How to draw the Duerer House with Castell 9000

Adults 

Teenagers 

180 min

What you need:

Paper, the Castell 9000 pencil set, a pencil sharpener and a rubber

1. Equipment

Tips:

  • Alternatively, you can also use a knife to sharpen the pencils.
  • The Castell 9000 pencils are also available in sets with fewer pencils.

2. Select a motif

Find a comfortable place where you have a good view of the motif and where you can sit for a while.

3. The first two lines

Tip: Ensure that there is enough space for the motif above and below the line.
To start, it's a good idea to set the motif in scene. It's useful to find the horizon line at this stage. This is an imaginary line that is roughly at eye level. Everything above this line, you see from below (worm's-eye view); everything below this line, you see from above (bird's eye view).
Draw this line carefully on the sheet of paper with a hard pencil (at least "H"). It should be light enough that you can see it, but it won't interfere with the motif.
Tip: In the case of a building, this works well as the corner of the building. It's "right in front of my nose".

The same applies for the vertical reference line. Everything to the right of the line is viewed from the right, everything to the left of the line is viewed from the left. When drawing this line on the paper, ensure that both lines meet at a 90° angle.


4. Preliminary sketch

Now it's time to put the character of the building on the paper. This works best if you include as many important lines as possible. For this, I used a pencil hardness that can be seen clearly, but doesn't intrude in the picture later. (not softer than "HB")

Tips:

  • Feel free to allow yourself a little artistic freedom: You don't have to draw every little detail and not every angle has to be perfect. How much detail you include in the drawing is entirely up to you.
  • Only the most important features have to be portrayed. Here: Shape of the roof, the bay, the framework, the paned windows etc.
  • This can take some time – don't lose patience; it gets quicker after this.

5. The last step on location, shadow edges

The lighting conditions can change quickly on sunny days. It is therefore a good idea to sketch the scene with the sun in the position you want to draw as quickly as possible. To do this, you can use a soft pencil (e.g. "3B") to quickly mark all the lines where you want to put shading later on. This way, even if the shades change as the sun moves while you are working, you can refer to the position of the shades at your chosen time.

Tip:

Take a photo with the sun in your chosen position for when you are working on the picture later.

6. Timber frame

Now you can add the fine details to the motif. The Castell 9000 pencils come in twelve hardness grades that enable you to draw all shades of gray you want. For the timber frame, I covered a large area with a hard pencil ("2H"). The wood of the balcony is drawn with "HB" and the window frames and the dark wood on the balcony rails are drawn in "3B".


Tips:

  • Try not to press too hard to avoid damaging the structure of the paper. It's better to go over it several times.
  • The softer the pencil, the darker the strokes; the harder the pencil, the softer the strokes will be.

7. Details

The smallest details that I thought were important for the Albrecht Dürer House are the bull’s-eye panes. I "pre-sketched" these details with a hard pencil ("H"). Then I went over it again with the "3B" pencil in places where the glass structure or the window frame were casting shadows.

Tip:

For details like this, it is best to stick to the template exactly. You just have to be able to tell where the sun is shining strongest and where it is shadier and darker.

8. The roof

The smallest details that I thought were important for the Albrecht Dürer House are the bull’s-eye panes. I "pre-sketched" these details with a hard pencil ("H"). Then I went over it again with the "3B" pencil in places where the glass structure or the window frame were casting shadows.

Tip:

Imagine you are running your fingers over the roof. Draw the natural lines. The shades can follow the sunlight again.

9. The sandstone base

The standstone is darker than the plastered structure and has a coarse surface. A similar effect can be achieved by coating the entire area lightly with a very soft pencil (e.g. "6B"), as the rough structure of the paper shows through. Just rest the pencil on the sheet of paper without applying pressure and hold it at an angle so that it is almost touching the paper.
I hinted at the individual stones with just a few lines. That's all it takes to capture the character of the walls made from sandstone blocks. These suggestions are all the brain needs to draw the right conclusions by itself. (Just like drawing / painting a tree - the suggestion of a few leaves is all you need.)

Tip:

Place a sheet of paper under your drawing hand and hold it steady with your other hand. This enables you to move your hand backwards and forwards while covering the area without smudging your drawing.

Finished!

So you see: Although it looks really complicated, it isn't difficult if you draw the motif in individual sections and adopt a step-by-step approach. We hope you enjoyed it. Enjoying the drawing process is an essential part of finding your own path.