They meet you for the first time. They say: What do you do? You want to run away, you crack a smile that doesn’t match your eyes, you mumble something, anything to hush them away. They are relentless. They gesture, they raise their eyebrows, they push again. You give in, you inform about your architecture background. They have a wider smile, they show their teeth, they twinkle their eyes. They say: you must be good at drawing. You look like you want to get on with your life. They mistake your silence. They think you don’t understand. They say: sketching & painting is the name of the game. You flare your eyes. You twitch your mouth. You look around. You throw your hands in the air. You tighten your mouth, you align your lips, you say: drawing is not the same, sketching & painting is not the name of the game. They press. You explain: architecture drawing is not even the part of the same game. They are ignorant. You pat the seat next to you, you take a deep breath, you raise your finger, you wet your lips, you spiel your passion. Sketching & painting and architecture drawing are visual forms of expression and subcategories of drawing. A sketch or painting can take unbounded leaps of creativity, whereas architecture drawing is limited by what can be realized in the real world. A person can draw or learn both forms of drawing, but how good one is at painting a portrait or still life has nothing to do with understanding the construction and proportions of a build-environment. Even if one is a doodler and not Michelangelo, one can still learn to draw technical architecture drawings. Sketching & painting is a two-dimensional illustration and can be organic whereas architecture sketches have to have a three-dimensional meaning adhering to defined set of rules and can-do and can build lists. Both forms of drawing share some common tools like pencils, erasers etc.; their finishing tools and mediums are different. One uses ink, brushes, charcoal pencils, oil paints, turpentine, palettes on an array of mediums like paper, canvas, leather etc. to sketch and paint. Architecture drawing is pretty much limited to T-squares, rulers, and set squares, circle masters, drafting boards on a tracing and drafting paper. At times one uses rendering tools like color pencils or watercolors to beautify one’s sketches, but nowadays there is AutoCAD and Google sketch and Photoshop. You take another deep breath, you close your eyes, you calm your senses, you look take a sip of water, you continue. Being an architect has nothing to do with how well one can draw; one can always hire people who are good in sketching & painting. They shake their head up and down, they smile, they widen their smile, they touch your arm, they say: but you can draw my portrait, right?


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