How to Draw the United States Capitol Building in 5 Steps

By: the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Famous Landmarks Image Gallery Learn how to draw the U.S. Capitol Building in a few simple steps. See more pictures of famous landmarks.
Publications International, Ltd.

The United States Capitol Buil­ding is a wonderful example of neo-classical architect­ure. Learning to draw this building is a great creative challenge.

In this section, we'll show you how to draw the United States Capitol Building. You can draw it freehand while looking at your computer monitor, or you can print out this page to get a closer look at each step.


Here, we'll show you an illustration of each step and then give you a description of how to draw it. Follow the red lines in each illustration to learn exactly what to draw in that step. The lines drawn in previous steps are shown in gray. 

1. Sketch the Outline

Draw two diagonal lines for the front of the building as shown. Connect them with two vertical lines. In the bottom center, draw another diagonal line that intersects with the bottom line. Add two more intersecting lines as shown. Sketch four lines from the left side of the front of the building to show the side of the building.

Add an odd-shaped U figure to the top of the structure. Top that with another U-shaped figure. Draw another curved line over that, connecting it with short vertical lines to the figure below. Top the dome with a half-circle. 


2. Rectangles and Triangles

Draw a series of rectangles, triangles, and tube shapes to establish the front of the building, keeping the rules on vanishing points in mind. 


3. Horizontal Lines

Add a series of horizontal lines following the shape of the front of the building. Sketch a triangle and horizontal lines connected with bent lines for the stairs. Add two small ovals to the dome. Top them with a tube shape. Draw another oval on top of the dome and cover it with a half-circle. 


4. Windows and Arches

Add windows to the side of the building with rectangles and squares. Draw windows on the front of the building with blackened rectangles. Add curved lines to some of them as shown. Draw windows on the dome with blackened bullet-shaped figures and blackened rectangles. Sketch various types of curved lines to detail the dome.

Draw a statue on the top of the dome as shown. Add arches to the front of the building with sets of vertical lines connected at the top with curves and straight lines. Draw shrubs and the ground with curly lines. Sketch the flag with a straight vertical line topped with an odd-shaped oval. 


5. Details

Shade the capitol with straight horizontal and diagonal lines. Add curved lines for detail as shown. Finish the bushes with squiggles. Darken all the windows and doors with intersecting diagonal lines.

Your drawing is finished! Even if you don't get it right the first time, keep practicing until you're happy with your drawing. The Mediterranean-inspired Spanish villa in the next section is a beautiful, elegant building. Learn how to draw a Spanish villa in five simple steps in the next section.