If you want to learn how to draw a mission, starting with the Mission San Juan Capistrano is a good place to start. It has a beautiful simplicity to it.
Mission drawing offers a wonderful lesson in architecture, and can often overlap history lessons too. And when cross-study opportunities come up, I say it’s great to make the most of them.
Years of classroom experience taught me that students could make amazing drawings when they had some guidance and tools. Old fuzzy pictures of missions at odd angles would have frustrated anyone, so in time I created (and polished) some graphic tools that really seemed to help. Every year I heard at least one of my 4th grade classroom teachers exclaim, “Why, they ALL look good, every single one of them!”
Included in this sample download:
- Sample Line Drawing. To easily see the mission shapes the students need to draw.
- A 4-step Tutorial. to help them draw with a logical progression.
- Paper with a Grid template. In order to draw straight lines without the struggle of a ruler.
- Colored finished sample. So they can see what is wood, stone, etc. and color appropriately.
- Draw the San Juan Capistrano Mission (click for download)
- Brown paper*
- Black marker, fine tip*
- Colored pencils*
*The above product links are referrals. If you click through and take action, I’ll be compensated a small amount, at no extra expense to you.
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
How to Draw a Mission
- Start with the door and steps below.
- Add the front facade around it.
- Add the right section and tower.
- Finish with landscaping.