Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Net Zero House Watercolor Sketch, Work on the boards

I've been working on a house for a friend over the last half year.  Here's a recent watercolor sketch snippet of it.  You can find more at www.arocordis.com about the specifics of the house, its conception and design.  Here let's focus on the watercolor sketch.

The 3-d perspective massing was built from a basic model from Bensonwood Homes who is collaborating with the owner and I on the project. They built it from the 2-d drawings I had created in AutoCADLT.  I imported it into Sketchup where I used it as an underlay with shade and shadow.   I created a pencil sketch where I embellished the finished materials such as siding, windows, heavy wood timber framing followed by landscaping around the building showing how it fits generally to the site.  The building is partially about how it is sited in a clearing on gentle mountain ridge with great views to the West.

Part of the fun of this kind of presentation sketch is creating a sense of a heart and soul for the project through the act of rapidly synthesizing by hand site plan information, building orientation, traditional architectural drawing info.  This a avoids excessive computer modeling time noodling around with plantings, topography and contours, model lighting within the computer.  For me its also about bringing the design idea, in this case a home, to life through the hybrid actions of 3d modeling, hand-drawing and watercolor painting.

After creating the watercolor, then comes scanning the image into Photoshop and adjusting the scan to match the liveliness of the watercolor work on paper.  I do this by manipulating contrast and tonality.  You can also touch up the image with color fills which I didn't do to help with shade and shadow.  Once you've scanned the image into the proverbial "box" there's lots you still do.  ....Or not which is the case here.

I'll be creating additional watercolor rendering images in the coming weeks of this project and sharing some of the backstory here.  What do you think about this drawing though?  Any suggestions on areas to improve?  Other techniques I should try?  Tell me about your favorite architectural illustration and why it was successuful...or not so favorite.  What do you think about this composition?  Does it convey the idea I was hoping for?  Don't be shy.  I want to continue to learn and cultivate these abilities and compositional strategies.

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