Architectural Illustration with Copic Markers

Posted On: 09/25/15

Enjoy this tutorial from James Sanchez!

James is an 18 year old Product Design Student living in the UK. He says his passion for art and creativity comes from his grandfather, who is a Scottish artist.


  • Multiliner SPs - 0.05, 0.3, and 0.7
  • Multiliner SP 0.5 Red
  • Copic Caio - E11, E21, E44, B12, and B37
  • Copic Classic - C3, C5, and C7 
  • Pencils - HB and 2B
  • Ruler
  • Set Square

"Within this piece there are three famous buildings, the Hagia Sophia, the Pyramid at Giza, and the Colosseum, combined with iconic buildings in Milton Keynes, UK, the Point, the MK Dons Stadium, the MK church and the Bradville Windmill."

To ensure my composition and scale were correct, I began by drawing some grid lines and lines of perspective to make sure everything was in its right place.

 I then did a light outline of the four buildings using an HB pencil. There is no need for shading, tone, or detail at this point, as the pencil will be rubbed out once the Multiliner is applied (pencil can often smudge when markers are applied over).

I then began to go over the pencil using Copic Multiliner SPs (0.05, 0.3, and 0.7 thicknesses). I used the 0.3 for outlining the majority of the buildings and then the 0.7 for the closer buildings to create heavier lines.

Using my 0.05 Copic Multiliner SP, I was then able to create detail within the buildings by drawing bricks, cracks, and grooves.

At this stage, I rubbed lightly over the drawing to remove any unwanted pencil marks; this is important before marker rendering, as it could leave smudges. Using E11 and E21 Copic Caio markers, I then began to render the sandy coloured buildings, gently building up each layer. C3 and C5 Copic Classic markers were used for the hemisphere roof, and a red Multiliner was used for the internal frame of the pyramid.

Using a B12 and C3, I then rendered the reflections on the Windows by casting shadows from pillars and columns, and creating geometric shapes such as rectangles and triangles.

Using both the B12 and C3, I then created more reflections on the internal glass of the pyramid. I also used an E44 for the darker areas of the pyramid, windmill roof, and colosseum arch ways. 

I then used C7 and B37 for the MK Dons stadium. I left some areas white to create reflections within the shiny surface of the stadium.

Finally I added three cranes using 0.3 and 0.7 Copic Multiliners to create a background, as well as using the 0.05 Multiliner and a sharp 2B pencil to create further detail on each building.


You can see more of James' work on his Instagram @jamesanchez, or on his Behance page!

Tags: Copic Markers, Illustration, Inspire, Architectural, James sanchez, Recent