I recently illustrated an aerial perspective for a proposed state park and found myself investing a lot of time using the WRONG drawing technique! Upon realizing my mistake, I stopped and completely started all over again with a very different drawing approach. Here’s what happened with a step-by-step explanation.
Step 1 - SketchUp View. I was given a SketchUp model from my client and selected this aerial view of the approach drive, distant visitors center and trailhead parking lot. The view was paired with a second more closeup perspective view of the visitors center.
Step 2 - Big Drawing Mistake! I printed the SketchUp view on 11x17” paper and illustrated the forest using a Staedtler Lumocolor pen on Mylar. Although the drawing was very well received by my client, I realized that the linework was far too heavy and would dominate the rendering once I added color. Recognizing this strategic mishap, I stopped and recreatd the entire aerial perspective using a different illustration method.
Side-by-Side Comparison. These enlarged details show the original drawing on the left compared with the replaced drawing on the right. Notice how much lighter the illustrated linework is with the revised drawing.
Step 3 - Digital Line Drawing. I imported the SketchUp view in Photoshop and digitally redrew the aerial perspective using a stylus pen on a Wacom Cintiq interactive monitor. I selected a 1-pixel wide line weight and redrew the scene entirely in digital format. I printed the final drawing on 11x17” Epson coated bond paper and colored the print with markers and colored pencils.
Step 4 - Hand Coloring with Markers. I used a combination of Chartpak AD markers and Copic markers to create an effect of an autumn color scheme. The ground terrain was colored with light tans and faded greens and the aspen trees were colored with yellow and orange markers. Each pine tree had two or three different shades of green to highlight shadows and create depth. I added a minor amount of colored pencil for highlights.
Lesson learned. If a drawing doesn't feel right or you recognize that your illustration technique was not up to your level of excellence, it is in your best interest to stop and start over again. Although the extra time spent hurts, the satisfaction of doing your best is well worth the additional effort!
The 2010 Blog Collection , a 116-page catalog of my best blog posts from 2010 is now available on Blurb! http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1963744