Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Observation - The Tools/Media

Something that I have been thinking about recently has been the actual medium that I am using and will be using in the future. Most of this is due to the fact that I will be doing quite a bit of drawing/rendering in the coming months and I am comfortable with certain set of tools. They are what I know, what I understand and what I have some competence with. This has lead me to wondering about the different groups of tools.

The first grouping is the pencil and ink group. When I say ink, I include pens and computer plotting. They achieve the same thing, in the same manner. The only difference is that a computer is controlling one of them. These seem the core of architectural drawing. They are what people learn first and what is produced most often in firms. I suppose that is due to the speed of which drawings can be completed. They are the most efficient but they are also the simplest. That is not to demean them, just a analysis of their characteristic. The pencil and ink create Line drawings, most often. They are simple. Line after line, defining space, conveying the base information for a set of drawings. The construction set; meant to convey information in a simple manner, straightforward and concise.

As an extension of this, the pencil and ink can be used to render the drawings. Adding texture and shadows. Giving a bit more meaning and information to the drawings. They create a character for the building that is being drawn. Give it a bit more depth, literally and figuratively. These drawings are usually black and white, the medium I seem to be using the most often.

The next grouping is the watercolour, markers, painted. In essence, it is the addition of colour to the previous group. They become more literal. Convey more information again. The viewer no longer needs to imagine what colour fills the room. It is laid out in front of them. But even these can be ambiguous in some regards. It isn't a photograph, it is still and interpretation of what may be.

The final group that I have identified is that of the photorealistic drawings. This mainly consists of the computer rendering. Normally, these drawings don't leave much for the viewer to invent in their imagination. It is exactly as the building will be. Material, colours, and scale.

All of these still leave a lot of the image up to the artist creating them, but the further along the groupings go, the less is left to the imagination of the viewer. Something can be said for allowing the that person to fill in what ever they see fit. It can allow for some ambiguity in the design, which can be useful. The tools can determine what type of drawing is being created, and vice versa. It comes down to the intent of the drawing to figure out which of them fits best.

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