More “Old-School” Rendering

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Recently I found this old hand-drawn rendering at my university. The rendering is in very rough shape after years of wasting away in a drawer. This appears to be a perspective drawing of a people mover system and station that was printed on “brown line” diazo* paper. While the paper is faded and torn, the initial excellent drawing and rendering continue to serve the design well and I find that this old-school approach can offer hints for current digital rendering and presentation.

Looking at the image, we see that the renderer was quite successful in using minimal media to create an excellent rendering. The rendering is created by making use of the light brown colored paper as a medium value and background, with pops of lighter colors such as white and very light blue –and pops of very dark marker areas and dark lines to define dark values and details. It appears chalk pastels in blue, gray and brown were used to depict light buildings and forms in the background. Minimal orange and gold marker areas are added for graphics and painted surfaces.

What can we learn from this?

1   We understand the forms that create the design without the drawing being hyper-realistic. Less can be more -even in digital rendering.

2 The use of white highlights to visually enhance the forward portions of objects and buildings is highly useful! Using white on the forward edges of elements gives the impression of light hitting the surface and creating a highlight. I would guess that the white is create using gauche paint (on a tiny brush) and white chalk pastels.

3 Notice the delicate use of black ink line weights. The forward portions of objects are depicted with light black lines and as the forms recede this is depicted with bolder, heavier black lines. Such a lovely balance of light and heavy lines.

4 Black marker areas are nicely balanced with lighter areas on object, helping the rendering read well in terms of value contrast.

5 The judicious use of bright color –using the same orange and gold color repeatedly creates good color balance.

I wanted to share this because I love these old-school renderings, I think this is a great one and I did not want it to waste away without being noticed. And, I do think we can bring some of these techniques to our hand drawn quick sketches as well as digital renderings.

This rendering was probably done by a former teacher, or visiting design professional at my university long before my time there. If anyone reading this knows the creator of this rendering, please let me know!

*Brown line diazo prints are a brown version of a blue line print. For those not familiar with this process, in the olden days (from the 1940s to 1980s) this type of printing was common. In this method, designers drew original line drawings on velum or mylar and these were printed using a chemical process. Use of this method was replaced by large format photocopies in the late 1980s

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

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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.

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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.

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Whimsical Chair Rendering, by Mao Vang
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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).

 

Hand Rendering Floor Plans | shadows + mat board straight-edge

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.04.56 AMThree important things to do when hand rendering plans (and elevations) are:

A  layer color up by starting with a lighter marker color and adding multiple layers, this works far better than starting dark -trust me.

B  always include shadows, not paying attention to windows or light-sources but by simply locating them consistently throughout drawing (all to the bottom/left for example).

C use a straight-edge made of matboard; cut the matboard in strips and use  as an edge for the marker, this will keep lines straight and give greater control | while shown here for wood flooring this method can even be used for carpet, tile etc as a way to start a clean base layer.

This is straight from my book “Interior Design Visual Presentation” 4th edition.