Branching Out With Landscapes & Architecture


This journey through traditional design has a lot of diversions, but I’m learning so much along the way. As I previously discussed, exploring interior design from a robust perspective of interiors and exteriors makes me a better-informed designer. In “Learning the Design of Place”, I talked about my supplemental pursuits into classical architecture and landscape design. Today, I wanted to update you on my progress.
I’ve been hand drafting and hand rendering in my Landscape Design class, as you can see in the picture above, a preliminary plan for a cohesive front and backyard design for the fictional Collins family. I chose a diagonal and rectilinear form for this project and rendered it using colored pencils and thin sharpies. I like learning how to properly shade and texture the features to tell a design story.
The design below is a spatial composition of a backyard rendered in colored pencils. A spatial composition helps the designer think about a plan in three dimensions, including changes in elevations via stairs or slopes, walls and other vertical planes, and the overhead impact of trees and structures. It allows the designer to think beyond ground plantings and hardscapes to consider materials (wood, stone, etc.) for vertical surfaces.

I’m working on completing a certificate in classical architecture through the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) As part of that program, I spent a Saturday learning about the classical orders of architecture. It was interesting to learn about the rules of proportion that make classic architecture so visually appealing. We learned first-hand by drawing one of the orders, the Tuscan, by hand, in proportion. These are my sketches from that day, including an interior wall project done in marker utilizing the proportions of the Tuscan order.

I am a novice in hand sketching and my lack of drawing experience is a bit frustrating. I hope soon to take a drawing class. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying my hand at some architectural sketching in preparation for the January 2022 ICAA classical architectural eight-day course I’ll be attending. This unfinished sketch of a section of the Art Institute of Chicago was drawn as part of an ICAA day-long class about on-site drawing.
In a series of short watercolor painting classes, I experimented with how watercolor reacts on paper and when blended with other colors and water. Unlike my experience with oil painting, you can fairly easily change what you put on the page and clean-up is much faster. I’m looking forward to continuing to practice my technique. I’d like to be able to utilize this medium to enhance my renderings of interior and landscape designs and architectural sketchings. For now, here’s a speedy and rudimentary experiment in color blending:

In the midst of these diversions, I am also very busy with my interior design classes. I’ll post some interior topics next. Meanwhile, check out some of the new additions to my Original Designs portfolio page.

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