Some of my favorite drawing challenges deal with visualizing interior spaces when there is a need to establish design character with materials, entourage, graphics, color, lighting and especially people. This studioINSITE visioning project was a great example of showing how an unfinished space could be converted into an exciting new use.
The drawing “step-by-step” example in this blog post was one from a series of six colored sketches I drew to tell a story about how an existing historic feed and grain building could be “repurposed” for different uses related to art and design. Below is my process that combined digital photography and a traditional “overlay and trace” drawing technique.
Existing Historic Building. This beautiful brick building in Colorado was once used to store and distribute agricultural feed and grain. The building is currently used as an art gallery and events space for small musical performances and arts related events. My challenge was to show how different interior spaces could be converted to a cafe, events space, seasonal shops, galleries and artists studios.
Step 1 Base Digital Photograph. I took this photo with an iPhone positioning myself close to the left wall in order to show more of the space in the eye-level view. I made sure to align the camera to keep all vertical elements square with the edges of the photograph (basic 2-point perspective). Note: the space was being used to feature two art installations and the black circle in the photo was a sculpture using a shallow pool of water on the floor.
Step 2 Composite Photograph. I was asked to visualize a concept for converting the existing room into a commercial retail space. My client suggested a fabric shop and I found a great image of a similar store on the internet. I combined both photographs in PhotoShop and came close to matching the perspective. I also digitally painted the floor to eliminate the round black element from the original photo.
Step 3 Red Pencil Mockup. I printed the composite photograph 8”x10” and taped a sheet of thin tracing paper over the print. I sketched additional elements into scene using a col-erase Carmine Red pencil. I always use a red pencil for mockups because it is very easy to see what has been added. It also is easier to trace over (see my next step “Ink Line Drawing”).
Step 4 Ink Line Drawing on Light Table. I have a small light table that is ideal for tracing photographs. It is much easier to see the photographic detail when illuminated from beneath the print. I taped a sheet of tracing paper over the red pencil mockup and illustrated the line drawing using a water based Paper Mate Flair pen.
Step 5 Completed Ink Line Drawing. Notice that my line drawing had no tone or hatching. I illustrated only the outline edges knowing that I would add all texture and shadows during the coloring step of the process.
Step 6 Hand Coloring with Markers and Pencils. I taped the line drawing to an 11”x17” sheet of bond paper and colored the image using about a dozen different Chartpak AD markers. I first colored the lighting with a Cadmium Yellow marker and then colored around the light source. Once the drawing was fully colored with markers, I then used a brown Prismacolor pencil to add subtle linework to the wood floor and right wall.
Step 7 Scan Completed Drawing. I scanned the final drawing as a 300dpi jpeg and emailed the file to my client. A closer look at the drawing reveals a generous use of gray marker to darken spaces on either side of the lighting and beneath furniture elements. I dabbed brown marker on the floor to add some texture and an informal look to the drawing.
My December 16, 2013 blog post subject is a continuation of this article and shows how to create a series of hand drawn sketches to tell the overall story about repurposing a historic building.
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