Being a student in a great architectural school prior to the advent of CAD,
and exposed to some amazing and innovative thinkers was a huge gift.
Los Angeles was an exciting place with music, design and art commingling.
Drawing was an extension of my mind and I don’t think that this was unusual;
we all could walk to a chalkboard or
grab a sharpie and bumwad and
tell a story by sketching it.
I start most sketches in pencil (not a dirty word but a lovely tool)
and so, I tend to find the basic lines on my paper and “locate” the big items,
rhythmic patterns, horizon line, and if it is complicated,
maybe put guide lines in for the perspective.
Then I start layering ink and wash, depending upon how far I am going.
Sometimes I erase, sometimes I don’t.
I rarely use thumbnails in sketching, and never put my pencil up to see the proportions in front of me. It may work for many people but I can’t recommend it.
Thumbnails I use more in doodling or thinking if I am solving a problem.
I have a graphic vocabulary built in —
how can one not with the training we’ve gotten in Uni?
I don’t worry too much about putting in too much detail or not. I’ve been sketching so long it is second nature to me, especially in pencil, no pressure.
My sketchbooks are places to experiment. To play with tools or materials.
To stop the boredom when I am stuck somewhere!
When I taught architectural design at UCLA I made students use pen, not pencil.
No ability to erase = less engagement with the editor.
I told them that when I saw a pile of bumwad on the floor next to their desk then I’d know their creative juices were flowing. They just sketched ideas, no commitment to any one direction, exploring, and so the pen-hand-brain connection was formed.
I think that ability is key.
The only way I know to teach it is to have people draw draw draw….
Pentalic Aqua Journal, with a Pentalic 2B woodless pencil,
Lamy Al-Star with De Atramentis Document Black ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges,
Sennelier, Holbein, and Daniel Smith Watercolors.
©D. Katie Powell.
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I teach architectural sketching,
art journaling (art+writing), creativity, watercolors.
That annoying loud-mouth editor/critic in your head? GONE! How great would that be?