This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
At the School of Fine Arts, in Paris, when a problem is given to the students, they are obliged to work one day by themselves getting out the scheme of the building. Each student then takes a tracing of his "sketch," leaving the original at the school. In his own "atelier" or drafting room, he works up the "sketch" with the criticism of his own professor and fellow students. At the end of four or six weeks the finished drawings are sent to the school to be exhibited and prizes or mentions awarded by the jury selected by the school. The preliminary work of the "sketch" is very similar to actual practice, because an architect is often obliged, in a very short time, to get out preliminary sketches for a client, and these having been accepted, it is his duty to carry them out with as little change as possible, excepting to perfect the proportions and details.
Sketch Plans. The plans, even in the studies, should have the walls colored in with any appropriate color, such as dark gray, as otherwise it is very difficult to see on paper the proportion of the spaces, the ease of circulation, and the general character of the whole in mass and in detail.
Sketch Elevations. After the plans have been thoroughly studied the elevations may be worked up, studying the architectural style and general character of the exterior in relation to the plan. These drawings should be studied over and over again on tracing paper, casting the shadows so that the projection of cornices and sizes of window openings may be seen; at this time also details of a larger scale may be studied in sketch form.
Perspective Studies. For all smaller buildings, such as cottages, farm buildings and small public buildings, requiring a picturesque treatment, such as a broken roof line, it is better, instead of spending much time on elevations with the shadows cast, to draw almost at the start, a perspective from the most important point of view, and make rapid sketch perspectives from several different points of view.
Perspective Drawing. A perspective should be made of every building designed, primarily in order that the designer may see how planes at right angles - for instance, the side and front elevations - come together, and also how roof lines will look from the customary point of sight. This is especially necessary in buildings of a picturesque character. A perspective is also generally demanded for exhibition put-poses, so that clients may gain a better idea of the appearance of the proposed building.
Perspective sketches to explain certain points in the drawings are of great value. Very difficult detail drawings may have sketched on them the details in perspective from different points of view. These sketches will explain more clearly than many careful drawings how certain parts come together. Such drawings are very welcome in the workshop and on the building in course of construction.