Friday, 29 April 2011

DJ Shadow 'Entroducing' the darker side.

Shadows that follow.

 Seem to be getting slower as fatigue strikes. So eventually the sequential sketches (annotate tomorrow on a fresh head).

But first, had a look around at what the rest of you lot are doing, bloody hell there is some good stuff, particular praise goes to Mr Chilli for his bounding leap forward ( i assume the name comes for 'hot air') really looking solid. Just reminds me of what is expected. 

Aija s model, blinding, Alicks drawings (and studio, so tidy i wouldn't dare put a photo up, for the simple reason the camera is buried somewhere and all you would see is a sea of tracing paper ) stunning, Sue's 'light touch' of lovely sketches, great shadows. Looking forward to seeing the rest.

8 Sketches.

In no particular order. Updated the previous ones with more shadow (lifts and creates atmosphere, cheers J), backed off the bright green to a more subtle muddy green/yellow. Though i would really like to do a three colour scheme (as Helen Armstrong appreciates and i get it, may do something with the model photographs on the ' abstract/atmo if i can). 

Neil will so tell me off for saying this, but still not sure whether i really like this style, a case of looking over my shoulder a bit too much i suspect. On the plus side learnt an awful lot about creating depth and tree's. 

Maybe its a case of Tracy Emmin, do fine art, nail it, then go abstract as she understands the techniques of 'realism ' but wanted to get beyond that, so use an unmade bed to tell the story, maybe my messy workspace has some use after all!

The large Oak and steel Pergola, +Wisteria. A mobile  (park stored) refreshment to provide the eat, sit, meet, watch that people so love.

Looking over the bottom interaction area (ooh-err-missis, that sounds a bit Frankie Howard). Human scale of height to width, with prairie views that people find so attractive. Shadows are a bit messy.

Looking up waterfall. Added shadow like this one slightly abstract, three colours, though not thirds!

Looking down from the upper small cafe/art space under the waterfall. This is the view that you can see the ashdown forest in the distant view. Glimpses of a view provide some curiosity.

Looking down along the rear ravine evening sun. Long shadows.

Hari. K. Rishna in his orange top surveys the view from the Island.Used the same blue to look as if the water colour reflects the sky, not quite worked. Feels a bit narrow for some reason. To late now.

Looking up from a ravine to the Picturesque style high walk way. Shadow the the first part of the ravnie with light from the intersection ravine splashing light over the rock. This one and the one below i particularly like. First and last.

Looking down toward the Pergola. With the slightly wild looking perennial borders sliding down the hill side for all to see. tree's a bit contrived/solid. Changed the colours for a more yellow/green corn scene. Thank god for 'replace colour' in PS

Annotation tomorrow, i have decided to put them all on individual A3 size and annotate from there. I can easily put on a A1 if needed.

Hopefully will have a good day and find some nice/better images for mood and precedent, plus lighting plan. Been listening to too much Trip Hop so the mood is on the wrong side those glum people from Bristol, i must be some kind of Dummy.

Night all. ZZZZZzzzzzz

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Futures bright, futures coming to quick!!


Still chained to the mac, thank God for some good tunes too keep the spirits up, mainly been feeding on Brazilian, Cuban, with some old school (can't remember how to spell it wrong to be all hip, bit late for that now).

Well three more sequence sketches, learning new stuff and tricks all the time. Used a lot of images that i have already done to save time and manipulated to suit. 

Finished all of them with 'Dry Brush' filter to blend all the different components together.

Particularly pleased with the water fall. 

Images look a bit literal, plus bright colours, its the point of communication or do trendy colours, trouble is what i like and think looks 'cool' nobody else understands, a case of being on the wrong planet/universe depending on your view of Quantum mechanics.

Dry brush to blend and calm down some of the colours.

A mixture of photo plants and plants from above, plus some. Still a bit janet and john on the colours, but can be adapted.

Dry brush really worked on this one. Used some real people, plus some work to get them to 'sink' into the image.

Worked quite hard on this one making sure the eye line worked looking up the waterfall. Waterfalls are 'white' water so no blue/green. Tried to get movement and spray.

One more tomorrow, annotate then precedent images.

Not too much moaning Neil, though kettle and black come to mind!

LOL as usual Mr Chilli, cheers.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Time is a hook, and were on the line

According to 'A Tribe Called Quest'

Well all started well, nice cup of tea, found some greet mixes by J.Rocc and Madlib, mixing Jazz,Funk, and old school Hip hop, in it!!!

So first drawing went ok on the annotation front, but first sequence ahhhhh,

Just could not get the plants right, get them wrong and lose the whole atmosphere eventually after playing with pencils, spent a bit more time looking at images that represent what i want to achieve, then used 'brushes' in more options, ways, tweaks than John Prescott's excuses for losing a by-election.

So only one image after 10 hours work, but i think i know were i am going on the rest (famous last words)

Tried to be accurate, but enthusiastic (ie not to dry). Still not 100% happy with last one, but have to move on.

The killer. I think i may put some real people in, but i will worry about that later. Hopefully got a feel from this, tree's need some improvement. Yada, Yada.

Really need to get the rest of the Sequences done tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Distance is a bricklayers best friend

But not trees

Struggling to get a technique to do distant trees quickly, hey ho.

Annotation for A-A and B-B cross section, 
tried to work my planting choices in to justify them.

Annotated referring to the planting and material plans. And Oh the Sun is shining outside.

Trees improving by copying the tree off a photograph, all good practice. Distance a bit naff.

This one i am the least pleased with need to work on the planting area's,but time and all that. Still took ages on the distant trees grrrr.

Annotate these two tomorrow and then Sequential s

Now a long hot bath and some food other than toast.

Blogs, what the Funk are they good for.........

Music thats what!!

Been on this blog for a while downloaded some Funk/mixes, best groove i have found in ages, Funk, jazz and Hip Hop mixed with real soul. Plus a couple of new tracks that are gems. Doing the Cross sections whizzed by with a little less pain thanks to the 'Funk'

Back to the Point

Updated 1;200, completely re-annotatted lots of tweaks , managed to get a bit more depth, but have be carful not to over do it and end up looking like a dogs dinner. Annotation is best in the morning when the brain is functioning at its best.

The first cross section took ages as usual still trying to sort out an effective rendering style, really did not want to go down the PS image route as i have proved to myself i can do that reasonably well and its mind numbing trying to find the right image. Plus once a technique for rendering has been found then its a case of getting quicker as each drawing goes by. The first took 9 hours mainly due to indecision, the second took 4h. 

All PS rendering, discovered its best to put a base colour down first then build upon. Bit like Rolf Harris without the 150mm emulsion brushes. Found the trees in the distance the hardest

Quicker this time, still not decided about the distance. Tried to use the planting plan to identify the trees and plants and thus put them in with some accuracy. Both to be annotated tomorrow morning.

Then the other two.

Will eat food other than custard creams tomorrow, still no running.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Russian Doll

Ahh, look another one!

This is how it feels at the moment finish a drawing and two more seem to arrive.Or is that buses? 
Finished(?) drainage only to realise that there are at least 20 detailed drawings that could come off this drawing alone.

It also seem that a Heat exchange drawing should be done, explaining were heat from the ground, lake and building waste could be retrieved. Along with more detailed drawings. A year to design this site would be quick!!!


Think i have covered most of it. Seem to be getting a bit neater in the layout or is that anal(?), i think there is a retentive person trying to get out, back, back, dam you!

The main plan updated, but annotation needs a fresh head otherwise i will repeat the blather that is on it at present.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Light Fantastic (ish)


Like many in the group i have been revisiting my 1;200 stuff and working my way through,

so far materials, tree planting, shrub and climber planting, lighting, festival lighting (had to do it, very kitsch,but when you are a kid and its Christmas being high brow is not as important a visual overload for a memory, that includes 47 year old children).

Planting trees

Well worked hard on this, the trees are large on purchase to get an effect while everything else is taking hold, a risk, but it also shows the intention of getting an effect to get the park up and running quickly.

Shrubs and Climbers

Felt like this took forever (about a week). Trying to get reasonable flowering through the year with out to many holes. It may be better to go for a spectacular short flowering season or not (ie Augusta Masters Golf, hate the game but love the tournament, and the blowsy Rhododendrons remind me of Mrs Bucket for some reason)?


  Enjoyed playing with PS trying to get the lighting in the dark effect, as usual stumbled on a couple of things.

1) In the layers pallet click on the drop down and use luminosity once your blue fill layer has been placed over the colour image. It will turn the blue black ,don't worry, just mask the main picture and create another colour fill when you have finished. It seems to lift out of the screen a bit more.
2)Brush and brush presets are were its at, once you have mastered layers and masks this is the next most important (in my humble opinion), brushes effect erasers, so the brush pre sets can act as a eraser brush. Worth playing with.

Lighting Festival

The chance of using extra lights for festivals with the ravine seemed a no brainer. The effect is a bit chinsey with these colours but everyone has a bit of chinse hidden away in the back of their head. After all this is a park for everyone not just your average judgmental 'Garden Designer' No Baa humbug here!


Hopefully finish this one tomorrow and update the 1;200 MP. Thought a lot about catchment and water harvesting, so i will be putting in tanks and irrigation ect. Along with sediment tanks for the collection of silt. Used different arrows to show the speed of water, ie slower on soil that rock/hardstanding along with gradient.

One all the drawings then cross section update, sequential's, precedents and finally model pics.

Then 1;50. Hopefully have a few drawings for the 4th May.

And Oh, my achilles has gone again, fan bloody tastic.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Work, curse of the drinking classes.

Mines a pint.

Trying to clear my backlog of paid work.

Just thought i would put up what i am doing to show the different requests from clients and the work arounds one has to do. Also the experimenting with rendering and perspective sketches.

Small narrow back garden.

Client request for veg, cottage style, new baby on the way, interest in perennial planting ie has the time to play/enjoy the garden

Basic perspective copied from a photograph on A3, rendered with pro markers until they ran out!. Finished in P/S. lots of little bolt on tricks, in particular using 'poster edges' from 'filter gallery to get some depth and definition to finish. Tree is a bit Naff.

Looking back toward the house. Same again copied photo, straight into P/S and rendered. Struggled a bit with this one, the pergola is to large and heavy and a bit out of perspective. Looking at it it needs more umph on the planting. Very simple design (see earlier plan 'Darwin or God').

Front Drive on New Build ( 'Knot Garden' plan )

Drive and walls already constructed,so working with what is already there. I would like to take the curved wall down and have the hedge as a barrier, we shall see.

A bit garish on the colour front ,but that is to compensate for the printers printing on the dark side. Graphical. Drawn out of my head, scanned, rendered in P/S. See what i mean about the wall. A twist on the knot garden. Very formal due to the style of the house (mock Georgian) and the position as a semi circle on a two exit drive. Finished off with 'water colour' filter.Man in orange tee shirt seems to be a theme

A bolted panoramic picture , traced, scanned and P/S.
Same finish with Water colour.


Still yet to find a routine that i a happy with,though the graphic route seems to be favoured at present. I am just so aware of providing images that communicate, rather than provide atmosphere as limited time and finances means reading the client and fitting the image to their need is important. Plus i still need to 'practice the atmosphere thing, as well as everything else.

Tomorrow back on 'Park Life' 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Who are the 'Green Engineers'?

That is the Question.

Two days of green engineering and i thought i would be ready to go back to my Neanderthal ways, being a cynic, unless its proven in my mind (in my few years on the planet i have seen  a lot trends promoted and used for ill gain, so its always good to question and not just accept because 'billy big bollocks ' says so) then its hot air blather which is no use for beast or man.

But i can so see the logic in proceeding down this route, not the sandals and sack cloth,but the high and low tech solutions to everyday needs, in particular, waste.
As in not wasting resources moving products around the planet, saving and reusing local resources first before going further a field. Lastly, efficient buildings whose creation is mainly due to the landscape, not the other way round. 

The idea that LA's are 'engineers' from our lesson on SUDS was an inspiration. I knew a bit about swales and suds (or at least i thought i did) but never joined the dots. A really fantastic lesson. The fact that this was backed up with evidence and the interest from Governments from around the world proved even more that what we are now entering is an age of proactive green policy rather than chest beating 'i don't own a car and am a vegan' macho talk.

So 'if' i and the rest of us make it, then we have a duty to not to be shrinking violets, otherwise the holistic big picture of building as part of the landscape will be lost amongst the desire for engineered infrastructure that engineers love so much. Forgetting the impact on the world, rather than the often the simple solutions of using what the landscape has used for millions of years. Very inspired even if we did not make it to China!

Taking green technology to the limit, The new hospital (completion 2014) in Bermuda

A lot of thinking and re-evaluating to be done.

Monday, 4 April 2011

All in a Knot

An Attempt at a Knot Garden

Well just an idea for a semi circular spot in a drive for a Georgian House, with a twist of some water and marginals continuing the line.

A start lot more to do 

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Style: Darwin or God?


I have been working on paid work this week so that i have the luxury of eating food other that gruel (though as i seem to burn just about everything is there any point in buying nice food)?

I have been experimenting with various styles over the past year and am slowly coming to the conclusion that communication (no, i refuse to use the 'paramount' word, my most hated word due to journalists and 'safty nazis' using it at any and every opportunity, that includes you John Humphfies of R4 Today programme fame) is the first point to think about on drawings, obvious maybe, but in the past (and still now sometimes) i have fallen into the trap of trying to do a work of art (although not quite Tate Modern more bill posters under  railway arches) and the 'impression' overtakes the the design.
Result, confused clients.

So i have tried to do a clear and concise drawing, trying also to avoid the computer look too much, ie repeats.

A small garden, the desire for veg and perennial planting with a space to sit and admire. Hidden the functional area with a 'dog leg' in the path.
Veg near the house (as it is at present). 

Drawn on the board, Scanned bolted together in photoshop, Rendered and annotated photoshop.
Plain style to the point, once printed i will add people and slab and brick patterns, probably ruin it!

On to the next........

D or the big G?

Well i think Darwin wins this round, style is mostly about evolution. Trial and error if you like. We all have eyes to see it just depends how we interpret and crit our own attempts, a never ending process, todays bacon is tomorrows landfill. Which i am being constantly reminded, onwards, forwards, no looking back, bright future, shades, as MJ said 'Lets Dance, lets shout..... I think i need to eat blood sugar is getting low.