I was recently asked by Terry Stone in association with the landscape design firm Landworks Design to visualize a series of improvements to a regional park which led to development of a series of eight concept sketches that represented various additions to the existing open spaces. We first discussed different options as to what kind of drawings were expected by the client and how the images were going to reproduced.
Based on that criteria, we chose to go forward with small 8.5x11” drawing sizes and loose drawing style. I toured the park and photographed the exact locations where improvements were being made. The following “step-by-step” illustrates how I created one of the sketches depicting a new pedestrian bridge and picnic area.
Step 1: Compose the Photograph for the Sketch. In order to create a sketch that would incorporate both a new pedestrian bridge and a picnic area, I photographed the scene from a high vantage point that captured the foreground picnic area on the left, the new bridge on the right and the play field in the distance. I took several photos from slightly different angles and picked this image as the best.
Step 2: Red Pencil Mockup. I lightened the digital photo in Photoshop and printed it on 8.5x11" paper. I then created a red pencil mockup sketch showing new landscaping, active people, picnic table and new bridge. I scanned the mockup and emailed it to my client for review and approval. Note: in order to see the redlines against the photograph, I placed a sheet of trace between the images to make the photograph less dominant.
Step 3: Ink Line Illustration. The black and white ink drawing was drawn on vellum with a Pilot Fineliner pen. I carefully illustrated the people and bridge first, then added the easier-to-draw landscaping. Note: always scan your line drawings at 300dpi before you add color to the original artwork. You can always reprint the image if you mess up coloring the original artwork.
Step 4: Final Color with Markers. I colored the original artwork with Chartpak AD markers, applying color to both the front side and back side of the vellum. By coloring on two sides, you can build up colors without different colored markers bleeding into each other. I scanned the image at 300dpi and email a jpeg to the client for final review and approval.
Step 5: Last Minute Modification. Although the client loved the final image, he suggested that I illustrate an existing wood fence in the background of the drawing. Study the area around the horizon line between the two upper images and you will see the fence added in the distance. Note: always be prepared to make last minute changes to drawings as the concept design process and visualization often happen quickly before all design decisions are solidified.