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Architecture How-to Series: Bricks

Randy Hunter | May 8, 2017

This drawing tutorial by Randy Hunter will help you create detailed, realistic drawings of bricks. 



When one thinks about bricks, in general, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a perfectly rectangular, red block. While it is possible to find “perfectly” rectangular, red bricks in the real world, the reality is that bricks come in all different colors, shapes, textures and patterns. 

For us as artists, this is great news! The colors I used above are just one group of markers within an infinite list of groups for you to choose from. Bricks can range from shades of brown, tan, red, orange and many combinations in between. When looking up close, bricks also vary in texture so often you will find a style of brick with an uneven, bumpy surface which further manipulates the light bouncing off of it and the color it appears to be. 

Keep all of this in mind as I walk you through my step-by-step process. You certainly do not need all of the colors I listed above. Any warm Copic colors will do. Make sure to pay more attention to the second digit of the markers and this will help you to make decisions of which markers to use based on how dark or light you want your drawing to be. Also, remember, starting with light colors and working up to darker ones is a safe practice when working with Copic markers. 

Materials Used: 

  • Paper: X-Press It Blending Card
  • Sketch Markers: R02, R20, R39, BV20, BV25, W2, W4, W6, E04, E13, E15, E43
  • Multiliners: 0.1, 0.5, 1.0

Step 1: Sketch 


To start out, you need to create a base. I’ve always been a pencil sketcher, so that’s how I start almost all of my drawings. 

Step 2: Light Source


In this step, I used the BV20 to start a base for the shadows however, you could also use a light gray. For this particular drawing, I chose to make my light source come from the right, so the left side of my brick wall will be darker. I used an R02 for the right half of the wall and an R20 for the left(darker) side. The R02 is slightly more vibrant than the R20. There is no need for perfection or precision at this point just use the Super Brush side of the marker to “splash” some color randomly across the entire drawing.

Step 3: Color Variation


From this point forward, we will be adding color by applying random patches and sections throughout the drawing. To add gray (for shadows) we will us more precision. The variation in the brick color makes adding color randomly easy and nearly impossible to mess up. To start adding more darkness go over the previously established shadow base with a W4.

Step 4: Create Shadows



Here I added E13 to the right half and E15(darker shade) for the left side which is away from the light source, and, therefore, darker. I added these slightly reddish browns to pull out the warmth and variation for the brick color I wanted to achieve. 

Step 5: Strengthen Shadows 


Add W6 to continue increasing the darkness of the shadows.

Step 6: Composition


This step brings the entire composition together. I chose an E04 for this step and again, added sections of it randomly all over the drawing avoiding the lightest area. The E04 in itself is a reddish-purple-brown which adds another layer of depth to the color changes of the brick. On the “dark” side of the wall, I added an R39, a dark maroon color, to the shadows and then covered them with the BV25 to dull the red. This adds more character to the shadows instead of having only solid grays.

Step 7: Detailing the Mortar


Now it’s time to look at the mortar that holds the bricks together. From a distance, this is just a white layer of “glue” that holds the wall in place. In reality and up close, it can be texturized, jagged, and uneven. I used the W2 and E43 for the mortar as well as the W6 for small chunks of shadow and imperfections in the mortar. At this point, you could be finished and have a nice brick drawing...

Step 8: Adding Details 



We are almost finished. In this step, I put down my Copic Markers and picked up my Copic Multiliners. I used the 1.0, the 0.5, and the 0.1 to outline the major lines of the bricks and add smaller details to the entire drawing. I used the thicker 1.0 for the corner of the wall because it is closer to the viewer’s eye and thus should have more visible detail. I added tiny specks and cracks into the bricks as well. There are no set rules for this step. I just let my hand make marks on the paper. And finally I used the W8 to fill in portions of the shadow to give additional depth and separate the dark side of the wall from the lighter side.


If you enjoyed this tutorial, check out Randy's other posts about creating realistic wood grain texture or his series on drawing different varieties of trees! 


Topics: Illustration, Copic

Randy Hunter
Randy Hunter on May 8, 2017

Randy Hunter is an Associate Architect in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as a Custom Art Business Owner. His primary subject matter includes both color and black and white commissioned portraits as well as landscapes and architectural illustration. Randy received his Master of Architecture and Master of Business Administration from Kent State University.