• Editorial Team

The art of Architectural Rendering: 5 points you should never miss

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

Introduction to Architectural rendering

Architectural rendering, plans, drawings and perspectives are common to the knowledge of architecture students. Preparing presentation drawings demands more of aesthetic appeal. Colours and textures bring in the flavour which drives in the reader’s interest in a positive sense. Rendering is not just about putting in the right colours and textures, it has a diverse blend of tricks and techniques to pull out charismatic results.

Here are some of the basic tips and guides to start rendering your plans and perspectives so that they improve your performance score.

Without further delay, let’s get you started. Here are some of the important points to keep in mind when you start to plot your ideas for the final outcome.


This is the first and foremost thing to keep in mind while picking colours and strokes for your drawing. All the elements of the drawing must be distinct and legible to the reader’s eye. Taking example of a site plan where there will be hard paved, soft paved, asphalt, green patches, water pits and built masses; the colour and texture of all the above mentioned elements must be different.

Different doesn’t mean contrasting or drastically different, the colours can be monotones (mix of varying hue values of the same colour). The blend of the right colour tones will bring out the best results.  This brings us to the next guide to produce aesthetic rendered drawings.


Harmony is a design principle and works aptly with rendering as well. While plastering materials and colours, the outcome should be a harmonious composition. All the colours must compliment each other and respect the presence of one another. No colour in the drawing shall be appealing/overpowering in context to the others. This diminishes the value of other elements and distracts the line of vision of the reader.

Vivid colours is not a restriction, but you must be cautious and conscious at the same time. You certainly don’t want the focus to shift just because you like Saffron or may be RGB Red. Again, vibrance is not a restriction, the usage has to be calculative.

Moving further, this aspect helps keeping the values of different objects at an equivalent level and gives a depth to the perspective.


This aspect can be achieved by implementing different techniques. Solid filling of colour using low opacity colours does the job best. Other method could be using techniques like hatching/stipling gives the effect of transparency.

Transparency gives legibility to the underlying texture and also keeps the vividity of the colour low key.

Not only in areas of solid fill but also in rendering objects placed on the drawing, transparency works wonders. Pulling down the opacity of the objects marks its presence on the drawing and does not obstruct the visual lines of other important elements.

If you want your design to take an upper ground, pull down the opacity of subordinate objects.

Undoubtedly, nothing works in isolation and the world lives in global illumination. Therefore, falling light should not be ignored.


Light plays the most important role in rendering drawings. The placement of the light sources and the type of light falling on the drawing creates interesting transitions. Light adds on the required dynamics to the drawing by aptly playing with the shades and shadows of the drawings.

In case of plans, elevations and sections, the sciography comes in play while in case of views and perspectives, the shade as well as shadows comes into play. The amount of gradient, darkness and lightness of differently lit areas enhances the visual drama of the drawings and makes it more realistic and appealing to the reader.

A more detailed explaination on lights and shodows is given here.

Markings and Labelling

Marking the drawings with relevant data like levels, areas, circulation is the final job to do while completing the drawings. Legibility of the texts over and under the rendered surfaces creates huge differences in the outlook of the composition. Some of the ‘do nots’ while marking are –

  1. Avoid writing texts before completing the colouring part.

  2. Texts and markers must not mix with objects.

  3. Shouldn’t be written over textures surfaces.

  4. Shouldn’t be marked on areas with dark colours.

This script guides the students and practitioners to start rendering their plans and perspectives irrespective of the type of project. We plan to bring in details of rendering skills & techniques, project specific rendering techniques, time specific rendering skills and also object specific rendering skills in the upcoming articles. Till then, keep rendering.

Also this is going to be a series on architectural rendering. So, keep visiting and keep learning.

The art of architectural rendering: Part II 

Also the topic is much relatable to techniques used in painting. You can learn some oh them here. For more articles related to art and rendering click here

#painting #architecturalrendering #architecture #rendering #render

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