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Architectural Features as Inspiration

The Florida Theatre is one of many historic buildings in downtown Jacksonville with interesting architectural features.  I am captivated by the details of these features and enjoy the challenge of including them in a drawing.  It was fun to figure how to draw the mermaid like figures and the lion found in the arches above the windows.

This building is a music and art venue with a rich history including a visit from Elvis Presley in 1956 for one of his first headline concert on an indoor stage.  Here is a quote about the building 0n Florida Theatre website:  ” As an anchor to downtown development along the beautiful St. Johns River, The Florida Theatre draws 250,000 people to Jacksonville’s center each year. The magnificently restored Florida Theatre is recognized as one of the finest concert venues in the Southeast. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Florida Theatre holds special memories for four generations. From the Vaudeville acts and silent films of its earliest days to today’s blend of performances of all kinds, The Florida Theatre has served as Jacksonville’s premier entertainment center since 1927.”


  1. Lisa Pickard says:

    This is beautiful!! What I notice is all of the geometric shapes that become features on the building when placed together. Rectangles for bricks, squares for glass panes, and circles for details in molding. The diagonal lines across the windows create depth. I love that it is not in color, because that gives it a nostagic days gone by kind of feeling.

    • drawinghand says:

      So appreciating your observations, yes the challenge is to us a variety lines to show texture and material. It is challenging to keep an image exciting without the element of color. Thank you!

  2. Lisa Pickard says:

    I would say that I have been know to shy away from drawing in the past due to the lack of color. I wanted to skip drawing and just paint. I must say that my opinion has changed with our recent hand drawing challenges. I am enjoying the challenge of creating an image without relying on color. I believe it will refine my painting skills as well.

    • drawinghand says:

      Your note is very encouraging. I often am pleased to see students get going with their hand drawing skills and become very successful. Sometimes you just need a bit of push to practice.

  3. Melissa Stevens says:

    I have been to The Florida Theatre several times and I know the inside is very detailed. I am sad to say that I have never noticed the craftsmanship of the detail work around the outside windows before. This drawing brings new life to an old building.

  4. dawnvhenry says:

    I appreciate this drawing as I have only had the chace to visit the Florida Theatre once. I too was unable to notice the details of this historical building. The inside however, I did notice and the historical architectual details are amazing. I would like to challenge myself to draw a building with details as those of Florida Theatre.

  5. Nicole Kowsh says:

    One thing I love about architecture is that its a window into an era and a fossil of the times. The Florida Theater is a beautiful piece of architecture that is still appreciated today. This sketch captures it’s charm and is very nicely done!

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