Season’s Greetings to one and all.
Like sketching, composing each page of a journal or sketchbook is an extemporaneous act. We may have a plan for how to organize the drawings and notes on a page before we begin, but we should also be open to altering the plan as each element is executed.
For example, we may find that having executed a drawing, its size, shape and proportions may differ, as so often happens, from what we originally intended. By carefully considering the visual shape and weight of the drawing, we can re-balance the page or give it a more dynamic quality with the placement of the next graphic element, whether that element is graphic or verbal in nature. With the addition of further graphic elements, we continue to encounter this opportunity to re-compose the page.
Now that the days are getting shorter, colder, and often rainier here in Seattle, I have to find indoor places to sketch. Here is the equipment at Hale’s Brewery and Pub, the longest running independent craft brewery in the Pacific Northwest.
I drew the above view with an Apple Pencil on an iPad using the Procreate app. Of course, one’s choice of medium always influences how one draws, even though the selected subject matter and point of view may remain the same. I find that unlike drawing with a fountain pen, I have less patience for including fine details, for which I would have to zoom in and out, interrupting the flow of the drawing.
For comparison purposes, here is a similar view drawn with a fountain pen in March of this year.
I’m working again with Steve Winkel of the Preview Group, preparing the sixth edition of Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2018 International Building Code. When I first began working with Steve in 2000 on the first edition of BCI, I had decided to use Adobe Illustrator to prepare all of the illustrations since I knew that the International Building Code was going to be updated every three years and that many of the graphics would have to be revised on a regular basis.
As I originally posted back in 2013: “I use Illustrator basically as a drafting tool to create the visual ideas I have in mind. The many benefits of vector graphics include: using the Save As capability to try out different options; having precise control over line weights and tonal values; being able to resize drawings easily to fit a page layout; and reusing elements that I had already drawn. Most importantly, when working on a revision, instead of having to completely redo a hand drawing, I can open an existing drawing file and make the necessary changes to create the updated version.”
Here are a few examples.