00094-00098 Christ Church & The Highline

13 August 2014 § 2 Comments

For a change I have a few very, very recent sketches.  The first set is from Christ Church, located on the Upper East side.  I was hoping to add a second perspective to that page below, so hopefully I will get a chance to return and give you an update on it!  The final image is a set of thumbnails from the highline.  I started walking south on the highline from the 30th street entry and drew a thumbnail (no more than 5-7 minutes) at every block interval.  We are almost up to 100 images on this blog, which is fantastic.  The process of scanning, prepping, and uploading is quite time consuming.  I have at least 30 sketchbooks of content and no time to scan, and not a very good scanner at that (if you haven’t noticed that I’ve made a lot of my sketches b/w and only can really upload the ink ones atm).  Hopefully I’ll get a chance to upgrade soon!

 

cristchurch

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highline

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00089-00093 Miscellaneous

10 August 2014 § Leave a comment

So this set of sketches is a bit of a amalgam in respects to subject.  They basically didn’t fit in any of my recent posts and I wanted to just upload them to make sure I got them in on the count. There are two from where I live in Brooklyn.  The first is of a brownstone that is across the street from me.  I had gotten locked out of my apartment so, with time to kill before my partner came home, I put down some lines.  The other brownstone-y image is from my backyard, looking across the way.  This was just before we put up our new fence! The last three are as follows: Conservatory Waters (which you may recall I had sketched earlier as well), a thumbnail from my visit to Ocean Gate, and a 10 minute thumbnail of a famous painting.

brownstone

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conservatory

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00085-00088 A few days at the office

3 August 2014 § Leave a comment

Occasionally I have to attend meetings that last easily over an hour, so sometimes I find that noodling around a bit actually improves my ability to focus over long periods of time and listen to others.  I’m sure there is some research out there that supports this.  Here are a few sketches I made over a week or so during internal meetings at The Arsenal.  I actually really liked how these came out–they have a comic-y feel.

office

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00079-00084 On the Subway

31 July 2014 § Leave a comment

I haven’t forgotten about this blog–I’ve just been busy studying for my ARE’s (Architecture Registration Exams, for those of you non-arch-inclined)! There are seven exams in total and I actually passed my first exam, BDCS!  Presently I am in the process of preparing for Structures (testing in September!) and with any luck, I should be posting up a few of my sketch book pages of studies too at one point.

In the meantime, here is a small collection of sketches I’ve completed while on the subway over the last month. I must say that drawing on the subway is a bit difficult.  First of all, you really need to have a seat, which can be difficult during peak hours.  Second, it can be quite a bumpy ride, which requires a steady hand and the embracement of the sketchiness!  Third, and finally, everyone is constantly moving and shifting, and you never know when your subject is going to just disappear completely.  This part though can be quite fun, and actually makes the whole process a lot less stressful.  Because you only have a few seconds to capture your subject, you learn to make quick decisions on what lines are important to get down.  You dont have to worry about the details, but the essence.

And for that reason, I really enjoy subway sketching. I hope you enjoy these!

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subway sketch 01

Making Of: The Sixth Facade

19 February 2014 § Leave a comment

To pair with the launch of my portfolio site, and in response to some positive interest from viewers, I am going to post up a few screen caps & details that show the process/pipeline of building one of my most recent architectural visualizations.  This image was completed for Snohetta for a design competition they entered last year.  You can seem the other images generated for the affair on their site.  You can also see more on the competition here or here or here.  Vincent Appel, from Of Possible Architectures, assisted with the modelling process while I did the bulk of the post-production in photoshop as show below.  I am actually going to breeze over the details, if you don’t mind too much.  I will address additional techniques later on in different posts.

1 Compositional Render: This was the first pass at this image.  Very rough, no rendered textures as you might notice, and very early in the design stage.  This was modeled in Rhino and rendered quickly in Vray.  The focus was on the composition of the image, as well as the lighting.  It also gave me a head start for collecting resources & background imagry, as well as brainstorming color palettes.

130218 - SKETCH 2

2 Texture Render Tests and Color: One of the big strengths of this image is its utilization of 3d textures.  Anyone seriously interested in rendering very HQ believable images needs to start exploring these & how to use them effectively.  (You can find tons freely available online).   We did a lot of tests and we found that using 3d wood grains really took this image to the next level. If we were to just montage wood textures, we would not be able to get the depth of color & tone & believability without a lot of extra time & painting.  My biggest piece of advice is to be selective–don’t go crazy & overtexture everything.  Too much detail looks as fake as too little.  Also note, that my particular style is towards something more painterly and atmospheric, rather than strict realism.  At this stage I also was working on color overlays–still far from perfected here.

130225 - SKETCH 2 GLASS1

2 closeup

2 ckloseup2

3 Final Base Render : As you can see, the base render is very simple.  White surfacing for most assets and the texture is preserved in this.  The wood was rendered in color because it was easier to modify from there.  What you don’t see is that we also rendered out several channels.  You should always include the RENDER ID channel, as well as light/shadow.  Play around though.  I used a variety of channels to achieve different affects & gain control over different elements.

130303 - LIGHT AND GLASS

4 Initial Color Manipulation and Background : First set of color overlays.  I prefer to start a little oversaturated and reduce as I move on.  The background was pieced together form a series of photographs and ended up being quite a headache to get in perfect perspective.

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5 Color Manipulation, Saturation : Increased saturation; this was actually a test/experiment that I quickly did on the side.  Oversaturating sometimes allows you to see what colors are actually acting in certain areas.  Note heavy purple on left.  That was annoying me a lot.

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5 Desaturation, color, people, snow, etc : Snow added, colors desaturated somewhat, carousel added in the background as well as people.

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5 Season change! : JK Client decided daytime better for selling.  Probably right but I still liked the snow.  Grass was painted in rough.

1-Warm

5 Final Touches! : Softened the images by removing/reducing black.  Also softened background and increased lighting.

01 Podium - V(2)

01 Podium - V(2) small

01 Podium - V(2) small2

00049-00055 Syracuse street & Greenscape design

16 February 2014 § Leave a comment

Since it’s the weekend, I have continued with my efforts to reorganize my digital archive.  Through this process I have been setting aside sketches found from college years completed for my design projects.  The following set was for a project set in Syracuse city.  The initial sketch, done on site of the project location, I then made copies of & sketched over several times to explore different design ideas for the site.  The first two are the before (empty, on site sketch) and the after (the final design I selected).  I also included a few of the process images–there were tons of these, but the ones below are my favorites.
I also hope to , as I get a little more downtime, to colorize the initial sketch.

Syracuse Architecture

Syracuse Slivers 2

PROCESS:

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Syracuse Slivers

00043-00045 Omega & Design

11 February 2014 § Leave a comment

The drawings below are from a study conducted in 2010 of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living.  It houses a huge eco-machine which breaks down & consumes pollutants in water.  I will post up some more drawings from my finalized studies later tonight!  The last drawing is a design for a ‘hydroponic card catalog cart’ that was a component to one of my design projects for my 3rd year comprehensive architecture studio–those drawings too will eventually appear on this website, and I believe you will find them delightful!

I have yet to scan in my most recent drawings.  I actually have been bad at keeping up with drawing every day.  I find that my plate is loaded with things I need to do–from running my company The Movement Creative, work everyday, studying for the ARE’s, research for my book (on play & architecture), losing weight/exercising, restructuring my data storage, redoing my website, and a handful of other goals I am trying to complete (read a book a month, sketch every day, etc).  Though I definitely can find time to draw, I feel that my biggest wall is that I want to draw something interesting.  I think I need to get over that though, and just draw everything and anything.  Cups, books, couches, people,–lots of people.  I’m not super interested in these items as standalone objects of study, but I think if I want to see the improvement in my technical skills over time, I need to just push forward to draw everything critically.

Hopefully when it gets warmer out as well, it will be easier to draw my objects of interest more often.

Caitlin Pontrella

Caitlin Pontrella

Caitlin Pontrella

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