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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

Posts in Rendering Technique
Have Pen Will Travel: Benefits To Architects of In-House 3rd Party Sketching and Rendering

In-house sketching and rendering techniques showing simultaneous design development and rendering of real-world projects. All projects are collaborations between NYC architect, illustrator and architectural rendering consultant James Akers and his NYC and Boston architect clients

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Use Digital Architectural Sketching To Streamline Client Approvals

It's one week before your next big design meeting. You have multiple ideas to present, but your goal is to secure your client's approval of a single direction so you can complete this phase, bill for it and move your team on to the next.

Your image boards suggest the character you want the project to have without being overly specific, but you're confused as to what kind of 3-d images to present. You want them to be provocative enough to generate a conversation, but not so photo-realistic that your client seizes upon them as proof of "what the project will look like," leaving you no wiggle room to develop your ideas later.

Back in the day, architects solved this problem by presenting loose architectural sketches (with maybe a little color thrown on them), blown up several feet wide so as to wow the client with vagueness...but times have changed and clients have changed with them.

Modern clients have grown up in a world of photo-realistic digital images.Their parents understood that hand drawn sketches and diagrams were a part of the design development process, but this generation has
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Fast, Low-Cost Architectural Sketches Help Realtors and Prospective Buyers Study Design Options Before Buying

As an architect who specializes in early-stage concept design, architectural sketching and rapid visualization, I get to serve as one-stop shop for realtors, developers and prospective homeowners wanting to study their options before committing to buying an important property, or before engaging a "high profile" architect who, given the pressures of running a large practice, might just assign the exercise to a couple of talented in-house designers anyway.

In the collaboration posted here, I worked with a Boston developer to sketch (in a fraction of the time required by a larger firm) the look and feel of a 120-unit, future-looking condo project in a prosperous Boston suburb. 

 

Early study based on SketchUp massing study: the Idea of pre-fab, stackable units enters inWe used a combination of traditional and digital architectural rendering techniques to explore her options, culminating in the simple black-and-white digital renderings at the end. Unfortunately, the banking meltdown of 2008 nipped the project in the bud, but...

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Traditonal Architectural Rendering vs. 3D Digital Rendering

I get a lot of calls from architects, developers, fund raisers and building owners looking for an alternative to 3D digital rendering. Not that 3D digital rendering is a bad thing. It isn't. Let's be honest. It's frikkin' gorgeous... and versatile...and powerful in ways that architectural rendering by hand can never be.

 

But 3D digital rendering done well requires a lot of design decisions and information--more than most architects have the time to produce during concept design. And some would say 3D digital rendering lacks the warmth and ambiguity of traditional architectural rendering. What you see is what you get--no more, no less, and God protect the architect from her literal client if the design should change, or not look exactly like the rendering in the end.

Don't get me wrong. I use digital technology to build accurate models set up views, and study the composition of views. (Heck, I'll even give you the model afterward.) It's just that, for some designs and in some situations...

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