Orban Design

Providing the highest quality architectural rendering for Charlottesville and beyond.

Digital Watercolor for marketing images

Sometimes there is a need for a softer look than what a photorealistic rendering can provide. Using digital watercolor (a watercolor image that is made on the computer instead of with paint on paper), I can provide a much looser look to engage an audience without the crisp detail that is a hallmark of computer rendering. Here is a sampling of a few of my recent projects, interior, exterior, and neighborhood scale to show the style of illustration that can be achieved with digital watercolor.orban_design-watercolor-digital06 orban_design-watercolor-digital04orban_design-watercolor-digital05 orban_design-watercolor-digital02 orban_design-watercolor-digital01

June 2014 renderings

These renderings are of a pair of apartment buildings by the same architect. The first building is just starting construction, and so the rendering was done for the client for marketing purposes and use on a jobsite sign. The second building is in review currently by the zoning administration, as well as being presented by the developer to the community. There are several iterations of the second building that I didn’t include, which has different versions of massing of the rooftop/ penthouse volume.

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For these interior views of a nursing home renovation and expansion, I used a softer watercolor style to prepare these renderings.


May 2014 updates

Here are some of my latest images from the past month. I’ve had the opportunity to work on some more contemporary interiors again, continuing on the modern themes from my last entry. The following project is a 2 story flat in an urban historic warehouse district, so the architecture reflects a more industrial feel. It also has lots of windows, so I wanted to show the feel of the natural light that would be flooding the apartment unit.


The next two images are watercolor style renderings, one a lobby renovation of an institutional building, and the other is a marketing image for a country club expansion and renovation.


April 2012 project images

I have quite a few new images to share, and I will have more coming as soon as they are public. I’ll have some videos as well to add to my website soon. I can’t wait to post those.

I’ve been working on finalizing illustrations for a coffee shop concept. (You can see a couple of the unedited computer renderings in last month’s post.) Here are views of some of the highlighted spaces.

I’ve prepared some renderings for a few concept buildings. Here is a high-rise apartment building.

This is a display concept for placement in a well-known retailer.

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.