To get a proposal: 413-250-8800 or jakers3(at)

Painting Tutorials

How-to watercolor and sketching tutorials demonstrating tips, tricks and techniques used in the Procreate app, using Apple Pencil and iPad Pro. Also, thoughts about life and architecture in NYC and the Berkshires, MA

David Rockwell, The 2010 Oscars Set Design, Architectural Rendering & 3D Visualization

Is it me, or was the set design the star of the 2010 Oscars ceremony last night? I couldn't get over the coordination between the elegance and beauty of the set as a whole, and the way the individual pieces--constantly rotating in and out to deliver presenters and video walls--never overpowered the people on stage. If you have any idea how much work that takes, than you are as amazed as I am at how flawlessly coordinated were the sets, the people, the production and the camera angles designed to take advantage of it all. It really was a tour de force.

I can't take any credit for helping with last night's design beyond the work we did last year (see below) when David Rockwell first did the design, and the contribution of some early sketches this year used to establish a rough direction, but a number of people behind the scenes do deseve credit beyond what the public is normally aware of. I don't think it's taking anything away from David Rockwell to say that my friend Barry Richards--David's number one collaborator on sets, and design director of one of David's coolest studios (also doing restaurants, high-end apartments, etc.)--was instrumental in realizing last night's miracle. Here are some sketches for the Oscars and for Broadway musicals that David and Barry have asked me to do over the years. Again, congratulations to both and to Rockwellgroup in general for what I truly believe was a masterpiece of set design and set movement.

James Akers