Drawing a Church Campus Using Google SketchUp


By Jim Leggitt

I had the great fortune of having been involved with the master plan of a church campus on the island of Maui. Perfect weather, unbelievable location and stuck two days inside a conference room working our tails off. There has to be a better approach to planning projects in exotic locations…..


1. The visualization process in this master planning project was similar to any architectural or landscape design process. The site plan was first developed, then building 3D massing and finally whatever visual material could communicate the overall concept.  Our team constructed an unusual SketchUp model over a hand drawn plan.


1. SketchUp Model

2. In order to create the illusion of an island in the distant ocean, the model had an oversized blue colored base. The actual church campus model is the small dot at the bottom of the blue face.  The distant mountain is simply a green face rotated up 90 degrees.


2. Create the Illusion

3. A curved face behind the model had a site panoramic photo applied to it for a photo realistic background.


3. Apply Panoramic Photo

Model view showing how effective the panoramic photo appears in the background.


Photo Background

4. The SketchUp tricks worked great.  I finally printed out some small scenes and traced over them to draw a couple of eye-level views.  I printed letter sized views, traced over them in red pencil and generated two quick sketches with a Pentel Sign Pen on trace and with Chartpak AD Marker for color.  Quick and very effective as a design communication technique!


Scene 1


Scene 1 Ready for Print


Scene 2


Scene 2 Ready for Print

The 20”x36” aerial perspective was drawn from a view projected onto a wall. Our unusual visualization approach was very much appreciated by our client!


20”x36” Aerial Perspective

If you’d like to learn more about drawing from SketchUp models, please visit Jim’s website www.drawingshortcuts.com and pick up his new book Drawing Shortcuts Second Edition.

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