Architect’s Sketchbook...

This page shares a few drawings from Stephen’s sketchbook over the years.  All pretty rough and ready, hand sketched on site.

RIBA / WYSA Denis Mason Jones Award for Free Hand Sketching - 2012 Winner

Denis Mason Jones was a distinguished Leeds architect. Throughout his adult life Denis kept meticulous notebooks, filled with sketches of buildings, family activities, holidays, cartoons and stories for his four children, all in his very distinctive style.

Stephen Dixon, Director of Calls Architecture, was the winner of the 2012 Denis Mason Jones Award, set up by the West Yorkshire Society of Architects and RIBA Yorkshire to commemorate Denis’s contribution to the art of freehand sketching of architecture.

Illustrating new and old Leeds, this sketch depicts the glazed roof of the Trinity retail development behind Holy Trinity Church on Boar Lane. The Grade 1 listed church dates back to 1722, whilst the new retail centre is seen in the final stages of construction.

Drawn free-hand, on location at Trevelyan Square, Leeds, on 9th October 2012.  Pencil and pen on paper.


This sketch depicts the eclectic architectural styles to the north of Leeds City Centre, and the new Leeds Arena by Populous Architects. This Arena forms a distinctive skyline alongside the brutalist Yorkshire Bank Headquarters and the Georgian terraces of Queen Square . In the foreground is 18 Queen Square, listed Grade II, and the old stone wall along Clay Pit Lane.

Drawn free-hand, on location at Queen Square, Leeds, on 13th September 2013.

Pencil and pen on paper.


Denis Mason Jones Award Judging

Stephen Dixon was kindly invited by the West Yorkshire Society of Architects to be one of three judges for the 2015 Denis Mason Jones Award for free-hand sketching, alongside WYSA President Paula Jackman and Architect Sandy Morrison.

We had a fantastic afternoon of judging, very difficult to choose from 51 great entries, which were whittled down to 1 winner, 1 runner up and 6 commendation prizes  - Congratulations to all the entrants and winners.


Stephen took his sketchbook to Victoria Gate to attempt to capture a sense of this complex, organic interior space in Leeds city centre.

Drawn free-hand, on location in Victoria Gate, Leeds, on 23 August 2017.

Pencil, dip pen and technical pen on paper.

Awarded a Denis Mason Jones Award Commendation!


For the 2018 competition on the theme of ‘Streetscapes of Yorkshire’, Stephen took his sketchbook to a quintessential Yorkshire street scene; the view of Main Street in Haworth from the church steps and the inn frequented by Patrick Brontë

Drawn free-hand, on location in Main Street, Haworth, on 2 October 2018.

Pencil, technical pen and brush pen on A3 watercolour paper.


For the 2019 ‘Holiday Postcards’ theme, these sketches depict scenes from a family holiday in St Abbs, a small fishing village on the east cost of Scotland.  One of my most favourite places!

Drawn free-hand, on locations in St Abbs and Coldingham Sands, Scotland in August 2019.

Pencil & technical pen on A4 sketchbook paper.


A sketch of Colton Road in the Whitkirk conservation area of Leeds.

Drawn free-hand, on location, 19 September 2018.

Pencil, technical pen and brush pen on A3 watercolour paper.


For the theme of ‘Time Spent in a Favourite Place” I took my sketchbook to Kirkstall Abbey to spend an hour sketching the evocative and tranquil ruins.

Drawn free-hand, on location, on 9 October 2021.


Pencil & technical pen on sketchbook paper.