and visualising the built environment as a recreational interest and as part of their professional development.

Three students were enrolled with backgrounds in the Ordnance Survey, the Royal Opera House and natural history illustration. Through initial location drawing in sketchbooks on the first day, the students were introduced to a range of exercises in order to build confidence to tackle both interior and exterior perspective drawing projects. This started by mastering basic drawing methods, before looking at drawing strategies and how to set up a project. Other aspects covered 2D and 3D drawing conventions, basic colour theory and applications in watercolour and marker pens and drawing techniques.

The course explored ways to build drawing skills and offered a thorough introduction to drawing materials and methods. The successful students were given Allied membership for one year: one student attended the Autumn meeting in Derby.

Tutors were Peter Jarvis with support from Shona Coppin.

On Friday 20th March we presented the workings of our Society to some 80 students, guests and other interested parties and challenged the students to complete four exercises based on our own areas of professional interest.

Following demonstrations by Don Coe, Shona Coppin, Keith Hornblower and Richard Rees, they were challenged to produce…

  1. A line and wash sketch of housing by referring to a site plan and elevations
  2. A set up perspective of a house and garden
  3. A watercolour painting of Manchester Town Hall
  4. A townscape and to populate it with a supplied collection of trees, people, street furniture etc.

The winners of each challenge were to be presented with a cheque for £100 and a copy of the recently published SAI book “Drawing on Architecture” It was arranged that after lunch we should all re-convene the meeting in the schools workshop area.

But before then, Joe and Tim Richardson explained the work of the SAI Council and its function of assessing works submitted by applicants wishing to be elected as a Member of the SAI.

Joe Robson screened and compared examples of a CGI which had been produced by using the basic features of the software. The first image lacked the professional qualities which would have won its creator election to membership of the Society,

Joe then added over a hundred layers of effects which transformed the basic image into a work of art which would have satisfied the exacting standards of the SAI Council.

Tim Richardson took over from Joe to introduce, by live internet link, the SAI web site and Forum. Tim invited those present to sign up to the latter and to explore the resources the SAI provides for those who seek to advance their skills in architectural illustration and sketching.

As previously arranged, the presentation was bought to a close and, following lunch, the meeting moved into the workspaces in the Art School to complete the challenges with members of the SAI team giving encouragement, a modicum of guidance here and there, and generally getting in the way!

A couple of hours later the drawings, paintings and sketches were handed in and the team retired into another area to decide the four winning entries.

And the winners were…

Challenge 1 – A line and wash sketch – Andrea Popescu

Winner 1

Challenge 2 – A set up perspective – Julia Fischer

Winner 2

Challenge 3 – A watercolour painting – Bryony Preston

Winner 3

Challenge 4 – A constructed townscape – Yiting Zhou

Winner 4

The SAI would like to congratulate the winners on their fine work

and to thank the students and staff of the

Manchester School of Art for their hospitality.

The SAI are seeking education organisations

who would like to take advantage of the Society’s status

as a registered charity, to invite us to present a

similar seminar to your students.

Please contact the SAI office at



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