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Thumbnail Sketches Part 1: Architecture

May 17, 2014

In the early months of 2013 I was struggling with thoughts of how mundane envelopes sold in stationery stores are; dull and un-interesting.

I have always window-shopped these stores in search of eye-catching envelopes, but have never found any. It then struck me that I should really try to create my own special personal envelopes with a free-hand thumbnail rendering. In that way I would have the pleasure of experimenting with transforming my full size sketch into a simple thumbnail sketch, and recipients of my envelope would get an original sketch! Lovely idea I thought…!

After a few months I managed to create more than 15 original envelopes with different thumbnail sketches. Unfortunately I got bored with the exercise, because my recipients either did not know the sketch on the envelope is an original or they were just not good enough! Ha-ha!

Anyway here are two copies of the architectural type thumbnails that I created: Classified as “Architectural Thumbnails”. I also created “Ship Thumbnails” and “Flowering Thumbnails” which I will talk more about in future posts.


This is a thumbnail sketch (view) of Central, Hong Kong from Tsim Sha Tsui across Victoria Harbor. The sketch uses the International Finance Centre Tower, by architect Cesar Pelli as the focus of the composition.

This is how it fits on the envelope. Please excuse the blocking out of personal addresses.


The following sketch I did in Rome at Piazza della Rotonda, just North of the famous Pantheon: one of the best preserved Roman buildings built-in 126 AD.


I choose to sketch the exterior fountain and not the elevation of the Pantheon. Somehow it caught me eyes as an edifice that would make a more interesting architectural composition.


The fountain was built around 1575 and is masterfully embellished with beautiful sculptural images of mermaids and other artifacts of the period. I was completely fascinated by the setting, the fountain and the interaction of the visitors to the fountain. I thought it created a unique sketch for my envelope. Perhaps someday I will get the envelope produced in quantities.

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on Archi Blog.

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