Category Archives: Sketchbook

Sketches and drawings.

Building Expectations! Early Sketches for the Temple

Ignis: The Central Fire, by Didier de Chousy, is the story of building a Utopian city around a hole straight to the earth’s core. This steamy wonderland, full of moving roads and glowworms, flying machines and glass houses, revolves around its train-shaped temple built on a platform over the great hole. Worshippers and civilians alike gather there to celebrate man’s industrious future!

Writing by the seat of his pants through tangents and digressions, de Chousy describes the temple as inspired by both the Parthenon (Greece) and the Pantheon (Rome). As the temple sets much of the visual tone for the city architecture, it was a natural place to begin sketching for my drawing for the show Building Expectations: Past and Present Visions of the Architectural Future at Brown.

Here are few sketches of the temple design, with great thanks to Google Sketchup for enabling me to build a 3D computer model to help with the circle perspective:

Up next: the final rough sketches for Industria!

 

“A Dartmouth Year” at the Collis Center

After many rounds of ideas for the Collis Center Cafe space, my co-designer, Laura Terry, and I were inspired by the Dartmouth College Winter Carnival poster design. We loved the flat, linear design and the bold color. The execution turned out to be more challenging than we anticipated, but we’re very pleased with the final results. Here are my final digital color designs, followed by photos featuring Laura’s designs and a panorama of the space:

Each of the large masonite panels is 3’x4′, and the two medium ones are 2’x3′. LauraJen, and I finished painting in May, and the show went up late last month. They came out beautifully! Click on the panorama below to see the Cafe, or feel free to stop in and check them out!


Mural Madness at the Collis Center!

For a second time this year, Laura Terry, Jen Vaughn, and I have combined our talents for another mural adventure! It’s finally up and on display for one year in the Collis Center Cafe at Dartmouth College. Here are my early composition sketches for my part of of the design. Our theme was A Dartmouth Year, scenes of life around campus:

Building The Penny

Building a book is like building anything else with your hands. You draw up some plans, refine the best designs, perhaps make a model, and then set to work. There are millions of tiny choices you make— a color here, a word change here, a different line there – but at last, and sort of suddenly too, you find yourself looking at the skeleton of a book. After nearly a year of work, my very first hard-back picture book is out and selling well, thanks to local author/self-publisher Andy Cutts!

Starting last summer, first-time author Andy Cutts and I teamed up to build The Penny, a 40 page picture book about the sailboat that Andy’s grandfather built circa 1958. The plan was for Andy to self-publish and distribute the 2-color book once I completed the illustrations and book design in the spring of 2011. After many discussions and meetings, my drawing tasks began with some character designs of Andy’s family.

Grampete, the main character, was tough to get right. I wanted to capture his love for sailing and family, but also embody the tenacity of hardworking New England engineer. I threw out dozens of drawings before finding this design. Here’s the rough model sheet of Grampete for the final version in the book:

Family photos and a trip to the cottage on Lake Winnepesaukee helped me find the mood. The other family members and neighbors came fairly easily. But the Penny herself was most difficult of all– boats are tough to begin with, and the Penny was a sleek, light-weight batten seam construction 20′ sail boat. It was important to get her as close as possible to the original design, but there were no plans for her left, and the real Penny no longer existed!

Now I already liked Google. Google Image Search, Google Maps, Google Earth. But the 3-D modeling program called Google SketchUp? A total god-send! It’s free, fairly easy to use, and thanks to the tutorial videos and lots of tinkering I was finally able to “build” a real model of the boat that I could rotate in space and draw directly from. The model isn’t a thing of beauty, and definitely isn’t seaworthy. But it worked nonetheless! Here is a screen shot of my model boat’s skeleton:

From there I was able to confidently draw the Penny over and over again, and the book dummy (or rough draft) began to take shape. Just to show a little more of my process, here is the rough draft, the sketch draft, and the final draft for spread 22/23, which features Grampete waving to the Mount Washington from the bow of the Penny. Few of the other final spreads so closely resemble the original roughs, but this gives an idea of how the project developed:

More images and more about The Penny coming soon. Stay tuned for the official book release in New Hampshire on July 2nd!

 

More Figure Drawing!

Hi folks! It’s been an amazing, intensive weekend for me– I’m sure I’ll be talking more about it soon– but for now I want to post a few final figure drawings from February and March. Additional drawings from these two sessions can be found in the Figure Drawing 2011 section of my website. A huge thank you to the models for their work with our class, especially to Annette; the reverse strip-tease felt like something out of a Lautrec sketchbook. I loved it! Enjoy!