Orthographic Drawing

Posted by on Aug 19, 2007 in Work | No Comments

I’ve begun to study orthographic drawing. This is a technical style that involves following some simple conventions so that builders, designers or anyone can read your design ideas.

This is very important, i’ve had some feedback recently on both these forums. My actual experience has developed my confidence in delivering lucid descriptions and instructions for on the fly decisions when building. As complexity increases though a good plan becomes essential.

Drawing to scale also means that distances can be accurately calculated off the plan.

The list of conventions are.

A scale that is appropriate to the page size is to be used and clearly labelled. For clarity the scale should be consistent across the page. Enlargements of details can be taken and drawn to their own appropriate scale and this should be labelled clearly.

Known lengths and dimensions should be drawn lightly where appropriate. Measurements are often in mm.

This should be clear.

Line Weights.
Heavy objects attract heavier line weights. As do closer objects, when there is 3 dimensions showing in a section for instance.

The ground should have the heaviest line weight.

Keys and Labels
Often only one is necessary, if there are patterns that repeat a key is often more appropriate.

North Arrow
This is a must to orient the drawing in real space. Normally it is pointing to the top of the page.

This will influence your style. If presenting to a client or architect, colour is very important to convey information. That same information is not so important to the builder, so depending on the brief of the plan – use colours.


Here is a shed i’d like to build for my motorbike and related bits and pieces.
I’m enjoying the challenge of this type of drawing. I will definitely use the lessons it has taught me and take on bigger, more complex projects.

So far we have the west wing of the house to develop and link with the freestanding composting toilet. There is also possible integration with a concrete water tank. There is scope in the pour for a deck to the south-west to act as a seamless, step-less entryway to the kitchen level of the split level house.

And at this point we can all see the value in a detailed, accurate plan.