Fascinating Facades as Art Inspiration

Art Journal, Our Blog, Travel and Art

For some reasons, I love facades, windows, doors, and rustic walls that have been standing outside against different kinds of weather, passed by generations, and some have probably have seen the most extreme changes. Every time I travel, I like to see these different kinds of facades. Each one is unique and different, though every country has its own signature.

My favourite facades abroad has to be Portugal, Greece, and Singapore. In Portugal, most of the facades are covered with amazing tiles. Of course this fascinated me further since I am also a lover of tiles. A lot of them are bright in colours with the easy sway of laundry hanging flawlessly, creating this perfect picture of every day life. A lot of the facades in the main streets of Portugal are exceptionally beautiful, but hidden in the narrow streets, you too could find beautiful facades. In Porto, you could find some facades covered in what looks like fish scales. A local told me this was probably the house of a fisherman.

A random house I passed by in Santorini

In the islands of Mykonos and Santorini, I found the facades mostly whitewashed. But this white domination in its facades only made the doors and windows, painted in bright pink or blue, stand out. Moreover, most houses let gorgeous flowers and greeneries take over their facades, creating ethereal houses. For tourists like myself, it gave the illusion that I was transported into another world.

And how can I not mention Singapore. Singapore is just a familiar country filled with a lot of things that I personally love, including old houses that can be reached easily within the city. Old shophouses are always full of characters and I try to make time to go and admire them. It’s certainly easy to fall in love with the unique tiles surrounding the house. Since most of them are converted into homes, I often get carried away imagining myself living in one of them.

Pretty houses in Singapore, don’t tell me you don’t wanna live here!

Apart from these European countries, I also find the most interesting facades in my hometown. There are many interesting old houses in an area called Kotabaru. I used to do food walk tours and I always took my guests around this area since it is cool with lots of trees and filled with rows of gorgeous houses. Apart from that, you can also find interesting houses in random villages. It is always a pleasure to wander around small aisles and unknown roads in the countryside because I am always treated with an abundance of wonderful, and sometimes weird, houses.

An old house converted into a chocolate shop in Yogyakarta

My hometown is full of characters!

Naturally, my fascination for facades leads me to drawing them on paper. I love love love drawing facades! I love to colour them and I find drawing the structures to be calming. I have actually been doing this for quite some time but never really liked the result. A few months ago I found Shayda Campbell’s tutorial and I found them really useful (this is definitely not an endorsement, everything here is based on our personal opinion!). You can Google her YouTube channel and she makes drawing buildings so easy. One of her smart solutions is to use graph paper. Like, duh, I thought to myself! I got myself graph paper and voila. I couldn’t stop doodling facades. So far my favourites are Shakespeare and Co. Bookshop in Paris (my favourite!), a liqueur bar in Lisbon called Ginjinha do Rossio (ginjinha is a sweet cherry liquer) which has the most gorgeous facade, and also some doors in Greece (because they are simple but extremely charming!).

Shayda’s Notre Dame tutorial was clear and easy to follow. I then experimented with my favourite bookshop in Paris.

Most of the time I leave them uncoloured, because I love the layered lines and simplicity of black strokes. However on some occasions, like the Greek facades, I colour them just because it would totally defy the point of those facades.

Ginjinha do Rossio in Lisbon

I am definitely not an expert and I would love to hear some of your suggestions! If you have any YouTuber or illustrator that offer some facade drawing advice, let me know in the comment sections. I need to practice more but it is definitely one of those my go to thing to do whenever I feel stressed out and need to let my hair down.

A simple Greek building in Mykonos

Do you like facades? Tell me your favourite artist to follow on Instagram!

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