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Old 07-19-2011, 10:19 AM
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Bluegill Bluegill is offline
Louisville, Kentucky
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Posts: 1,139
How do you draw bricks?

I'm just wondering how others approach this. I draw quite a few houses and buildings, and to me, bricks present a problem. My drawings are usually detailed enough that if I can't ignore the brick texture and pattern (ignoring it would work for a more distant view or a small drawing). However, actually drawing every brick, or at least "suggesting" every brick, is awfully tedious.

That's not to say that I painstakingly draw every brick precisely, but there have been a few drawings where I felt obliged to be pretty explicit in brick depiction.

I'm working on another house portrait now, and the customer has a large brick house. For this one, I've decided to carefully pencil in guidelines and then use a brush and thinned down ink to draw the bricks. This seems like a pretty good compromise.

Do bricks drive anyone besides me up the wall? (pun intended)
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:51 PM
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RoadLessTaken RoadLessTaken is offline
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Re: How do you draw bricks?

For me, and I'll admit I'm strange, I love the consistency of drawing brick after brick. Often when I'm "stuck in a mood" I'll get a piece of scrap paper and just fill it with bricks. I can't say I have a guaranteed technique but I just find it soothing. I have pages of brick walls, stone walls, pebbles....... the constant repetition puts me into another place in my brain and the bricks just "flow"....
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:36 PM
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scottwoyak scottwoyak is offline
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Re: How do you draw bricks?

I've only drawn a few buildings but I like the way they each turned out. Below are close ups of what I did:

The full drawings are below:

In this drawing the bricks are actually double the size of the real bricks. I just couldn't draw them as small as they really were but I don't think anyone will notice. It captures the mental image of bricks.

This one is more stonework, but it is similar to bricks.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:47 AM
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Bluegill Bluegill is offline
Louisville, Kentucky
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Re: How do you draw bricks?

Well, since another thread has been started on it, too, I guess I'll post examples of mine.

This first one is the first house drawing I was commissioned, about three years ago. The house was all brick, but I chose not to draw the bricks at all. I sort of implied a bricklike texture in the areas around windows. I think it worked OK, but not as well as I'd like it to. It was a shortcut, and it's a shortcut I might use in the future, but it doesn't exactly say "brick."

Here are some other houses where the brick texture is implied. These work better.

This house had a lot of stonework. I did this in layers, I think (though it's been a couple of years and I might not remember very well.) I think that first I lightly washed in the shadows, then lightly inked in the outlines of the stones, then cross-hatched with thinned down ink, then added detail and darkest areas with un-thinned ink.

On this one, I actually drew each brick on the sunlit side of the house, but was less explicit in the shadows. It wasn't fun, but I like how it turned out.

On this drawing, which was larger, I felt like the scale was juuuust large enough that it would be hard to leave out the bricks. Once again, I decided to draw each brick. This was very tedious. I like the detail, but one drawback was that actually putting in each brick with a black pen (I used Pigma Microns for this) made the facade darker than it was in real life, even though I tried to use stippling and a very light hand to fill in the bricks. The value of the building in the drawing is darker than the value of the sunlit building in real life.

So, I'm finding it hard to avoid putting a lot of detail into the brickwork. I don't like doing bricks for this reason; it takes such a long time, and I like a "sketchier" feel. The more "implied" bricks in the 2nd and 3rd ones above seems like a pretty good compromise for commissioned house drawings.

Last edited by Bluegill : 07-20-2011 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:37 AM
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treeshark treeshark is offline
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Re: How do you draw bricks?

It is usually best to indicate them, white paper is one of the most important elements in a good pen drawing you don't have to cover every surface that is bricks with marks, the eye will assume bricks if given the right hints. Sydney R Jones is a master at this (two of his drawings below) also Charles D Maginnis "Pen Drawing" I've put a link at the bottom to a free download of this. Another and probably the best book on pen drawing is Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L Guptill it is still available link below to this as well.
Also Herbert Railton some of his drawings are here:

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Last edited by treeshark : 07-22-2011 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:32 PM
Joel L Joel L is offline
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Re: How do you draw bricks?

Check out this guy's stuff!

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