New Edition | What’s New?

Mitton_Cover Final IDVP5

I’m happy to say that the 5thedition of Interior Design Visual Presentation was officially published earlier this month (May, ’18). The publication is the culmination of two years of work and it is a wonderful feeling to have it published.

Occasionally people ask me why it is necessary to write new editions, and in my case the answer is that in terms of digital presentation things change dramatically over a 3-5 year period.

The first edition contained almost completely analog work: everything was done by hand –renderings, sample boards, models –everything. With subsequent editions, digitally generated items were included in ever increasing quantities. So, as I set out to work on the 5thedition, I had to decide if I should include analog work such as sketches, renderings, models, and sample boards created by hand. After giving it some thought, and talking to a number of designers, I decided this edition shouldinclude work done by hand particularly drawing and rendering because the ability to sketching continues to be a useful in design practice.

It is important to note that of all the analog skills, quick sketching rises to the top as the most important in daily practice. The ability to get an idea quickly out of one’s head and on to paper continues to be very important. This is true for idea generation (ideation) and for sharing with team members or clients. Quick marker rendering can make sketches more readable and therefore, quick rendering continues to be a useful skill.

Because I see the book as a broad overview of communication methods, I included significant instruction in hand drawing/sketching, rendering, model making and board construction. The book also includes digital means for creating drawings, sketches, models and boards because design practice makes use of these. In fact, digital modeling, rendering, fabrication, and 3D printing have altered design practice and skills in these areas are required for design graduates.

Use of virtual reality, laser cutters/engravers, 3D printers and highly realistic digital rendering are all commonplace and therefore their inclusion is necessary.

This edition has a continued focus on SketchUp used for modeling and rendering due to its universal use and reasonable learning curve. I also continued coverage of Photoshop in rendering for the same reasons. SketchUp is covered in greater detail than the previous edition and some new Photoshop techniques are also covered. There is also information about how to prepare various files for use in 3D printing and virtual reality.

I continue to see this book as a broad overview of interior design visual communication –rather than a deep dive into any one area and hopefully, I have achieved that with the new edition. The instruction in “quick sketching” includes that done by hand and SketchUp, in the hopes of providing students and professionals the skills needed for quick “go to” communication techniques. This is done with the full knowledge that BIM related skills are also important for today’s designers –yet the addition of that content would make the book far too long and complicated.

My statement in the introduction to the 5thedition offers this:

“In completing this edition, I once again came to the the conclusion that while much has changed since the first edition—particularly related to digital technology. Many things have stayed the same particularly regarding the process of design and the complex, yet flexible ways of thinking required of a professional designer. This continues to be a profession populated by bright, creative individuals who are required to call upon a broad range of talents and skills in everyday practice. While technology has made many things easier –and faster– today’s designers are required to know more and to possess more skills than at any time previously. I hope this book will help today’s designers in their acquisition of some of the many skills required in current practice.”

Press release from my university regarding the publication.


Marker Rendering: “Gelly Roll”* Pen For Highlights!


Recently a student introduced me to using a white “Sakura Gelly Roll Pen” for highlights in hand rendering, and I found this to be an excellent tool, so I will share some related information here.

Previously, for hand rendering,  I had used white “Prismacolor Premier” colored pencil for highlights and white/light areas. These are my overall favorite  colored pencils for hand rendering as they lay down the most color when full coverage is desired. I often use these white colored pencils to create sharp white highlights on edges (say they edge of a table or granite counter), I also use them to wash over larger areas of marker to lighten portions of objects and interiors.  IMG_5843

The “Gelly Roll Pen” seems to work better than colored pencils for creating sharp edges and smaller highlighted areas. Below I have an image of lines drawn in Gelly Roll Pen over dark brown marker —hopefully you can observe the sharp white lines even with this quick iPhone photo.


One of students in my summer class, the very talented Mao Vang, did a fantastic rendering of a whimsical chair and used the Gelly Roll Pen for the highlights —again this is a quick phone photo that does not do her work justice but it conveys the idea. (In person the rendering is more subtle and delicate than this image portrays).

Also included is a photo of her un-rendered line drawing of the chair. Mao used the quick sketch perspective method outlined in my book Interior Design Visual Presentation to develop the line drawing.

Whimsical Chair Rendering, by Mao Vang
Whimsical Chair Perspective Line Drawing, by Mao Vang

Hand rendering is a skill that continues to come in handy in this age of digital rendering and the skills learned from working by hand can translate nicely into rendering using Photoshop and Illustrator software.

Below is a link to a packet of “Gelly Roll Pens” on Amazon —you can also pick up single pens at most craft stores. A link to Prismacolor pencils on Amazon is also below. I hope to discuss hand rendering a bit more in future posts.

Sakura White “Gelly Roll Pen” (pack) on Amazon:

White “Prismacolor Premier” Pencil on Amazon:

*This is a brand name for a white gel pen that is pretty inexpensive and works for me, there are others that are quite good as well. Also, back in the old days we used white gouache paint on little tiny brushes to create white highlights (I am going to post an example of that in the future).