Equestrian Center, Eye Level Sketches

Jamming on a crazy workload, so I’ll post something that is a little filler… some work I did back in March of 2009.  A few months back I posted an aerial for a rather large Equestrian Development in the Middle East. It was for a massive development of a veritable town, centered around the breeding, raising, training, and racing of Arabian horses.  The aerial was the principle need, but the client asked for three quick “loose” and sketchy views to begin a conversation about what the complex might feel like on the ground.

Here are the three sketches that were done as a part of that work.  These are much sketchier and lower resolution than the aerial, which was a virtual exercise in architectural scrimshaw (at 20 inches wide and 400 dpi).  These are supplements to that aerial, meant to flesh out the general feel of things, but without too much specificity, as the project was essentially still in schematics.

These too were modeled in Cinema 4D, lit, and rendered out to provide some basic color and atmosphere.  Everything else was paint. Well, ” digital paint” anyway.

View of the Parade Ground. 11x17 at 300 dpi

View of the Parade Ground. 8x10 at 300 dpi

The shade structure hadn’t really been designed, and so I was asked to “make something up”.  I wanted to develop this image around blue/orange complements, with the warm and cool colors playing off each other.  A detail…

    Detail of the Parade Ground Sketch... somewhat loose.

Detail of the Parade Ground Sketch... somewhat loose.

I hesitate to zoom in on these, because they aren’t intended to be detailed.  The idea was to view them at arm’s length, and that they’d be painterly, sketchy concept drawings, printed as illustrations on an 8-1/2 x 11 page.  The client wanted to spend the time on the aerial, and these were to be “extras” in the presentation.  I generally prefer to do all images in a suite to the same level of detail, honestly.  …but I won’t say I didn’t enjoy doing something much  looser than the aerial, which was about 40 hours of work.  Each of these was maybe 10 hours total, modeling, camera tests, color tests, and paint.

Sketch at the Hotel Courtyard

Sketch at the Hotel Courtyard 8x10 at 300dpi

Detail of the Hotel Courtyard

Detail of the Hotel Courtyard

Presentation Ring, viewed from the Terrace

Presentation Ring, viewed from the Terrace 8x10 at 300dpi

Terrace Detail 01

Terrace Detail 02

Not much here when you zoom in, other than splotches and shadow/highlight.  Line work was kept simple, too, to keep from becoming overly fussy when dropped into the small book which these were intended to illustrate.  This detail is maybe 2×4.

After this deadline, I’ll post some work from the last quarter of 2009, which continued to find me very busy.  I was very lucky in 2009.   I hope the tide has turned, and that my colleagues on the architecture side of things are finding that their phone is ringing and they are busier than they have been in a while…


Filed under Commissioned Work

2 responses to “Equestrian Center, Eye Level Sketches

  1. Jeff –
    I am an architect and watercolorist who has long stood on a soapbox to praise hand-made art/illustration/renderings because of the lack of soul in digital creations. I am very happy to have found your work and to see that you have changed my mind. Your work is extraordinary and compelling. I’d love to chat some about the process. Thank you!

    Gregory Milne

    • Hi Gregory.

      Thanks very much for the vote of confidence. I too think that although photoreal work can be compelling, there is just something about a hand drawn image that speaks to things beyond just the “reality” of a building. In some cases, hand-done work can suffer from oversimplification, or even idealization. But hand work can also communicate in such a way that the message is distilled, or condensed, and that the expression is one which is simultaneously less literal yet somehow more visceral. It’s a debate I don’t like to enter into, because I think all types of illustration have their strengths, and that they can all be artistic and expressive. I just know what I prefer to do myself. It makes no difference to me whether the brush or pencil in my hand is a traditional ‘real’ one, or my Wacom stylus (digital) pen. In either case, I’m the thing running it. The computer is as passive and frustrating to me as a set of Russian sable brushes. Neither they nor the computer can do anything without a human running them.

      I don’t think the human will ever lose its place in the process. The computer is just another tool in the bag of tricks.

      Thanks again for the time you took to comment.

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