Design Blocks

Rendering Techniques – SketchUp and Hand Drawing

Posted on: May 30, 2011

I am very excited to share this post with all of you as I am always looking for tips to help you guys improve your technical skills. This post illustrates how you can use a software  tool such as Google SketchUp to build the base for a perspective and then use hand drawing and rendering techniques to enhance it and bring it to life. The reason I call SketchUp a tool is because it is important to remember that we do not design in SketchUp. We must first have our ideas or “concept” and then we use SketchUp or other programs to bring them to life. The images below were created by Mark Moeller, AIA, LEED AP and Design Principal at JSA, Inc.

Retail Lobby Rendering by Mark Moeller

Mr. Moeller’s “trick” is to draw on both sides of the mylar as he works. Below are a list of steps he uses to create his renderings.

  1. The concept is defined in SketchUp, then hand-rendering is created, based on the sketchUp model.
  2. The SketchUp model gives perfect perspective, and allows you to choose your view.
  3. He then lays mylar over a printed out SketchUp model and inks the outlines.
  4. Then he flips the mylar over and colors the backside with prismacolor professional markers. Rendering on the backside preserves the crispness of the lines on the front.
  5. Then, returning to the front side, he adds some texture and highlights with colored pencils (the chair upholstery on the casual dining rendering).
  6. The finished rendering then scanned into the computer as a jpeg, and dropped onto a document and re-sized as needed for full color printing.

I personally think Mr. Moeller’s renderings are beautiful and I hope you can learn from his tips! Click here to view JSA, inc site and learn more about their firm and projects.

Roof Top Patio and Casual Dining Renderings  by Mark Moeller

{Images provided by JSA, Inc.}


2 Responses to "Rendering Techniques – SketchUp and Hand Drawing"

Awesome post! I love how rendering looks and gives so much more personality to the drawings. Did he use sketch-up and then print it out and hand render it?

Ashley yes he did read the post again because it explains the steps he follows to create his renderings. 🙂

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