Life Ventures

How I started urban sketching?

Ever since I remember myself, I was building and creating stuff. Either it was a tree house or sewing clothes for my barbie doll or building a wood house for my rabbit or copying Pokemon in my notebook – I was always there – in action, creative process.

It was probably until I was 17, that -I had no clue what I wanted to study. My dad said – electrician, doctor, engineer – I was like – no way. I think when I was 14 or something I entered art school. But one thing changed all my future. I remember we had a drawing course  – outdoors. So we took chairs and paper and went drawing buildings. I absolutely loved it – however I am not sure either it was more because I was outdoors or the drawing itself. I think it was more the first one. That´s how I first drew a building :D.  Anyway, I quit it that exact summer because I wanted to have fun in summer. My mum should have stopped me – that´s the parents job – pushing us doing the things they see we are good at. However, since that class, I could not get rid of the idea I had to be an architect (just because I drew a building that didn’t turn out to be a disaster). Ok, I had a goal and I had to accomplish it, no matter what. And I did. I went to maths courses, I found a classical sculpture drawing course, I did it all on my own. I applied for a Bachelor program that was known as one of the hardest (in Latvia) to roll in, not even talking about the competition once you are in. People where applying with a 3 year background in art school, while me – I had 2 months learning curve and very good final exams in high school. And I entered, with the first time, unfortunately, was 21st (20 student grants). Sad, isn´t it. A 15 000,- Eur difference. You know what – I did it anyway. Because hardly any other undergrad study program is more demanding than architecture(except doctors), and with that diploma in the pocket you are of a high value in any architecture office or related field.

Drawing like and architect

What they teach in architecture school is how to draw something based on their construction – that you don´t actually see but understand. You need to find the logic, the relations between the different parts of the subject, how its holding itself together, on what rules is it based, what geometry it has. Understanding that, you can draw theoretically everything, and as always – practice makes perfect. I will drop a link of some you tube tutorial for beginners who want to learn to draw in perspective.
I remember how my professor was explaining the drawing logic of the ancient Greek head sculpture. Ancient artists invented mathematical equations between human body parts – the perfect face and body reciprocal proportions. As an example I can say the equation between one´s head and body. If if you take the frontal length of the head, it should fit precisely 7.5 times in your body length. (see the picture below)

Everything is based on rules

Perspective – also based on rules – all parallel lines have one vanishing point they are all meeting. Invented by famous Renaissance architect Brunelleski.
Next I will post some of my early study drawings.


I could talk and talk about this, but I would probably make you bored. This is my foundation. This is what all architects should learn – in order to be able to illustrate their ideas. The drawings above were done in probably 4-9h each. That´s what artists do, but we, architects, have to produce sketches in 5-10 min time frame – and as much as possible. It is how we think and note everything.


In these drawings you can already see that its more like a note (sketch) and I remember perfectly the place, the day and the weather. Some people are used to take back home travel photographs – for me it is sketches. See more drawings in my Instagram.

I encourage you reading some of my oldest posts, in case you are willing to become a digital nomad or move to a new country. If you are interested to know more about life in Porto (living costs, cool places to see, less touristic sites etc) let me know, and I will write from my experience.

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