Thursday, 31 March 2011

Hitting the wall

Now, it might not surprise many of you but I have never run a marathon, but I'm guessing I might be feeling what many runners experience at the 20 mile point in a race - and run out of energy - thus 'hitting the wall'.

In any case - I've decided this is just a small wobble, a blip, fear of cocking up 3 years of study...perfectly rational?

Yesterday I cleaned out the office, did my filing - ordered a new set of pens, pencils, paper and wotnot - so I'm ready to start going again. Today is 1:50 day, no more no less - concrete lily pads and floating disks of shimmering loveliness... damp and dry planting scheme,  green walls, perilous stepping stones - because taking risks is all part of releasing your creativity...

And now for something completely different -  photos from my walk with the dog early Tuesday morning.

River Medway - the water's not blue
The corn field - early morning haze. Notice the tonal hierarchy of the bands of trees!
These reeds have been swaying about on the river's edge all winter.
beautiful catkins - kent cobnuts, sadly the squirrels get to them first.
violets - loverley violets...  
Its difficult to find aerial images of plants, so am going to try painting these into pond plants for my 1:200.   
and my dog 

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

My photoshop attempts

Here are my latest attempts at photoshop - as pinned up for yesterday's 'crit'.

and a before and after sketch...

original sketch with hand-written annotation. Then below a cleaned up version without the annotation and a startlingly blue sky. 
photoshop - spot the difference? This version took me an hour  to produce from the original. It would've been quicker to trace over and re-colour by hand.  

I don't like Mondays...

Yesterday was kick arse day. I knew it was coming so made sure I had a book down the seat of my pants.

Did i go off message in going down the photoshop rendering route? Yeah probably, some of my fellow students thought so... and were quite vocal on the subject! Thanks Amelie, Susan, and Aiya.

The thing is,
(cue dreamy music... mist and rose-coloured spectacles....)

that I know what my drawing style is... although it was 12 years ago I was drawing for a living. We were called 'Visualisers' then back in the day and without the aid of photoshop, sketch-up, CAD etc - I would sit down at a drawing board and produce measured perspectives in pen and ink and colour them in.  At college we were taught to use water colours - we had a 'Shelley' tutor who came and gave us weekly lessons in how to render in watercolour. In our last year we had a hip young tutor who introduced us to marker pens, this was considered cutting edge - but it's what our future employers demanded, so we ditched the paint!

So why did I burn up precious hours on photoshop last week, for little to show? Because I want to move forward and apply the new skills I've learnt - at least give it a go. I don't want to be a dinosaur -  I love what the computer can do - I love Photoshop and sketch-up (jury's still out on CAD, but that's only because I also like technical drawing by hand).

So this week I must step off the photoshop and get back on the drawing board - finish my drawings and - oh and the lesson today is ........ANNOTATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Photoshop Hell Part 2 - The Sequel....

If there's a sequel to Adele's photoshop hell then here it is...
I can completely sympathise.

After another lecture from my other half about work/life balance and that there is more to life than BA Garden Design year 3...of course my husband is wise and learn-ed, so yesterday I thought I'd better organise dinner and tea for mum and dad. It would be fine, I could cook dinner and in the afternoon do a bit of photoshop from my lap-top whilst everyone settled down to watch the rugby...

... well, perhaps it was under the influence of the 'super-moon' - but I sat for nigh on 10 hours eyes glued to the laptop working on 4 section drawings in photoshop AND they're not even finished! It's possible the table was laid for tea around me - I couldn't say.

Anyway, Dad said he didn't understand it, but thought it all looked good anyway and left muttering about writing a letter to my tutor complaining about my workload.

Today, is another day... and I'm back at the coal face working on the perspective sketches... another long day beckons...


Monday, 14 March 2011

Aerial sketch of 1:200 area

I wasn't able to finish my sketch model this week, which is a disappointment. But I have finished a draft plan of my structural planting and hopefully resolved the hardworks plan - including the materials I want to use.

For me, this week was all about resolving the materials - hard and soft - and having courage of my convictions. Rightly or wrongly at this stage I put these drawing in ink... I know things will probably change, but ink on paper helps me feel I'm making progress.

Here is an aerial sketch of my 1:200 area. I first modelled the basic structure in Sketch-up and have used this as a guide for the sketch.

The overall sketch of the park was completed at the masterplanning stage - I coloured this in with photoshop.

Experiments with lighting effects in photoshop

Here are my attempts to add lighting in photoshop.

After several attempts I worked out how to get a spotlight effect. Use the rubber in brush mode and setting it on a small pixel size - say 7 and having the opacity up 100%. Then click a few times on the same spot - so you get a nice white 'dot'. Then set it at a larger pixel size and change opacity to about 60%. Then apply this brush over the first 'dot' you made - thus creating a light bleed effect.