watercolor for the digital age

When we as architects show clients images of illustrated elevations, what we see as most desirable does not necessarily translate to our clients. Our market and our clients are not (ever?) other architects! I have two rendered samples of the same elevation, but with two different illustration styles.

The first image is a computer generated rendering with soft shadows, which I then post-processed in Photoshop to give it a more illustrated feel. The second used a digital watercolor technique with the base rendering taken directly from a sketchup model.

I was happy with the results of the first image, and the architect I did the work for was pleased. But since I am working on developing my digital watercolor technique, I thought this would be a great elevation to try it on. As you can see, the second image has much more tonality, color depth, and conveys an artistic feel. The architect sent this on to the clients, and there was unanimous approval of the second image.

It’s useful to get out of the box sometimes with our work. We look at elevations and are used to reading flat 2D drawings all day. It’s easy to lose sight of the needs of our clients for warm, styled illustrations that move away from the technical and often lifeless drawings.