I wrote a blog post on December 9, 2013 detailing the step-by-step process I used for visualizing a repurposed space within a historic feed and grain building in Colorado. This followup article is about the importance of creating a "series" of sketches for a single project to best communicate design ideas.
This visualization project involved a proposal to renovate the ground floor of the brick agricultural building into artist studios, multi-use events spaces, art galleries and commercial space. I created a total of six illustrations for this studioINSITE project. Below are the additional five sketches and a brief explanation about each.
Feed + Fuel Cafe Sketch
The process of creating this cafe sketch (and all others) involved starting with a photograph of the existing space, developing sketch detail in red pencil, illustrating the scene in ink and finally coloring it with markers and colored pencils. The idea behind this drawing was the conversion of a wonderful space centrally located in the building into a coffee shop and snack bar. I took the photograph with my iPhone and printed it 8”x10”.
I developed all of the cafe elements in red pencil on tracing paper taped over the photographic print and drew the ink line sketch using a water based ink pen on white tracing paper.
The final cafe sketch was colored directly onto the original ink line artwork with Chartpak AD markers. I added a slight amount of colored pencil linework to highlight the wood floor boards and the rear brick wall. Notice the composition includes nine people to activate the scene, a variety of light fixtures, artwork, three different seating types, graphic signage and lots of counter top activity.
Outdoor Concert Sketch
This sketch illustrated the potential of converting the existing loading dock/weighing station of the historic feed and grain building into an outdoor concert venue. Note that I rendered the building as natural brick rather than the white painted facade. I also populated the scene with wall-to-wall people to really emphasize a successful concert event. Given the small 8”x10” size of the drawing, I did not need to create any high level of detail with individual faces and heads.
Multipurpose Events Space Sketches
My challenge with this existing warehouse space was to show it two different ways: one set up as a wedding party, and the other as an art instruction classroom. Matching the perspective of the existing digital photograph, I found two different wedding scene jpegs on the internet and spliced them into the original photo using Adobe Photoshop.
Wedding Party Sketch. I created a contemporary overhead element to add color and “ceiling” to the wedding scene. I illustrated people seated at the tables and also created two larger panels in the rear space to enliven the overall scene.
Art Class Sketch. This drawing was the most difficult of all six because I had no reference information to go by. I imagined what an art class might look like (seated and standing individuals, easels, sketch pads, overhead spot lights and of course, an individual posing an a western outfit. I am very pleased with this sketch, especially how the “mountain man” is depicted from many different angles.
Arts and Crafts Sale Sketch
This final sketch was easier to draw than the others because I began with a more developed base photograph. This room within the historic building had earlier been used for a holiday crafts show and I was able to download this photograph from the internet.
Using my red pencil mockup process, I added more shop elements to the left side of the image, more people and graphic signage. I traced the pencil mockup with a water based ink pen on a second sheet of white tracing paper. Note: it is always a great idea to make a 300dpi scan of your original line drawings before coloring the artwork. If for any reason you are unhappy with your coloring, you could easily reprint the line drawing on bond paper and color it again!
I added yellow marker highlights to the image to emphasize spot lighting on the artwork and displays. I applied colored pencil linework to the floor and left wall. Remember that when coloring on thin tracing paper, you can always apply colored markers on the front and back sides of the paper to build up certain colors.
Review all of the six drawings from this series of sketches and notice how consistent I was with the level of detail, illustrative technique and coloring method. Whenever you create a series of drawings for any project, please try to establish a consistent format, illustrative style and color palette.
Look for other interesting articles on my blog, visit my website www.drawingshortcuts.com and read my new book Drawing Shortcuts Second Edition. The 2010 Blog Collection , a 116-page catalog of blog posts from 2010 is on Blurb!