I’ve had an uptick of rendering jobs lately. I enjoy laying out other designer’s jobs and it is relaxing doing the color work, but doing renderings of my own designs is more satisfying and faster. When I am working on an outside project, it’s important for me to know all the finishes that are to be depicted, unless they want me to improvise a little.
The kitchen above, done for a colleague in New England, came with a very detailed set of elevations and instructions for finishes; this makes the job go very smooth. I like the floor selection – an ashlar pattern of concrete pavers – with the dark-stained oak veneer.
The above project is another client request, again with good instruction. In order for these renderings to remain effective and useful in my practice, it is important to keep them fast and remain a little “sketchy” so they do not need to compete with photorealistic renderings.
It’s not by chance that I have been building a reputation for color marker renderings. Since college, I have preferred quick sketches of interior space (or product designs) to convey a sense of proportion and spatial relationships of solids and voids. Over the years I have honed my sense of balance so I don’t need any measuring or assistance other than a straight edge to execute the composition. One needs to be careful however; it’s easy to “trick” your clients with inaccurate proportions. The most difficult element I see students struggle with is depth in perspective sketching. One hint – its always less than you think it should be. Always better to make the room more truncated in depth than to over exaggerate it with the drawing.
The above project was still in development. My colleague wanted a quick drawing to show some design options – color was not important yet as we were working out the design. I showed tones only to help create the sense of space. Sketching the design really helps resolve things during development; since you have to draw something for a surface, then you have to decide what it is going to be. Its all too easy to click on a shade or a hatching bitmap in a computer rendering, without needing to give much thought. Also, you can just control-Z if it does not come out well. With hand renderings, you choose patterns and colors very carefully.
When rendering something from the imagination (such as a kitchen design or product that does not exist yet), you have a certain freedom to proportion. To maintain a proper sense of balance, I sometimes work from life or photographs and practice a little stylization. This Mt. Airy Philadelphia house was drawn for a colleague that wanted to remember his time spent at the house. It would have been easy for him to frame a photo of the house, but I’m sure my little drawing will be a sense of pride for him as he shows friends where he stayed when living in Philly, for many years to come.